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Mindfulness can help children cope

Vicki Hermansen | Apr 01, 2022

Two years of being sheltered, participating in virtual life for multiple relationships and the understanding that something bad is in the air has taken a toll on adults and children. Adults have found coping mechanisms ranging from exercise and reading to meditation and silencing social media, but what about the children?

They, too, have suffered the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and a change to their rituals and routines. Young children could have limited or no pre-Covid memories. They’ve always been sheltered, masked and learned online. Older children may look to pre-Covid times and have a vague recollection of how things were “back then.” Children born during the pandemic have no other reality.  

Frustration, anger and angst could be part of what many children are feeling, despite their ability or inability to vocalize those feelings. How can parents, teachers and others help youth remain calm, hopeful and ready for any unknown that awaits them?  

K-Kids and Builders Club member handbooks offer information and tips to help children recognize and examine negative thinking. These resources can help children learn to be present in the moment and recognize their situations, in turn helping to shed the negative feelings. These exercises can help children remain calm, learn how to solve problems, be aware of differing perspectives and maintain a hopeful attitude.

Adults and children can benefit from resources at Action for Happiness, an organization that offers 10 keys to happier living, including giving, relating, exercising and acceptance. Adults can help children identify their feelings and use these resources to work through challenging times.  

Clubs that sponsor youth programs such as Key Club can get resources from Project Happiness. This organization’s mission is to empower people to create greater happiness within themselves and their communities. Check out this guide created for Key Club students and see if these ideas can help you start a happiness movement.

Remember, adults and children can practice happiness by smiling, participating in acts of kindness and practicing gratitude. Laughing, even if it’s forced, can help an adult or child feel better.  

Writing or journaling can also help children process their feelings. Children can work on a Happy Book and list some of the things they can do for others or things for which they are grateful.

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