Friday, April 4, 2014

Mindfulness and Your Child: Post-Event Recap

A Pre-K student practices mindful breathing

Thanks to everyone who attended our event last night! We had almost 50 people out to learn more about Mindfulness and Your Child. First we watched a short video on Linda Ryden's Peace of Mind program and why she started the program. Next we heard a short talk from Dave Trachtenberg, Program Manager at MINDS, Inc. on the definition, science, and benefits of mindfulness. In a nutshell, Dave shared that "awareness" is another word for mindfulness and that there are thousands of scientific studies proving the benefits of mindfulness on our immune system, executive functioning, behavior, stress levels, and general health and well-being. He works primarily with teenagers and just wrapped up a mindfulness training program for teens at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, MD. He shared some anecdotes on how those teens have benefited from the training, and how much more our students will benefit having started the training so early while their brains are still malleable. He stressed that we want our children to learn how to "pause" and have awareness of their feelings (anger, hurt, sadness, anxiety, self-judgement, etc.) before reacting or lashing out, as these feelings become more intensified in adolescence and the ramifications of poor impulse control can be much more serious. He praised Lafayette for being "the only school in the DC/MD/VA area" to have such a large and intensive mindfulness program with 700 students! We ended the event with a slideshow of some of the Peace Classes with our students (to be uploaded to the blog soon!), and Linda and I told a bit about how we run the classes. It was a nice evening, but if you missed it and would like more information on mindfulness please feel free to contact us!

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