These strategies transcend the classroom.
I have been working on healthy classrooms as a part of my professional career for close to a decade. Now, with my third grader, this work hits home. I have spent a lot of time trying to convince teachers in districts across the state that mindfulness is a positive addition to classroom routines.
I feel fortunate that my daughter was able to experience Move Mindfully® in her third grade classroom. As a parent, I feel so lucky that my daughter is part of Ms. Kennelly’s class.I also knew that my daughter, in particular, would benefit from from these practices. She has struggled academically because of ADHD, and I have always known that breathing, stretching and moving helped her stay focused on her work.
Using Movement at Home
As part of our daily homework and reading routine, we take breaks every 10-15 minutes. I find balancing poses, like Eagle and Tree featured in the Focusing Routine, are especially beneficial. This helps her make it through her homework in a calm and peaceful manner. Sometimes I can even see that taking that time has re-energized her to finish reading a story that we otherwise would not have been able to complete.
Since starting third grade, Maggie has become MY teacher. She talks about the importance of getting at least 15 minutes of mindful minutes every day, and models that behavior by sitting on her bed and looking out her bedroom window quietly every morning before she moves on with her day.
She has also shown me that taking time to be calm after a lot of activity, helps to move us peacefully to the next activity. One time she encouraged me and her brother to find a peaceful spot to slow down and ground ourselves after leaving a playground. She sat on a rock calmly for 5 minutes and then was ready to move on with our activities that afternoon.
I was pleasantly surprised this holiday season when topping Maggie’s Christmas list was a yoga mat, chime and breathing ball! We now have a family yoga routine that we can do together. Her enthusiasm for movement and mindfulness is helping our whole family incorporate healthy practices into our routines.
How do you incorporate mindfulness into your parenting? Do you use similar strategies with ADHD learners? Please leave a comment!
Jessica Boyer Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.