According, Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools, “ One in ten children and young people aged 5 to 16 has a clinically diagnosed mental health disorder and around one in seven has less severe problems.”
The Week of 6th-12th February 2017 is #childrensmhw, Children’s Mental Health Week. Promoted by http://www.place2be.org.uk/ , it is to make us aware of the mental health crisis that we are dealing with on a day to day basis. This year’s theme is- spread a little kindness.
The use of Loving Kindness in mindfulness development is good not only for the child but for the people around them no matter what time of the year.
So, how can we spread a little kindness this week and EVERY WEEK of the year?
#RandomActsofKindness– Change the attitude of a class from whining and moaning to one of appreciation and gratitude.
- Discuss with children what a random act of kindness is and come up with a list of RAKs for at least the number of children in the class.
- Write these RAKs on individual slips of paper, fold and put into a hat/bag/bowl and allow each child to take one RAK. (NO TELLING! It is a secret!)
- Alternatively, each child can come up with their own RAK. (They are more likely to be able to do this after they get the practice of RAKs.)
- During the given time frame, the child is to complete the act WITHOUT saying they are completing the RAK. (This will also take some time as at first, they will want to tell everyone what they have done. The point of RAKs is to do a RAK without recognition. This will be the ultimate level of this mindful practice.)
- After the given time frame, as a class, discuss how completing the RAK made them feel and how they think it made the other person feel.
Thank You Cards– Old School, but a simple way to spread a little kindness. Have each child make Thank You card for someone thanking them for their love, caring, help or any other thing that person has done for you.
#PositivePostItDay– #PositivePostItDay was started by a young lady in Canada called Caitlin Haacke. After being bullied herself, she decided to take a stand against bullying. She single handily started the movement of positivity that is sweeping the world.
You will need lots of post-it notes! But the idea is simple.
- On the day, have the children discuss what we like in other people and in ourselves and then have them write at least two positive notes; one to themselves and one to someone else.
- Allow the children to stick the notes EVERYWHERE; on the person, on a door, on a table, on a wall, etc. Fill your classroom, area or school with these little positive notes.
- At the end of the day, have the children discuss how being positive effected them. Was it difficult to think of something positive about another person? Was it difficult to think of something positive about themselves?
Loving Kindness Song– Something that we know brings joy to many people is the act of singing and, with it part of the curriculum, this is another way to bring mindfulness to the forefront in an integrated way.
This Loving Kindness Dance Remix is an upbeat song that brings combines Loving Kindness with the joy of singing and great to use every day!
Meditation Dance Remix: https://youtu.be/93mj4PaiOUo
Loving Kindness Meditations– Guided meditations focuses the mind on one aspect. For Loving Kindness meditations, it focuses our minds of being kind to ourselves and to others. It really is about spreading kindness.
Here are a few that you may find useful for your class and yourself.
Loving Kindness Meditation for primary children: https://youtu.be/YRwQrzogy-g
Loving Kindness Meditation for primary children : https://youtu.be/-9_ZHnltMe0
Loving Kindness Meditation for upper primary children and teenagers: https://youtu.be/sz7cpV7ERsM
Loving Kindness Meditation for adults/ teenagers: https://youtu.be/MKtXw-tivZg
The world is a harsh place. Join me in spreading a little kindness around the world.
Share your ideas and don’t forget to use the hashtag #childrensmhw