I have one of those at home myself and I wanted a way to help him. I was a teacher in the Public School System for 24 years. In that time, I have seen a big increase in the anxiety levels of children. Standardized Testing and Common Core are part of that anxiety. During the 2014-2015 school year, there were Kindergarteners in tears because the standardized test they just took was so hard! We had second graders with test anxiety!
Some kids also put a great deal of stress on themselves, believing everything they do has to be perfect. For example, I remember one year when I was teaching 4th grade, one grade student began sobbing after the FCAT Writes test. After finally calming down, she said she was upset because she didn’t think she had done as well as her brother had done on FCAT Writes the previous year.
Many, many teachers, including myself, have been just as stressed as the kids because our jobs are tied to student performance on these tests. I was so stressed out that I had trouble enjoying my job anymore. I realized I was not dealing well with the stress. In the spring of 2015, I saw an opportunity to help kids deal with their anxieties. What if I could empower kids to cope with their stress now and in the future? What if I could help these kids learn lifelong coping tools? What if I could get back to having fun while teaching kids?
Children (and adults!) can become overwhelmed by overpowering emotions such as anger, frustration, and anxiousness. Anxiety in children can present itself in many ways including excessive worrying, disruptive behavior, sleep disruption, headaches and more. There are numerous studies showing the benefits of yoga, mindfulness, and meditation in anxious and overwhelmed children.
Out of all of this, came Chill Skills. I left the suffocating public school system. I developed my own unique classes to teach stress management to kids. We blend music, games, books, discussion, yoga, mindfulness, and meditation into classes that will teach children self-regulation, self-discipline, self-care, and stress management techniques. Children will be able to take care of their bodies and their upset feelings. We will mindfully play, talk, bend, stretch, and unwind our way to relaxation. Kids will develop the Skills to Chill!