Mindful breathing is a great trick for young people to use when they are having a tough time. It doesn’t take much time, and it can work wonders for emotional regulation. When we pay attention to our breathing and “breath on purpose”, the oxygen we take in sends our brains a message that everything is going to be ok.
"Hand over Heart” incorporates fun, effective and diverse breathing “tricks” that go beyond “take a deep breath”. Follow the instructions below with your child to practice the skill of mindful, deep breathing.
Place one hand over your heart.
Place your other hand over your belly.
Zoom your attention on your breathing and to the sensations between your two hands.
Do this for a few moments.
Move your hands from your belly to your forehead.
Focus on your breath and the space between your hands.
Place both hands over your heart.
Tell yourself something kind and compassionate, such as “I am lovable” and “Everything will be ok”.
Tune In Tuesday: Teamwork
Teamwork is important when trying to complete tasks, whether in school, home, or the community. Watch the video that demonstrates bad teamwork versus good teamwork.
What were the end results in each video? Who benefited from each type of teamwork? Give an example of how good teamwork could benefit you at school, home, or the community.
Why Should I? Wednesday: The Hook Up - Relationships
Stephanie was supposed to tell a certain guy that her good friend had a crush on him. Instead, Stephanie ended up hooking up with the guy, herself. And to make matters worse, she lied to her friend about it . Now things are spinning out of control. What’s she supposed to do?
Read more about Stephanie’s situation here, then discuss the following questions together:
What sort of person do you think Stephanie is?
What do you think she should do at this point?
Why do you think she made the choice she did?
Have you ever been in a situation like this? How did you handle it?
Do you think the girls handled the situation differently than the guys? How? Why?
What other questions or discussion topics come up when you think about Stephanie’s situation?
Thoughtful Thursday: Celebrate a Summer of Kindness
Ever help carry someone’s groceries, drop cookies off at your neighbor’s or slip a few quarters into an about-to-expire parking meter? Or maybe you smiled at a stranger walking by, helped an elderly woman step down from the bus or made a funny face to distract a fussy child. If so, then you’re already a pro at practicing random acts of kindness.
If you’re not sure what qualifies as a random act of kindness, think of it as a kind word, gesture or act you do just because. There’s no ulterior motive or expectation of reciprocity and it’s often spontaneous. The idea is to spread love, good will and kindness in the world.
While most of us probably act in many kind ways every day without much thought, Thoughtful Thursday is a chance for us to act together worldwide on a single day. Imagine the impact mass quantities of kindness can have! It’s also an excellent opportunity to talk to our kids about what it means to be kind and how it makes others feel when we help them or let them know they’re important. This is a simple concept even the youngest child can relate to.
Encourage your child to smile at people, write a note of thanks to the trash collector or sit next to the new kid in their class. Learn more about what you and your family can do to celebrate Thoughtful Thursday all summer long here!
Family Fun Friday: What Time Is It Mr. Wolf
Choose one player to be Mr. Wolf. He stands with his back to the rest of the players lined up at the opposite end of the play area.
The players call out, WHAT TIME IS IT, MR. WOLF?
Mr. Wolf shouts out a time between 1 & 12 o’clock.
The number he shouts is the number of steps the players take toward him (for 9 o’clock take 9 steps).
Once the players get close to Mr. Wolf, he shouts LUNCH TIME! And, then he chases them back to the start line.
If a player is caught by Mr. Wolf, that player becomes Mr. Wolf.
Change the Fun
Players caught by Mr. Wolf join his wolf pack and help him tag the other players.
Mr. Wolf can shout out activities instead of a time. Example: TIME TO DO 10 BUNNY HOPS or TIME TO DO 3 SOMERSAULTS, ending with TIME TO EAT YOU ALL UP!