Many years ago, as a university student studying child development, I was working with a class of preschoolers who were clumped because they tended to be disruptive, particularly at quiet times (such as nap-time after lunch). I found that many of them did not have a sense of their own bodies. I used nap-time to talk them through focusing on each part of their bodies a part at a time, teaching them to tense the muscles and let them go, paying attention to what happened when they did. Gradually we extended the awareness to the needs of others. The kids loved it, even the most disruptive-- some of whom turned into nappers. Those who did not need to nap were then allowed to quietly "read" or to play with a quiet toy. This form of simple physical relaxation training shading into mindfulness meditation transformed the group dynamics throughout the day. This was in a university child development center, and my approach in working with the children also became part of the training for staff. Many years later, children in my class often recognized me on the street and gave me joyful hugs and big grins. Blessings coming round.
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