How to help children turn worry into love.

a message from Peace of Mind Founder Linda Ryden

Welcome parents! We’re glad you’re here.  This is a challenging time for us all.  We know you are concerned about your children’s well-being and managing so many competing uncertainties. Mindfulness can help.   Here are a few resources that we hope will support you and your families.

What can we do during this time to find some peace?

*Turn Worry into Love. Linda just wrote this piece for The Washington Post as a “how to” to support parents and teachers looking for ways to help the children they care about.

*Practice Together.  This is a good time to practice mindfulness with your kids.  For videos you can watch and follow together, please visit our Kids page, here.

Reading our  Peace of Mind Storybooks together can also offer a calm oasis, and each teach a mindfulness practice too.

*Support Yourself.  Would you like to start or deepen your own mindfulness practice? Here are two of our favorite mindfulness apps. Secular, practical and as Dan Harris says, “actionable.”

*Free Coronavirus Sanity Guide from 10% Happier 
*Free Meditations from Headspace 

*Teach Peace of Mind at home.  Lately parents have asked us about teaching Peace of Mind at home. If you have a mindfulness practice of your own, or are willing to develop one with your kids, and if you would like to set aside a 30 minute block every week for a Peace of Mind Class, we’re here to help.  To begin, you’ll need:

1. Peace of Mind Curricula for your age group
2. Guide for Homeschoolers
3. Peace of Mind Online Classes for Educators
4.Support for your own mindfulness practice.

If this sounds like a bit much now, how about just practicing with your children for a few minutes each day?  You’ll find practices that work for kids, adults and families here.

*Get some sound parenting support

1.Center for Healthy Minds Well-Being Toolkit for Children, Educators and Parents
2. Challenge Success Resources for Parents and Educators

Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Peace of Mind Program?

Peace of Mind is a mindfulness-based social and emotional learning (SEL) program.  The Peace of Mind Program includes a weekly curriculum for grades 1-5, and directions for how to integrate mindfulness, and social and emotional skills such as kindness, compassion, inclusion, and peaceful conflict resolution throughout the life of a school.

We believe that teaching mindfulness and SEL together helps children more than teaching either one on its own, based on current research on our own deep experience in the classroom.  Mindfulness helps children become aware of their thoughts, feelings, and emotions so that they can actually use the SEL skills they are learning when they are angry, anxious or feeling stressed.

Peace of Mind supports academic learning as well as social and emotional growth.  Peace of Mind is not religious, and it is not therapy.  Peace of Mind does not tell children what or how to think, but rather to notice what they are feeling and thinking, and helps them to pause and consider before acting on those feelings and thoughts.

Students explain Peace of Mind in their own words.

Can I adapt Peace of Mind for Homeschooling?

Yes! Please see our Guide for Homeschoolers.

What do my children learn in Peace of Mind Class?

The Peace of Mind Curriculum teaches students basic mindfulness practices such as deep breathing, “Take Five” breathing and counting breaths in order to manage big emotions such as excitement, anxiety, stress, anger, and sadness.   Students also learn related brain science, including the roles of the amygdala, hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.

Peace of Mind class offers opportunities to learn about and practice kindness and empathy every week.  Once students have established their personal mindfulness practices and explored the value of kindness and empathy, they begin to learn skills to solve conflicts peacefully.

The ultimate goal is to give students the ability to notice and manage their emotions in order to build healthy relationships with others and with themselves.  This helps create more positive and inclusive school climates.

What studies have been done on the impact of Peace of Mind?

2016 study by Minds Inc of the impact of Peace of Mind at Lafayette Elementary School in Washington DC confirmed positive perceived impact by the majority of students and parents surveyed.  We conducted a similar survey for students and parents in 2018; analysis of results is underway.

We are in the process of analyzing results of pre- and post-pilot impact surveys of students and teachers at four pilot schools in Washington DC with wide variation in student population.  Qualitative responses from teachers, students and parents are promising.

How are parents involved in Peace of Mind?

We honor parents as the first and most important teacher of their children.  Peace of Mind hopes to partner with you to give your children the tools they need to face the social, emotional, academic and practical challenges ahead.  You might think of this as helping them to develop life skills.

We are developing communication tools for your children’s teachers so that they can keep you up to date on what your children are learning.  We also hope that this website will provide you insight into the language and practices your child might be bringing home, and ways you can use these new skills at home.

Some books you might enjoy:  The Mindful Child by Susan Kaiser Greenland; The Way of Mindful Education: Cultivating Well-Being in Teachers and Students by Daniel Rechstaffsen; Emotional Intelligence (and other books) by Daniel Goleman.

What does Social and Emotional Learning mean?

According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), Social and emotional learning (SEL) is defined as “the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”  The Peace of Mind Curriculum is aligned with CASEL standards.

Why do schools value mindfulness-based social and emotional learning?

Studies show that Mindfulness Practice can enhance children’s social-emotional development. In particular, mindfulness training can help to enhance children’s attention and focus and can help improve self-control and emotion regulation.  Studies also show that teaching SEL can lead to academic gains.   In addition, research shows that creating a positive school climate and dedicating class time to social and emotional learning are two important and evidence approaches to bullying prevention.

Our experience of teaching and developing the Peace of Mind Curriculum to thousands of students over the last decade at Lafayette Elementary School in Washington DC supports these findings

What is the research that shows that these programs are helpful?

For more information, please have a look at these relevant research studies.

Where can I find additional information for parents about Social and Emotional learning (SEL)?

Here is a great list of SEL resources for parents compiled by CASEL and the University of Illinois-Chicago:  Social and Emotional Learning Resources for Parents .

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