What is the Chill Skills program about?
This program uses evidence based activities and techniques such as; guided meditation, visualisation, gentle movement, yoga, positive self-talk, belly breathing and creative activities for self-expression.
About the program
- The program follows a simple step by step process (modulated)
- Each step is a valuable part of the program, as the children are able to learn new skills or insights from each step
- The meditation stories are written by the creators of the program and have themes such as, kindness, self-acceptance, friendship, etc.
- The program has a strong theme based on nature, connecting with self, others and the environment
- The resources used in the classes are easy to use and are available for parents to purchase to use at home
What do the students do in a class?
- Movement, such as gentle stretching and yoga
- Visualisations to assist children to imagine their worries away
- Listen to a relaxing story; this assists their nervous system to wind down
- Activities such as drawing, which assists with self-expression
- We talk about how worry can store in the body, and how to use Chill Skills to release it
- The kids learn about emotions and how to identify them
- The kids learn about positive self-talk, e.g., how to create a positive thought such as “I feel calm” or “I feel awesome ”
Program time frame
- The program is run as a 6 week term during School terms
- Each class usually runs for 1 hour
- Most kids come back to Chill Skills for at least two terms, with many continuing for over a year
Some of the benefits of this program
Chill Skills for Kids is a gentle, fun way for children to learn how to;
- Build confidence and self esteem
- Identify & manage emotions
- Develop social and emotional skills
- Learn about positive self-talk
Typical feedback from parents about their child’s behaviour since attending Chill Skills has been the following;
- They noticed a positive change in their child’s behaviour, where now they think before they react
- Less angry, less stressed, less anxious
- An improvement in confidence & self-esteem
- The child’s teacher may also notice an improvement in their behaviour
- It helps with expression
Chill Skills is also beneficial to do for the following reasons;
- Research shows positive changes in the brain of those that meditate on a regular basis
- It is a tool that children will have for life to manage the inevitable ups & downs
What are some of the causes of stress & anxiety in children
Some of the situations that can lead to anxiety & stress in kids are;
- Change, e.g., new home, school, stepfamilies, parents separating
- Loss of a loved one such as a parent or grandparent, which can cause grief
- Not enough creative play at home
What are some the signs of a child that may be stressed or anxious?
Stress & anxiety can result in the following;
- Inability to focus on a task
- Aggression, e.g., hitting, yelling
- Withdrawal, e.g., quiet, difficulty socialising
- Attention seeking behaviour
- Talking a lot
- Frequent crying
- Frequently feeling unwell
- Looking fearful, pale, tired
- Looking distant /in another world/distracted
How can meditation assist with self-esteem?
When children are taught to meditate they learn about;
- Creating a ritual to honour their need for inner peace
- Connecting back to self for inner reflection and healing
This practice creates a sense of self-worth and improves self-esteem, which in turn can create confidence
When we value ourselves we don’t rely on approval from others and are less likely to be susceptible to peer group pressure
When we are confident and relaxed we become more resilient, helping us to cope better through life’s ups and downs.
For children this can help them to accept and cope with change, such as change of home, school, family situation etc.