Mindfulness Club for Kids (MC4K)
The Mindfulness Club for Kids (MC4K) is an educational program that consists of weekly 1-hour classes led by local educators who are skilled in teaching Mindfulness to children ages 6 to 17. The program provides a safe, structured, fun and engaging atmosphere that teaches Mindfulness practices your child can use in all areas of life.
What is Mindfulness, and what are the benefits?
“Mindfulness is paying attention to something in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally” – Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.
WiseMind’s Mindfulness Club for Kids teaches children a special way of paying attention to thoughts, feelings, body, breathing, and the environment.
Mindfulness has proven benefits with adults and recent research demonstrates that children & adolescents who practice Mindfulness can experience benefits including:
- Increased attention, focus and concentration
- Improved executive functioning (memory, planning, organization, and impulse control)
- Better emotional regulation (“responding” vs. “reacting”), self-calming and self-awareness
- Increased social skills, empathy and self-esteem
- Improved sleep, relaxation and sense of calm
- Decreased stress and anxiety
- Decreased depression
Based on the MindUp™ and the Mindful Schools Curriculum, WiseMind’s Mindfulness program provides simple, practical strategies to help children work directly with their own nervous system states, essentially offering them a “nervous system toolkit,” including:
- How to notice, label and manage strong emotional states
- How to orient and anchor to sound, sight, and the external environment to manage anxiety and reduce fight-flight reactivity
- How to work with breathing to promote grounding and centering
How does Mindfulness work?
Self-regulation – the ability to notice the condition of the nervous system and shift attention – is a crucial life skill. Self-regulation is best developed through practice in smaller doses when the system is more relaxed and at ease. This allows a child’s system to become accustomed to working with attention and awareness over time, so that the techniques can be employed when a child is under stress and in need. When we are stressed, threatened, anxious or angry, our access to the parts of the brain where good decision-making occurs is compromised. Mindfulness allows the higher brain (the prefrontal cortex) to engage and fosters self-calming and higher-level thinking.