Young students ‘all smiles’

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Lechelle Earl, owner/editor

Young students ‘all smiles’

McDonald Park Primary School students will receive a relaxing session of mindfulness thanks to the Smiling Minds program.

Smiling Minds is an online mindfulness program and the latest tool in the school’s three year “holistic approach” to wellbeing for children. It will be incorporated into every classroom from Reception to Year 6.

McDonald Park Primary School student wellbeing leader Lia Jordan said the program would guide students to become aware of their breath, bodies and thoughts, teaching them how to control their thoughts and emotions and implement strategies when needed.

“I have noticed kids understand changes in their body so they can better regulate emotion meaning they are not having huge emotional swings and are therefore able to focus on learning,” she said.

“They can also articulate how they are feeling so their emotional vocabulary is becoming more advanced.

“Students have zones of regulation which associates colours with different emotions.

“Kids are starting to be able to explain what is happening inside them before they get to the end result of emotional overload affecting decision making.”

Mrs Jordan said the program aligned with her push on the importance of mental health and wellbeing.

“The research I have done is that if kids have emotional literacy and they understand what emotions are, they are less likely to suffer huge mental health episodes when they are older, because it is being addressed and normalised,” she said.

“If we normalise it, it will not be such a huge burden, so they will not hide it.

“We are teaching them not to hide their emotions and how to deal with them in a healthy way.

“It is a big drive to normalise everything about life, so we are trying to give them tools to be more successful and Smiling Minds is one of them.

“I am hoping they will know how to have good mental health and by the time they get to where they need to be, they are quite self-sufficient in managing themselves and knowing what is happening in their bodies.”

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