The Importance of “Ten Mindful Minutes” For Our Kids

by Amy on December 29, 2011

I have always loved actress Goldie Hawn but now she’s made my list of women I admire. A book called “Ten Mindful Minutes” caught my eye at our local library one day and was surprised that Goldie was the author. Idecided I better check her book out for two reasons: because she wrote it, and because it was apparent she had something to share about parenting that seemed to parallel my parenting style.

The description on the jacket cover impressed me about Goldie, a Hollywood classic as far as actresses go. It turns out she has an overwhelming concern for kids’ mental well-being and understands the importance of knowing how to slow down, give the mind and soul a mental break from technology and to physically refresh and rest. She founded the Hawn Foundation which supports research for developing techniques that can help kids become “mindful” and learn about the effects of the brain and how it works. The Hawn Foundation developed the MindUP program which is an educational initiative for schools to incorporoate. The MindUP program’s mission is to “establish social and emotional learning as an essential part of education.”

Her book talks about getting kids to first understand the mechanics of their brain so they can identify where a particular mood is coming from; allowing kids to be more conscious of their feelings so they are better able to recognize and manage them. Essentially, it’s a book for teaching kids and ourselves the skills needed to reduce stress and anxiety.

There were a lot of suggested exercises to do with little kids but overall the concept of mindfulness was helpful for me as well as empowering me to help my kids understand and manage their strong emotions (I have one tween and one teenager). The book is very helpful for adults in managing stress as well. It encourages us to practice mindfulness to relax, slow down, take a mental and physical break and invest in things that matter in life (hint: it doesn’t have anything to do with technology or things) as well as in our kids’ emotional and social health.

Goldie’s personal “Reflections” throughout the book on her own life as a child and as a parent, surprised me. I discovered that this Hollywood Star thinks like a country mom; basically she and I share very similar parenting styles and ideas about what we think kids really need. She understands the importance of spending time out in nature for kids and time in nature with our kids. She parented the way she was raised and put importance where it needed to be, such as focusing on her kids’  joy of learning versus getting straight A’s. I do not encourage my kids to get straight A’s. I encourage them to do their best and have fun learning new concepts. I preach to them all the time that a grade doesn’t tell how smart a person is and what’s more important and makes them smart is what they’ve learned.

Part of the Hawn Foundation is the MindUP program for schools that teaches kids about the brain and each part’s function. By understanding the parts of the brain, kids can learn how to identify where their emotions are coming from and manage them better. It’s a great book for adults to learn about too, but in today’s world, I feel like kids need to learn how to decompress and relax, develop interests outside of technology, and find quiet time every day.

Visit your local library about checking it out and if they don’t have it, suggest they get it because I think every parent who cares about their child’s (as well as their own) social and emotional well-being should read it.

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