Often when we hear the words “time out” in relation to children, we assume it’s a consequence of bad behaviour – whether it’s time out in the naughty step or being sent to their bedrooms, there’s often a negative association with the experience.
But when we look at the roots of having time out, the fundamental objective is to give children time to reflect on their behaviour and feelings – but often so they will do something we want them to: say sorry, promise never to do it again, or just to stop them from continuing whatever it was we didn’t want them to be doing.
But what if we turned that on its head, and gave children time out to reflect positively on feelings and behaviour? To help them to really embrace the here and now and appreciate who they are? To allow them to focus on feeling however they want to feel, without it being a disciplinary response to behaviour or labelling it as ‘good’ or ‘bad’?
Jacqui Bagetelas of Freedom Therapies is a registered mindfulness teacher who has been working with children of all ages for seven years to help them understand the often complex feelings little people experience as they navigate the world they live in. Her approach uses sensory experiences to give children the tools they need to understand their feelings and emotions – and not be scared to acknowledge them.
Working with our children here at The Nursery, Jacqui has helped our pre-schoolers to really appreciate their happiness and not to be scared of sadness or anxiety, but instead to manage those feelings appropriately. These mindfulness skills – the ability to settle their minds and understand their feelings – will be invaluable tools as they approach the transition to primary school, and beyond.
With an increased focus on mental health in young people, mindfulness is just one of the ways we can help our children to develop confidence, reduce stress and encourage positive mental health.
So maybe it’s time to re-think time out?
For more information about mindfulness sessions run at The Nursery, please contact the office on 01275 402140 or email email@example.com