FOCUSEDKIDS™ FOR FAMILIES
FocusedKids™ for Families
Welcome, parents and caregivers! Here you will find simple tools to support your child’s healthy brain growth.
FocusedKids™ was developed to offer simple ways to build healthy brains in our children, at home, in school, and out in the community. We have learned that when adults and children understand how their brain works, they feel empowered to be in charge of it.
FocusedFamilies™ is a module of the FocusedKids™ program. We focus specifically on helping young children master the skills of self-regulation. Simple mindful techniques are offered for daily use to train your child’s brain for success.
Slow down, breathe, and have fun learning brain-based mindful skills for your family. We hope you enjoy, and repeat, the activities offered…many times a day!
Research & Benefits
Research shows that parents and caregivers are the key to healthy brain development. To this end, you are encouraged to practice mindful exercises using the breath, the senses, and the body to enhance mind-body awareness and support healthy brain development.
Children and parents alike can create habits to manage themselves, their relationships with others, their learning, and their successful participation in every aspect of their lives. What we know is that children need repeated healthy experiences that allow them to develop the wiring (neuro-connections) in their brains that helps them delay gratification, contain urges to react, focus their attention, and generally manage themselves in healthy, productive ways. It is up to us, the adults in their lives, to provide those repeated experiences.
There are two reasons to prepare yourself first:
- You will feel more comfortable with the material, and
- With practice, you will begin wiring your brain for calmer responses to stressful situations.
Whatever strategy you develop for chaotic situations, the more you practice it, the more tightly wired your neuro-connections become for that response. It becomes a new habit!
Practice does not mean sitting meditation for long periods every day. It does mean taking breaks “short moments, many times.” (Sharon Salzberg) So use these simple lessons in breathing, using your body, and tuning into one or more of your senses for those breaks in the moments you can find during your day.
After reviewing the Adult Lesson, take a look at the FocusedKids™ handbook. This is a simple guide for learning about the brain and providing healthy early experiences for children in order to stimulate their brains in ways that support healthy development. These exercises provide strategies to use throughout life.
VIEW HANDBOOK IN SPANISH
After reviewing the Adult Lesson, take a look at the FocusedFamilies™ workbook. This workbook was created as part of the FocusedKids™ program and offers information and fun activities that strengthen and support how families connect to and communicate with one another. You will learn about the developing brain, three key parts and what they do, about self-regulation and co-regulation, and about using mindful activities with your family to promote healthy brain development as well as self-regulation skills, better communication and less conflict.
As families, what we can do is pause often, settle ourselves, and refocus our attention on what really matters. Parents who participate in our FocusedFamilies™ courses will be offered a chance to practice with other parents and learn age-appropriate activity-based strategies. We hope that with this training you will feel comfortable talking about the brain with your child and practicing simple activities daily to help nurture useful skills to navigate the world in which we live.
FocusedFamilies™ classes are broken down into a series of easy-to-implement lessons. They are anchored in current research on the developing brain and evidence-based practices in social and emotional learning. You will learn strategies to cultivate self-awareness, focused attention, stress-reduction, and emotion management for your family. This is a three-week course.
Recorded Zoom Trainings
Below are links to recordings of our past FocusedKids™ trainings relevant to families:
Tina Payne Bryson: Parenting During COVID – April 5, 2020
Click here for a list of books, articles, websites, and apps that we highly recommend.