Youth Mindfulness – School and Community – Lesson Themes

pyramid youth mindfulness

 

Themes Of The Curriculum

Youth Mindfulness

INTENTION

Refers to the inner decision to be mindful. This relies on motivation. In the first lesson, the children learn how the brain can change and grow and why paying attention to the present moment can be of benefit to them.

Youth Mindfulness

ATTENTION

 Refers to the practice of bringing the attention back to the present moment. In lessons 2 and 3, the children learn about attention, how it’s key to our experience and how it tends to wander. They also begin training their attention to be present.

Youth Mindfulness

ATTITUDE

 Refers to the way we pay attention. In lesson 4 the children learn the value of non-reactivity; in lesson 5 the children learn how to cultivate the freshness of the beginner’s mind and in lesson 6 the children learn to develop their willpower and diligence.

Youth Mindfulness

GRATITUDE

Refers to the practice of recognising and appreciating the conditions of health and happiness that are available for us in the present moment. This is the focus of lessons 7 and 8.

Youth Mindfulness

RESILIENCE

Refers to the art of handling difficult emotions, thoughts and mind-states with wisdom, courage and awareness. In lesson 9 we explore the natural reaction to turn away from difficulty and instead cultivate the capacity to “be-with” the difficult. In lesson 10 we explore the idea that thoughts are not facts.

Youth Mindfulness

KINDNESS TO SELF

By the time we get to lessons 11 and 12 the children have become quite familiar with their own minds and are ready to begin cultivating an attitude of kindness and warmth towards themselves. We explore what is meant by kindness conceptually, and also how we can be kind to ourselves in practical ways.

Youth Mindfulness

KINDNESS TO OTHERS

Building on the understanding that everybody wants to be happy and nobody wants to suffer the children then practice cultivating kindness towards others, beginning with friends and extending the practice to classmates and others. The children also have the opportunity to engage in acts of kindness.

Youth Mindfulness

PURPOSE

 
In lesson 15 the children reflect on all they have learned over the course of the preceding 14 lessons and in lesson 16 they develop a personal mission statement, articulating a vision for integrating their learning and acting in a way they can be proud of.

What’s The Research?

A study conducted at the University of Edinburgh in 2014, exploring children’s experiences of the Youth Mindfulness Kids Programme found that: 

98% of children report benefits from participating in the Youth Mindfulness Kids Programme.
92% of children reported an enhanced ability to regulate their emotions and tolerate strong effect.
72% of children reported that mindfulness helps them to focus, pay attention, and concentrate.
72% of children report an enhanced ability to be less reactive towards others, being less aggressive and engaging less frequently in physical and verbal confrontation.
77% of children report improvements in peer and family relationships.
Over 55% of children report that mindfulness helps them to enjoy life more, demonstrating enhanced gratitude, happiness, optimism and quality of life