Wanting to be a good father, I try to keep my awareness about my kids’ feelings in the forefront of my thoughts. My son had a tantrum the other day and we started talking about how he felt to work through why he was upset. Afterward I started thinking about different experiences I had growing up with feelings. How I might have benefited more from a better coping skills in difficult situations with a more indepth understanding of feelings and what to do when adversity strikes.
Quote by: Malcolm Knowles
Here is a good Washington Post article: Here’s how (and why) to help boys feel all the feels.
The Harvard University Gazette article: Boys Struggle to be Boys
The Fuller Youth Institute article: Feelings not Allowed
Coping skills for managing emotions: Kids Matter Coping Skills
Boys Town: 99 coping strategies
Some kids develop anxiety and worries that interfere with learning and life. I have found that teaching breathing activities is a simple coping strategy. It helps the student get calm and centered to address the problem . Lazy 8 Breathing and Six Sided Breathing are easy visuals for even young students to use when they are feeling worried.
This video is a very good model of before and after coping strategies are taught to kids dealing with challenging issues.
There are several Curricula and Programs specific to mindfulness that include breathing strategies as a part of their curriculum. I plan on taking a course offered by Mindful Schools called Mindfulness Fundamentals to better help my practice.
Mindup (Goldie Hawn’s Foundation)
MindUP™ teaches social and emotional learning skills that link cognitive neuroscience, positive psychology and mindful awareness training utilizing a brain centric approach.
Mindful Schools- Offer training and practices to help kids and adults live more satisfying lives.
Room to Breathe Documentary
Room to Breathe, is a documentary about how mindfulness transformed the lives of 7th grade children at a San Francisco middle school with the highest district suspensions.
This is a new topic that I am becoming more aware of in my practice. We all know that you can be changed after a traumatic experience. The following article and podcast describe what scientists now are learning about how that trauma impacts us on a near genetic level and those predispositions can be passed down to our children. This implies that if your parents went through a lot of trauma you could be predisposed to have less resilience towards certain adversities. Similarly, if you as a child are exposed to multiple traumas you can be more likely to struggle with certain mental and physical issues as an adult as a result of the trauma you experienced as a child.
By: Donna Jackson Nakazawa
The Last Best Cure
7 Ways Childhood Adversity Changes Your Brain
On Being: Rachel Yehuda — How Trauma and Resilience Cross Generation