What is mindfulness?
There are many definitions of mindfulness, all focusing on the present moment, paying attention, and acceptance. My favorite definition of mindfulness for kids is by Amy Saltzman: “mindfulness is paying attention to your life, here and now, with kindness and curiosity.”
Why mindfulness for kids?
Children in our modern world are over-stimulated and over-scheduled. Mindfulness gives them an opportunity to slow down and notice the world around them, to check in with themselves and become aware of their thoughts and feelings. Mindfulness helps children improve attention, feel compassion for themselves and others, and helps them navigate challenges with a greater sense of confidence. Mindfulness practice also helps a child focus and learn, and helps them with social communication skills and relationships.
Why should parents learn mindfulness?
A famous quote by the Zen master and spiritual teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, says: "In a family, if one person practices mindfulness, the whole family becomes more mindful." If one parent learns how to be more mindful, present, and calm, your kids and your whole family will receive the benefits. The research shows that stress is contagious, but so is mindfulness! Your kids are looking to you to model how to behave and act in the face of difficulties. If you can navigate challenges with mindful awareness, confidence, and resilience, you will naturally teach your children to do the same. If you learn mindfulness, your kids will learn, too.
As a teacher, how will mindfulness help my students and my classroom?
The research shows that students learn better from a calm, mindful teacher. If a teacher is relaxed, a student will be more relaxed, as well. A relaxed brain is a brain that can absorb new information and learn. If you model calm in the face of a chaotic classroom, your students will learn to be more calm. Learning mindfulness-based breathing practices, focus activities, compassion practices, and the like. will help you stay calm with your students. You can learn lots of practices so that you can choose the activities that resonate with you and your students.
How do I book a class or a workshop?
All classes and workshops are booked directly through Fia. If you are interested in booking, please reach out with your specific request. Thank you! (or Looking forward to hearing from you!)
What does the research say?
Research shows that mindfulness practice is beneficial to physical and emotional health, and to overall well-being. Below are some of the benefits of mindfulness based on the research:
-Reduces stress; increases focus and attention; improves learning
-Improves physical and emotional health: including digestion, sleep, immune functioning and overall cardiovascular health
-Changes the brain in positive ways, particularly areas of the brain responsible for executive functioning, attention, cognition, emotional regulation, empathy, and perspective taking
-Improves problem-solving capabilities, working memory and metacognition, and also improves social skills and communication
Do classes have a theme?
Each class has a theme or an essential question that we explore together with kindness, in a nonjudgmental and curious way. We use guided discussions, art, movement, focus activities, breathing and many other activities to explore the topic. We learn how to be a better communicator. We learn how to be more compassionate to ourselves and to others. We learn how to check in with ourselves, which helps us better check in with others. We learn how to use our breath as a resource. We learn how to face challenges with less fear. We learn how to quiet our anxiety when we feel overwhelmed. We learn that it is okay to make a mistake. We learn about the benefits of positive self-talk. We learn how to notice the small moments that are all around us. We learn to live more fully in the moment.
How long are classes?
Classes are based on the age and developmental abilities of the group, but typically 50 to 60 minutes long.
Are classes in-person or online?
Classes and workshops are offered in person and online for the Miami area, and are offered online via Zoom for areas outside of Miami.
How is this different from a yoga class?
This class uses principles of mindfulness and evidence based practices from Fia’s career as a speech pathologist to focus on your child’s self-awareness, connection to self and others, and to help your child understand the messages that his or her body is communicating. We do not use yoga or movement to teach children how to be good at a posture. We explore different ways we can move, noticing how we feel during movement and noticing our breath during movement. We use movement to help our children become more familiar with and aware of their bodies. This helps them better understand how they are feeling in the moment.
Will my child receive speech therapy during the class?
No, speech therapy is not offered during Kindfully with Fia classes. Fia utilizes her background knowledge and expertise as a certified speech and language pathologist and educator to incorporate language-based themes, vocabulary, and communication-focused activities into her classes. Skills in these classes focus on mindful communication, social language skills, and understanding of conversational roles. We work on the ability to express how we feel mindfully and effectively. For more information on Fia as a speech-language pathologist or to inquire about speech and language services for your child, please visit Fia's speech website: www.speechwithfia.com
What is Fia’s background?
Fia is a certified speech and language pathologist (licensed in both Florida and New York) and a mindfulness teacher. Fia’s areas of expertise are teaching mindfulness-based practices and helping children and families incorporate mindfulness into their daily lives. Areas of expertise as a speech-language pathologist are in articulation, language-based delays, social pragmatic disorders, fluency, and voice disorders. For Fia's full bio and credentials, please see "About Kindfully" page.