Sitting Still Like a Frog
Teaching Mindfulness to Kids
Kids take to mindful awareness naturally, even enthusiastically, as soon as they see how it works. If you’re a parent, teacher, therapist—or anyone who works with kids—this online course will give you the skills you need to introduce the youngsters in your world to mindfulness and its many benefits. Renowned author and mindfulness trainer Eline Snel offers simple, playful ways to introduce kids to the basics. When children learn to be mindfully present, they’ll have the tools they need to deal with stress, sleep better at night, improve concentration, learn better at school, and handle difficult emotions for a lifetime. The practical techniques Eline teaches will enable you to help kids cultivate presence of mind and body at home and in the classroom and develop more compassion for themselves and for others. In helping the kids in your life cultivate these qualities, you can receive these benefits as well.
Since mindful self-compassion is a critical prerequisite for those who wish to convey the joy of mindfulness to children, this course will give you the opportunity to practice opening your heart through guided meditations and exercises. You will learn practical tools to respond appropriately to stressful situations and cultivate your own natural gift of awareness so you can pass it on successfully to others.
Eline Snel is a therapist and certified MBSR trainer and runs the Academy for Mindful Teaching in the Netherlands. She has been developing and teaching mindfulness-based courses for over twenty years and trains teachers to teach MBSR techniques to students. Her program has been used in numerous primary schools in the Netherlands. She has recently started a pilot project in various secondary schools to teach mindfulness practices to teenagers.
Downloadable video lessons, also available in audio and transcript form, from a workshop led by Eline Snel at the Omega Institute
Downloadable guided audio for kids and adults
Guided reading assignments with downloadable PDFs from Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents)
Exercises to help you integrate the teachings into your daily life and interactions with children
Unlimited access on your computer, mobile device, or tablet—learn at your own pace wherever and whenever works best for you
This course will help you to:
- Teach yourself and your kids to be more present in everyday life and to avoid your automatic responses to tension, stress, and other problems
- Find your own center of calm, quiet your worrying thoughts, and pass this sense of calm on to the kids in your life
- Get less carried away by feelings of powerlessness or failure or by the idea that you should be much better at everything you do
- Maintain your emotional, mental, and physical well-being amid the demands of everyday life
- Love yourself the way you are and love others precisely because they are the way they are
Mindfulness Begins with You
Mindfulness helps us to experience reality clearly and consciously, without pushing anything away or trivializing or over-analyzing certain situations. Being mindful is not something you do from time to time—it’s a way of life. In this first lesson, we begin with an exploration of what mindfulness is. Because we can only teach kids to be mindful when we are mindful ourselves, we will also learn basic techniques for practicing mindfulness in our own lives.
How you look at things determines in large part how you react to them. In this lesson we will consider the role that nonjudgmental observation plays in mindfulness. We will learn practices—including the “spaghetti test”—for connecting with the body and being mindful of its various states and experiences. We will also explore inquiry practice as a method for deepening our understanding of our own and others’ experiences.
Feeling Feelings, Recognizing Worries
Thoughts and feelings almost always work in tandem, and they constantly influence each other. In this third lesson we will look at feelings and emotions, their impact on our thoughts, and our tendency to react to what we feel or think. We will also learn mindfulness practices for working with feelings, thoughts, and worries, which we can employ ourselves and teach to our children.
Dealing with the Stress of Parenting
Stress in parenting can bring out the worst in us. Likewise, stressed kids can exhibit unacceptable behavior. But if we learn how to handle stress differently, our relationship to stress can change. This lesson looks at the body’s basic responses to stress and explores tools for interrupting these responses to bring more mindfulness for both children and their grownups in stressful moments.
Trusting That Change Will Come
Sometimes we are not in a position to address our external circumstances, but we do have the freedom to change our relationship with what we would like to be different about them. In this lesson we will explore practices for harnessing the power of the imagination to do just that. These tools can help us cope with and learn from the inevitable setbacks and difficulties in life, enabling us to really help our kids—and ourselves too.
Compassion for Yourself and Others
Self-compassion enhances the emotional balance we so badly need, especially at times when the pursuit of perfection in our performance-driven society takes its toll. And it ensures that we do not expect others to be perfect either. In this final lesson we will be looking at self-compassion and compassion for others. We will consider the immense importance of compassion in the family and in education, as well as the meaning of self-compassion in everyday life.