LOOKING FOR A CLASS THAT HELPS PREPARE YOUR CHILD FOR A BRIGHT FUTURE?
X-HAIL KIDS classes provide an opportunity for your child to learn how to find calm and quiet within their inner world, regardless of what is going on in the world around them!
We believe that this calm and quiet doesn't necessarily have to be silent and still, because after all, all the children we know, are full of energy, life and excitement.
Whichever way they find it, that breathing space, will help develop their imagination, boost their creativity and improve their sense of self and identity.
All of that matters because those qualities are the ones that underpin RESILIENCE, CONFIDENCE, ATTENTION SPAN and support EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING for life!
It also matters because they'll sleep better, worry less, concentrate for longer and if you're lucky, snap at you less too!
Instructors offer X-HAIL KIDS classes as after-school clubs and often as part of the school day!
They also offer FAMILY MEDITATION SESSIONS where kids and care givers attend, learn and explore together whilst also working with families on a 1-2-1 basis to support them through periods of change e.g. following divorce, bereavement, illness etc...
WHY MINDFULNESS AND MEDITATION MATTERS
Our X-HAIL KIDS sessions cover activities that fall into the following categories: Quieting /Focusing; Understanding; Caring/Connecting.
Quieting activities allow children to learn to pause, relax and quiet the mind so that they can tune into the signals that their bodies send them when they are stressed, are experiencing anxiety or anger etc...
In this way they are able to slow down and rest or seek support BEFORE those emotions take over.
Physically, Quieting activities help calm an over reactive parasympathetic nervous system, which is the part of the autonomic nervous system that is responsible for the flight or fight response in the body and as such children in that moment become calm but also over time, less reactive outside of that moment.
More and more we are seeing that children are conditioned by society and schooling to think through problems and provide solutions.
The problem is that if children are endlessly worrying, analysing and mulling scenarios and problems over they are potentially triggering the body’s stress response.
By learning to focus on a neutral object to anchor their attention (e.g. their breath as they do in our Focusing activities), when they become aware of stress sensations in their body caused by anxious thoughts, they develop the ability to self soothe and get comfortable with not always knowing the outcome.
Some children (and adults too) find using a subtle anchor like the breath difficult so we include several variations including more coarse sensations like movement which have the ability to grab and sustain their attention much more easily.
Focusing activities also help to develop a child’s attention skills so that they can follow instructions etc... in class and at home, but also so that they are able to continue to notice the details in life, just as they naturally do as small children, right throughout their lives.
This attention to detail helps nurture a sense of gratitude, empathy and connection as they are able to witness and engage with the wider web of what’s going on around them e.g. they are able to witness and respond to other’s feelings appropriately rather than simply focusing on themselves which they are biologically programmed to do; they are also more able to put things into perspective when things go wrong etc...
These activities further develop the child’s ability to reflect before they move forward and particularly focuses on the concept that we are not our thoughts. We might feel bad but we don’t need to be bad!
These activities also encourage children to sit alongside their thoughts and feelings without engaging with them and be welcoming of the full range of human emotion. Here, we aim to reduce the cycles of self-criticism and self- judgement that we often see in adults (including ourselves as instructors).
Furthermore, these activities help develop a child’s comfort level when faced with uncertainty and complexity.
Essentially we are teaching them that ‘It is ok to not know’.
This feels like such a relief as the stress caused by the urgency to be right, to know, to understand which can underpin our self-esteem and confidence, starts to lift.
The child is then allowed/given permission to explore and be creatively curious and simply enjoy the process of learning.
Alongside though, we are also helping them learn to tune in to and trust their own inner wisdom and knowledge which they can use where appropriate to help them make decisions etc...
These activities focus firstly on developing a sense of connection to ourselves, self-love and self-respect as without this it is difficult for us to engage in truly healthy relationships e.g. if you don’t understand your own needs and values how can you expect friends to respect them.
This is a little like putting on your own oxygen mask before helping anyone else on an aircraft or as Thich Nhat Hanh writes ‘If we do not know how to take care of ourselves and to love ourselves, we cannot take care of the people we love.’
These activities will also help foster a child’s self-esteem and confidence which allows them to more deeply engage and invest in relationships and connection with others.
Alongside, we are empowering them to stay connected but only when it feels right.
Children are very naturally empathic and for some children this means that they find it difficult to separate their feelings from others and they end up taking on the suffering of others as their own.
We teach them to empathise, help the other person feel seen and heard, but remain objective as without this they can not truly offer compassion.
These activities also encourage children to learn to prioritise kindness, effort, courage, appreciation and acceptance over results.
OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU
We believe that to be able to fully support the emotional well-being of every child who comes to our classes, our instructors should have an established meditation and mindfulness practice of their own, either be parents themselves or have extensive experience of working with children and young people and attend and complete safeguarding training. Many of our instructors also undertake further child protection and educational CPD courses to support their practice!
If you'd like to join our team of X-HAIL KIDS instructors please head over to our TRAINING page, complete the contact form and a member of our training team will be in touch shortly!