Information for parents about the Headwise Meditation Program
What is Headwise?
Headwise is a simple but effective four week course that teaches students how to manage their stress or anxiety. Mindfulness is a form of meditation that has grown in popularity in the last five years. Many schools are using mindfulness to help students improve their concentration and focus in the classroom.
How does it work?
This online course can be completed by students both at home or in school. In school, we will encourage students to practice their exercises on a regular basis and we will incorporate them into some of our classes or assemblies.
Who created the program?
David Kavanagh is a well-known systemic family therapist who has many years of experience working with teenagers. David created the program to help young people feel more in control of their emotions. He has also created a Mindfulness program for parents which you can access at www.mindfulnessexercises.ie if you would like to join your child on their mindfulness journey. We would encourage as many parents as possible to take the course as it is a great way for families to grow closer together and to learn new ways of relating to one another. We could all do with homes that are a little less stressful.
How can I help my child with the Headwise program?
Some of the exercises that your child will be asked to complete include mindful walking and mindful eating. In these exercises, you may see your child walking outside slowly, in circles, so don’t worry, they are not going a little crazy, it is all part of the program. Just allow your child to complete these routines without interrupting them or passing any remarks. Your child may be embarrassed at first doing these exercises, so if anything, just give them praise. The mindful eating exercise involves eating a piece of chocolate or fruit very slowly and very carefully. No doubt this will look strange to you at first, but after a while, you may notice your child changes their eating habits. We would ask you to facilitate this without passing any remarks.
Does Mindfulness work?
The evidence for the effectiveness of Mindfulness is very encouraging. Once it’s practiced regularly, Mindfulness has been clinically proven to reduce anxiety and stress. Even more encouraging is the impact it has on sleep and concentration. People who practice Mindfulness regularly sleep better and have more concentration and focus. Not only that, but we all know that teenagers are spending far too much time on their devices, and this mindfulness program for parents encourages young people to disconnect completely from technology and to start paying attention to what they are feeling and to what they are thinking.