A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Headspace Guide to Meditation is a series based on the popular app that helps people meditate. Each episode begins with an animated explainer of a different mindfulness concept and ends with a 5-10 minute guided audio meditation to practice. There's nothing worrisome in the content for kids, but it's definitely aimed at adults who are new to meditation. If they can sit through the somewhat slow educational part in the beginning, older kids may enjoy doing the meditation exercises (the series as a whole is probably most helpful for teens and older). Families watching together may find that the this series is a great way to kickstart a family meditation habit.
What's the story?
Headspace Guide to Meditation is a TV adaptation of the Headspace meditation app. Like the content in the app, the show is narrated by Headspace founder (and soothing-meditation-voice-guy) Andy Puddicombe. Each episode explores a different concept within mindfulness meditation such as focused attention, gratitude, visualization, noting, and more. The first part of the episode is educational and explains more about what the mindfulness concept is, as well as how practicing that type of mindfulness can positively affect people's bodies and brains. The second part of the episode includes a 5-10 minute guided meditation that helps the viewer practice that meditation style. The narrator guides viewers through techniques like focusing on breathing, noting distracting thoughts that pop into mind, and expressing gratitude. In each episode, viewers learn more about how their brain works and get to take a calming pause in their day.
Is it any good?
This series takes the intimidation out of meditation for mindfulness-newbies. It's primarily geared towards adults, though open-minded tweens and teens will also enjoy learning tools to help them through the stresses of life. Headspace's approach to meditation is modern and hip, and the show reflects that with the fantastic animation and the fresh-sounding music throughout. Puddicombe's narration is relatable and friendly. The educational content at the beginning of each episode may win over even the most skeptical teens. It explains how mindfulness meditation is not all woo-woo mysticism but has been confirmed by modern science as being hugely beneficial to practitioners. The audio-focused meditations themselves are great basic introductions to different styles of meditation. While Puddicombe suggests viewers close their eyes during his narration, a mesmerizing visual meditation of sorts plays alongside his narration.
If parents have been interested in getting into mediation but haven't been sure how, this series is a great place to start; families can learn about the benefits of mindfulness and practice meditating together. Or, parents of too-cool teenagers can Jedi mind trick them and tell them the series is lame and definitely won't help with stress, and they shouldn't watch.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how meditation helps your brain. Do you think it could help you practice self-control, regulating your emotions, and focusing?
What was it like doing the meditation in the episode? Is there a "right" way to meditate? How did it make you feel?
Does it surprise you that there's a lot of science behind why meditation works? Do you think any part of it seems made up?
What are some things we can do as a family to keep meditating or being more mindful after we're done watching the series?
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