Recently a school asked Now Unlimited to talk to a young person about mindfulness and how it might be used to deal with the pressures and challenges she was experiencing in her life. It wasn’t long before I got the impression that the young person wasn’t really interested.
This got me thinking about the motivations of the school who had invited me in. Had they come to the end of their ability to deal with this young person or were they particularly innovative? We will never know, but importantly the main issue was; what do I do about it? The answer to this question is one that many teachers and individuals who work or support individuals and/or young people will find useful in relation to motivating and engaging them. Here are 5 mindful tips for motivating children and young people:
- Ask asked open ended questions that encourage the young person to elaborate and think more deeply about the effects of stress. This can help to explore the reasons for experiencing stress and to consider the possibility for change.
- Identify their strengths. Take the time and make the effort to help them see themselves in a more positive light. This is not about denying any weaknesses but about helping the young person to see themselves differently, to see areas of weakness and opportunities for personal growth.
- Help them to examine the discrepancies between where they are now and where they want to be. Encouraged reflection and recognition of the negative consequences of their current situation and the positives of making changes.
- The focus should be on helping the young person to define their problem and develop their own solutions.
- Help the young person to really believe that change is possible by overcoming any doubts they may. Focus on previous successes and acknowledge that their skills and strengths were helpful.
Take the time to ensure that the young person feels they have been heard and understood.