When adults are stressed, it is hard for them to concentrate. The same holds true for children. While adults are often able to cope with some stress, children are often unaware of what causes this in their life. They simply notice that they don't feel good, have a headache, or can't focus on work in school. Other times, teachers will note that there are new unwanted behaviors in students. These may be related to stresses happening in their life at home or within the academic day.
Some children may require seeing a doctor to help them with their anxiety, depression, or other emotional pain. When this happens, the physician may suggest some form of therapy and possibly a medication to allow the child to be more calm and able to function in their day to day lives. For some children, they do not require going to a doctor. Their families and or teacher may know they have something going on that is stressing them. Most children have this from time to time and it can be a challenge when in school. Schools across the country are finding something that is assisting students as a group.
When a child misbehaves, it is often a sign that something is wrong. They may be overwhelmed with sensory input, pain, or frustration. Rather than punishing them for these behaviors, schools are turning to yoga and meditation. Rather than sending kids to detention and possibly suspending them, schools are creating rooms for them to go and meditate. These rooms are quiet and allow them to soothe themselves and decompress. The focus is to teach the kids how to be mindful of their needs. This will help them to cope better with anger, stress, and traumas in their day.
In addition to this, some schools are working in mindful moments throughout the day. An announcement will be heard that incorporates breathing exercises. Many schools also offer after school yoga programs to continue to allow students to be more mindful and learn how to listen to their bodies. Districts that do not have these programs may want to look at resources in your community. Many times, they will partner with schools to teach techniques to use throughout the school day. Along with this, they can hold professional development days to further show teachers, counselors, and other professionals in the school the benefits of using mind and body therapy with students of all ages. All of these techniques will continue to be used by children as they grow into adults and help them with new stresses in life.