Interpersonal conflicts arise from time-to-time at children’s camps and after-school programs. At Mindful Sports, we take these moments as the ideal circumstances to help children learn to manage new and challenging situations. We check in with kids to ask how their feeling, honoring their current state and validating their narratives. We want to understand their ‘why.’ Then, we’ll offer feedback. We bring kids back to the values of our program – staying safe, having fun, being part of a team, helping each other, and being a leader. We want all children to feel safe at Mindful Sports, and understand that they can always feel any emotions that arise. We also help them learn how this is concurrent to working within a set of agreed values and specific behavior guidelines, such as not putting their hands on others. Our mindfulness skills come into play in moments like this, especially after continued practice and reinforcement. When we’re feeling activated, it may be too difficult to call on new skills. With repeated practice and training, kids begin to slowly trust to try out mindful practices and see how they may be able to help as methods of self-regulation when they are in conflict.

Updated from a 2023 and 2022 post.