Keeping Good Intentions on Track: Help Kids Improve Mindfulness and Self-Regulation
Some children, while having good intentions, are unable to consistently follow through on those good intentions. This inability to act on their intentions can cause significant distress for the child and for the adults who care for the child. Keeping Good Intentions on Track can be used by therapists, parents and school staff to help children: 1) understand why they are having difficulty following through on their good intentions and 2) learn about strategies that can enable them to achieve the outcomes that they want. It is based on research from the fields of Mindfulness, Self-Regulation and Executive Function EF).
This digital book is 30 pages, divided into four parts:
- An introduction to Mindfulness, Self-Regulation and Executive Function "Brain Skills"
- Jon's Story: An introduction to EF Brain Skills for Parents
- Simon's Story: An Introduction to EF Brain Skills for Children (Includes checklists)
- Recommendations for Parents and Teachers (Provide External Support at the Point of Performance)
Keeping Good Intentions on Track is based on research from the fields of self-regulation, mindfulness and executive function. These three fields are very much inter-related:
Self-regulation is the ability to act in ways that are consistent with your intentions and your deeply held values. It entails deferment of immediate gratification and avoidance of distraction in order to achieve outcomes that are consistent with your own best interests.
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to your emotions and thoughts with an attitude of openness and acceptance. Mindfulness enhances self-regulation because the ability to achieve a mindful state means that you can calm yourself and become aware of your perceptions, emotions and thoughts before choosing a course of action.
Executive Function refers to a set of brain skills (such as working memory, response inhibition, and mental flexibility) that work together to enable you to remember intentions, filter distractions, control impulses, focus attention, and prioritize and execute actions.
While these three fields of study are inter-related, and all have an underlying purpose of helping the individual to live more mindfully and intentionally, they use somewhat different concepts and terminology. Keeping Good Intentions on Track uses executive function (EF) concepts and terminology to help kids improve self-regulation and mindfulness. Children learn about four EF brain skills: working memory, response inhibition, mental flexibility and outcome-directed thinking. The focus on these brain skills gives children and their adult helpers
1) a consistent lens with which to identify problem areas and
2) a common language with which to plan interventions that will help children improve mindfulness and self-regulation and, most importantly, learn ways to follow through on their good intentions.