Best of the Web: 10 tiny mindfulness habits to try with your family, and more

Find family peace with bite-sized mindfulness ideas, beating the bullies and changing lives, and what's the right age for kids to be home alone.

Our selection of thought-provoking and useful resources from around the web on educating and raising children, and supporting families.

10 tiny mindfulness habits to try with your family

(Marta Orellana, Active for Life)

With society opening up to near-normal, we’ve noticed the return of a familiar hustle and bustle of daily life for parents and children alike. While it’s good to be back, it can sometimes feel a little overwhelming for all involved.

So here’s a very welcome and achievable list of ideas for family members to have moments of mindfulness during the course of the day, courtesy of a working mum from Vancouver.

It’s based on the concept that small daily habits – powerful moments of mindfulness – can lead to big changes.

Ideas include making mealtimes screen-free, taking ‘breathing breaks’, and a daily ‘feelings report’.

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What are we doing about bullying and its impact on children?

(Megan Blandford, The Age)

This article is a powerful reminder of the long-term impact of being bullied as a child. The author was bullied for most of her childhood and teen years, and 40 years on, she still feels the effects.

It’s a common story, she points out, with 20 per cent of people bullied when they were young experiencing long-term mental health effects, such as depression and PTSD.

So when her own daughter was being bullied at school, the author saw the signs. Together, they fought against the bullying.

She urges teachers, schools and families to confront the issue and talk about what can be done. ‘Your actions can truly change the direction of a child’s future,’ writes the author.

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When is it okay to leave kids home alone?

(Shona Hendley, ABC Everyday)

It’s the vexed question that parents face: when is it okay to leave your child home alone? As this article points out, the immediate image is of eight-year-old Kevin McCallister in Home Alone, defending his house against robbers with elaborately constructed booby traps.

The author, who has an eight-year-old daughter, went in search of advice, from other parents and experts. The call is one of parental judgement, except in Queensland, where the law says a child under 12 can’t be left home alone.

The overwhelming consensus among parents the author spoke to was 10, although other parents thought it should be older.

The experts say that a child’s readiness is more important than a specific age. As Dr Judith Locke points out, they could be 17 and not ready.

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