Hollywood star Goldie Hawn says it’s time to start teaching our children to get in touch with their emotions.
The American actress, director, producer – and mum to the fabulous Kate Hudson – was in Melbourne yesterday to spread the word on the Hawn Foundation’s MindUP program.
The curriculum teaches empathy, mindfulness and self-reliance to more than 2.5 million children across eight countries, including Australia.
Goldie, 70, says that it’s vital that we educate our children about empathy and compassion, and give them the tools for a healthier life.
“I created this program because our children were suffering and the world was upside-down,” says Goldie, who also performed a one-woman show in Melbourne, A Night of Laughs With Goldie.
See you tonight Melbourne! pic.twitter.com/72zi79peLr
— Goldie Hawn (@goldiehawn) November 14, 2016
“By 9/11 is when I knew the world was going to change forever and with that came an anxiety about building great leadership.”
She says children are experiencing more unhealthy stress today than they did when she was a child — unhealthy stress being fear of families breaking up, national disasters, bullying and loss of financial stability, compared with the healthy stress of competition and running late.
She says MindUP gives children the tools to deal with all life throws at them by teaching them how their brain works.
“Our children are doing beautifully,” she told People magazine recently. “We’re managing stress for our kids and giving them the tools [they need] to have a happier life.
“There are so many issues our children deal with. We think they’re just kids… but they are so stressed.”
Goldie says it’s still important to teach our children the regular curriculum, but without the MindUP tools, we’re not empowering them with everything they need to learn.
“Children in schools are not being (held) responsible for anybody else’s emotions and I think that we as a nation, we as a people, we as a global community must have a responsibility to each other.”
Students also take “brain breaks” where they concentrate on their breathing and practise their mindful senses by describing what they taste, smell and see.
“There’s no wrong answer, yet our children are so frightened of wrong answers today,” Goldie believes.
She says MindUP students also carried out acts of kindness and kept gratitude journals, in which they recorded every day something they were grateful for to prepare them for when they struggled to find something positive.
“It changes who they are, and it gives them empathy.”