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Mindful Education: Teaching Kids To Be Real Leaders Who Support and Encourage Their Peers

Teri DluznieskiI just saw this interesting image and caption.  It notes that real women lift other women up, instead of tearing them down.  I couldn’t agree more!  Especially in today’s catty cut-throat petty gossipy and bickering culture!  What IF women were raised with a genetic or social mandate, to improve the lives of their peers and gender? I think the world would be a very different place…..

Although I would extend this to ALL people.  Guys are just as bad at ripping other people apart- they just approach it differently.  And the worst part is, all too often, parents and educators are blind to something, because it is the same stuff they lived through.  but did it make ANY of them better people?  Do kids REALLY need “those” kinds of social skills?  Does ANY kid really NEED the kind of social “lessons” they are getting in the public education system?  I would say NOT! Kids learn to be judgmental, to be AFRAID of expressing or exploring their own unique gifts and identities.  They learn to be AFRAID of their peers, the judgement, scorn and ridicule of others.

They learn to be AFRAID of their education- either of imminent failure because they do not learn in the style of their teachers; or, are never connected to the import or relevance of the content.  OR, they are afraid of less than perfection, from a system that pushes kids through on a conveyor belt of cookie cutter expectations.

The expectations and standards set for ALL KIDS, are based on the white upper middle class MALE paradigm.  Even the standardised IQ testing is a measurement of ALL kids, against what a white upper middle class male is expected to know as a common body of knowledge.   This is a very CLEAR, simple and wide-spread example of how ALL our kids are being pushed to conform based on ONE model, ONE paradigm.  ONE gold standard of what our culture should aspire toward.

What should we be teaching our kids?  I read recently, that if we taught our children to meditate, we could end crime in one generation.  Imagine that.  Maybe it isn’t exactly true- but teaching our children how to find an inner awareness and identity would go a LONG WAY to addressing many of the social problems of today’s youth.

I also recently came across a site for an educational program that really impressed me.  It is a “mindful education” approach. incidentally, teaching kids how to meditate is an integral part of this program, as well.  And even though the end goals were focused on teaching kids how to be centered, grounded and, literally, to be happier– the outcomes are astounding.  Because true well-being has far-reaching consequences and results… Improved grades, decreased absenteeism and drop out rates, kids who are resilient, engaged and connected.

THAT is what we need to look at.  HOW do we break the old model, and replace it with something that helps kids be better people.  THEN.. they won’t be in survival mode, where they need to destroy those they see as “different,’  and they won’t view their peers as competition they need to outperform or be better than.  They can build UP their peers.

In the Andean teachings, they even have a term for this.  It is called tinquiy- (spelling?).. it is the inherent responsibility for the “victor/winner”  to show the “loser”  how to improve.  This is a rough translation, but it is a word that embodies a concept.  In this situation, the winner holds an obligation to help the loser to get better.  THIS is the embodiment of leadership.  NOT gloating and boasting and bragging… Instead, THIS VICTOR, this one who succeeds– becomes the teacher, the mentor.

He or She  BECOMES and serves as the rising tide that lifts all boats. And the leader is admired, not just because they excelled, but because they brought others up to a new level. Leaders then would be respected, not just worshiped.  This creates the distinction that leaders, or winners.. or rulers.. have an inherent responsibility TO those whom they are leading, beating or governing… THAT is a healthy social contract, and the way we should be raising our children.  The distinction between WINNING, and LEADING….

How can we begin to change, and create a better model?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.



I am an Education Specialist, Health Coach and Author. I work with aspects of the teachings I have learned from Andean shamanic and cosmology, to health, nutrition and education.  Everything is energy. Energy must flow. Like water, when it does not flow, it stagnates and is not healthy. These techniques help your life to flow. I have been initiated into many of the ancient lineages and learned ceremonies, rites of passage and healing techniques.  I have worked as a healer and done workshops and taught some of these aspects – passing the teachings on.

Author of:
Dancing in Your Bubble : ancient teaching, modern healing
Natural Support for Alzheimer’s
Getting a Handle on Happy : find and fix causes of stress and depression
The Naturally Smarter Kid : a parent’s guide to helping kids succeed in school and life
Cafe of the Hungry Ghosts : behind the veil of ordinary – a paranormal-ish fiction book





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