Lessons all parents can learn: How to create calmer kids
PARENTS searching for answers to keeping their children as stress free as possible through a crisis that may see lockdown in place, are being offered tools to help that may also ease their own strain.
Sisters Michelle Cole and Helen Boniface of Palmwoods have begun shooting a series of videos they are sharing free online for their social enterprise start-up, Calmer Kids.
Michelle is a primary teacher who has taught in schools both here and in the United Kingdom for the past 14 years while Helen is a yoga teacher who has run classes on the Sunshine Coast and retreats across the globe for two decades.
At a time when we are all being forced to do less and live simpler lives and with significant economic suffering still to come, Helen said the ability to maintain calm will be essential.
The sisters will be shooting short daily videos that will emphasise the benefits of controlled deep breathing and belly breathing combined with exercise.
Helen said shallow breathing under pressure increased stress.
Daily exercise around deeper breathing techniques were aimed at developing muscle memory that could be triggered under stress to reduce stress.
The Calmer Kids program has already been used successfully by schools across the region to promote better learning.
Helen said by starting each day with a five-minute set of breath-focused exercises children could be brought to balance between their emotional and learning brain, giving them the best chance to absorb lessons in a changed environment.
She said it was possible to teach children how, under stress, to flip to more rational thinking.
"We have to help children to self-regulate," Helen said.
"The brain doesn't know the difference between perceived and real threat. Stress creates a fight or flight reaction.
"We show how to regulate that through deep breathing.
"It can be fun for kids and for adults its an opportunity to take it on board."
Helen said the approach started with breath as a bridge between the body and the mind to bring people back to presence.
"Our aim is to share ideas. We are not trying to sell anything."
The sisters have offered a limited number of schools, virtual sessions via Zoom (free of charge) for those wanting extra support.
"This will be offered via expression of interest and will include mindfulness, breathing and movement techniques to reduce stress in class as well as practical tools and coaching for teachers," Helen said.
Go to calmerkids.com.au or the following social media links: