Updated: Jun 19, 2020
There's a lot of (important) talk right now about about having a growth mindset and how important it is that we teach our littles and not-so-littles to learn from failure. But, I really think we are missing a HUGE part in this conversation. That missing part?
Mindfulness, Mindfulness, Mindfulness!
Failure stinks. Even for kids.
Imagine this... Your favorite little is building a bridge from sticks when they add the last bit and attempt to drive a car across it, the structure shifts suddenly, sending stick, cars, and their hard work crashing to the ground. The child breaks into tears and kicks the remaining materials. It's absolutely crazy to think that kids, just because they are little, they somehow don't feel the negative emotions that come from failure or making mistakes. To ask littles, overwhelmed with big emotions to tell you right now what they would do differently next time would be crazy. Before they are ready to share reflect and think of what they've learned, they MUST learn self regulation strategies.
This deep breathing exercise is a popular method for little because it only requires the use of your little (or not-so-little) one's hand as a tool. In my second book, Inspiring Innovation and Creativity in Young Learners, we call it turtle breathing to help children remember to do it slowly.
Let's give Turtle Breathing a try, what do you say?
Put up your hand and let the pointer finger on your other hand become your turtle.
Five breaths to a calmer you!
1. Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth. (Thumb)
2. Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth. (Pointer)
3. Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth. (Middle)
4. Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth. (Ring)
5. Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth. (Pinky)
Take five is a popular breathing strategy that works wonderful for littles. I adapted this to become "turtle breathing" and it is included in Inspiring Innovation and Creativity in Young Learners.