How To: Decide to opt your child out of a yoga in schools program
A yoga in schools / mindfulness in schools program can feel strange and unfamiliar. Understandably, there may be aspects of a yoga or mindfulness practice that you don't feel quite comfortable yet. Maybe you don't have a clear sense of the research and evidence behind its effectiveness. Or, perhaps you worry that the practice conflicts with spiritual or religions practices you have at home. Although there are plenty of resources on this page to inform you about this work, you still have every right to opt your student out of a practice you're not ready to support. Here's some considerations when opting your student out.
Get all the facts first. There may have been more behind-the-scenes planning around the implementation of yoga and mindfulness program in your child's classroom than you think. As you prepare to make a measured response, it might be helpful to know whether all the key considerations of integrating this work have been taken into account.
Ask what your child will be doing during this time. Many teachers may use mindfulness or yoga practices for very short periods of time – as a transition between one period or another, or a classroom brain break. Perhaps you could send them with a book to read or workbook activity so they also get to reset with the rest of the class in a different way.
Be specific as to why you'd like your child to skip these practices. It helps inform the teacher and administration about any hesitations or reservations so they can create a safer learning space. Your thoughts may also be applicable to other content discussed in the classroom.
Have a clear conversation with your child. Yoga and mindfulness time may be considered extra special in your classroom. It could be confusing for your child if they don't understand why they cannot partake. This will help mitigate stress and anxiety during this time.
Include a clear end date, if any. If you're looking to temporarily opt your child out until you have more information, or your child overcomes an injury or traumatic experience, be sure that's included so the teacher and administration can follow up if necessary.
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