It's that time again... kids are champing at the bit, and parents are secretly counting down the minutes until the kiddies hit the books again.  There is hope in the household... hope for another great year, a break from the sometimes relentlessness demands for time and attention, the children hoping to fit in, see their friends, craving  mental stimulus, whilst their mums and dads are hoping for some peace of mind, stillness and a once more predictable routine.

As I write at my favorite Mooloolaba café, the glorious sun shines, there is a delicious sweet breeze, and I’m surrounded by mums and dads chatting away excitedly.  They are blissfully uninterrupted by cries of “Mum I’m bored.” ”Dad can we go now?”.  The mood is light and buzzing and I cannot help feeling swept up in the anticipation of life.

Having said that, and not to dampen the mood by any means, it is still important to understand that stress comes in many forms, and not all of it is ‘bad’.  Excitement or response to a happy event pumps adrenaline into the body causing breathing to become more rapid, the heart to pump faster, blood pressure to rise, hormones to fly around the body in greater quantities… In fact, ‘good stress’ (eustress) has exactly the same physiological effect on the human body as what we consider to be ‘bad stress’ (distress)!  The body does not recognise our feelings about an event, it just responds!   Throws an interesting spin on things doesn’t it!

Back to School is a contradictory time of year.  So many hopes and dreams, so many fears and activities – ‘good stress’ and ‘bad stress’.  For kids, going back to school whilst exciting for most, can still be a stressful experience.  There are new teachers to ‘work out’, new classmates and classrooms.  If just starting out at High School or the first day at University, there’s getting heads around timetables, the anticipation of a full on work load, struggling with Science or dealing with a mistrust of Maths, negotiating peer groups and the common ‘will I fit in’ fears.  And of course, children’s brains have been in ‘play’ mode for months, so simply the act of concentrating after a lengthy break can be challenging.

For parents, the story is a little different but with the same physiological results.  Parents are doing their best to maintain balance in the home whilst their kids are negotiating the school yard.  Getting kids back into a healthy mindset for school is a feat in itself – are the uniforms ready, do they fit – kids don’t stop growing just because it the holidays!  What are we feeding them, is it balanced, fun, interesting yet not going to result in a teasing frenzy from ‘friends’.  Oh and then there’s the drop off and pick up routine that begins again!  

Keeping calm is so important to reduce and manage your children’s stress levels. If we as parents are out of our head with stress, the kids are the ones who really suffer.  They look to us as their benchmark for how to react to life.  If we’re losing the plot and are wound up to the point of exploding, our kids are going to belief this is normal behaviour and mimic the dysfunction!

So, whilst everyone may be in the land of bliss now that the kids are back to school and our time is again our own (well sort of!), it’s good to remember that meditation remains an important and useful part of life for children AND parents.

Head Space – Meditate Your Way to Study Success is a great way to keep harmony in the home during a school year.  Meditate with your kids, de-stress your family life, enhance their learning outcomes and improve their concentration with this easy to understand, practical book.  The techniques in the book are scientifically proven, effective mindfulness based training tools that will keep the whole family happy! In essence, you can teach your kids to manage their stress levels by your example! 

Head Space is also hosting a number of ‘Stress Less’ webinars during the school term so parents and kids can enjoy a guided mindfulness and creative visualisation meditation session from the comfort of the couch!

The gift of Head Space is something that will benefit you and your family through the highs and the lows of life and experience ‘back to school bliss’ for real! 

be well... Kristy xx

PS:  Don't forget you can book me to speak about getting "Head Space" at your kids club or school, or get a group of parents together to learn the Head Space way yourself! :)