Wee Seeds grew from my small boy’s struggle to deal with my diagnosis of Type One diabetes.
I was admitted to hospital after months of being poorly, hooked up to various drips and machines and after several days, let home with an armoury of insulin, needles, finger pricker and testing strips, to start a new life as a Type One diabetic.
My son, aged two and a half at the time, hadn’t seemed bothered by seeing me so poorly in a hospital bed but as time went on it became clear the admission had left him disrupted, asking often in the months afterwards “Was Mum going to be taken to hospital again?” and “Was she going to die?”
I struggled mentally, physically and emotionally with the massive life-change my diagnosis brought. So when I saw an advert for a new app to help people meditate, I jumped on the bandwagon and within a month I was hooked.
At the same time, my son was trying to deal with his own emotions, feelings and thoughts and in a bid to help him, I began trying to teach him some of the things I was learning, breath, intention, attention, and letting go. But my knowledge was limited and so I turned to the Internet, and tried to find classes, but there was nothing to teach him in a way I wanted him to learn.
And so the idea for Wee Seeds was born to give parents and professionals the tools to plant the seeds of mindfulness and meditation to their pre-schoolers’ heads, through fun, easy, interactive sessions, primarily based around the development of digital tools available either online, or through an app.
Developing children’s emotional literacy and mental stillness is as important as learning to read and write and teaching it will have an impact on their lives, those around them, and on future society.
Currently, 1 in 10 young people aged 5-16 suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder – that’s around three in each classroom. Many others struggle with anxiety, managing emotions and lack of sleep.
One way to nurture good mental health is to practice mindfulness and meditation. Use of this technique has exploded in the Western world in recent years and now advocated by the medical profession and governments as a way to tackle the epidemic of mental health problems.
Science based research into the benefits of mindfulness has grown apace, with neuroplasticity in adults showing we can change our thought patterns, and the impact on children resulting in teachers now picking up the mindfulness baton and teaching it to both primary and secondary schools pupils.
But one group which is less researched and less provided for is pre-schoolers, although what research there is shows that exercises adapted to their ability and understanding can make strides in helping them with focus, attention, calm and kindness.
And a survey for Wee Seeds showed that while many parents thought it would help with their child’s focus, sleep and dealing with emotions, they, like me, didn’t know where to start. And so to address this need, I applied and was accepted onto the six-month-incubation programme, Good Ideas Academy, run through The Melting Pot in Edinburgh, to develop the project and make it a reality.
Aged 5 now, my son now settles himself with his breath. Wee Seeds exists to give other 4 and 5 year olds the chance to nurture and grow the same inner quiet and strength that he has learned through mastering the Super Power of his breath.
Applications to the 2017-18 Good Ideas Academy are now open – apply here before Sunday 1 October 2017 and turn your good idea into a reality.