It is no big secret that modern life has become extremely hectic. The monotony of everyday routine puts an enormous amount of pressure on us. While adults can adapt to such changes in lifestyle, it is children who are most affected. As is’s often the case, working parents and high social expectations mean that they do not get the care and attention they need at their proper age. Children do not enjoy their childhood in a manner which befits their age.
Given that most children today have working parents, day-care and educational facilities play an essential pedagogic function for the children. This has led to a boom in the different approaches schools and preschools take towards educating children. Armed with different philosophies and theories like the Waldorf/Steiner education system, schools now seek to provide a holistic development with impetus on education. In Sao Paulo, Brazil, there exists such a school which works on such philosophy.
Mindfulness is a component of instruction. It has been noted to decrease tension, improve behavior and increase concentration and focus. The Zen preschool Ananda Marga Centre provides full-time daycare for children. Situated amidst slums, the center is where many parents entrust their children to. Children up to four years get to practice mindfulness techniques, meditation and yoga. Social backgrounds don’t matter. Each and every child is treated equally.
“We try to offer a different approach, a positive one. This we do by making the children feel loved and letting them express their feelings and emotions. Giving them the full attention they deserve. We are going to focus on their balance, boundaries, education, and values. We involve the entire learning process; cognitive, intellectual, physical, and creative.” States the director Juscelina.
The centre is a unique place where each child is free to express his/her thoughts and be who he/she wishes to be. Free from all judgments, pressures, and tensions of the modern life. Who wouldn’t want to be in such an environment?