Awake Kids has been running successfully in the community for twelve months as a trial program. Over this period, the age of the attendees was lowered as a need in the community surfaced.
We want to see young adults who are AWAKE to ALL life’s possibilities. Who are mentally strong, connected to themselves and their needs. When a child or young person understands who they are, the importance of self-care, being self-aware and being self-connected, you have sustainable mental health.
All our programs have protective behaviours at their core, our staff are trained in Protective Behaviours and have current Working With Children’s Cards. The safety of children and young people is paramount.
AWAKE Kids has three levels:
Puggles – 3 to 6 years of age
Junior – 6 to 12 years of age
Senior – 12 to 18 years of age
Why do we need a program for 3 to 6 year olds? Good question! Our children are spending less and less time outdoors discovering life and its bumps and bruises, more time away from parents, sibling and extended family and capacity building than any other time in history. They are missing out on building emotional intelligence and self-regulation, leaving them stressed and anxious. Our Puggle’s program is designed to have them discover their body cues and their responses to those cues. Their ownership of their body and control over what they feel, what happens to it and how it drives their response to daily life. Through fun games and activities they gain insight into themselves. We look at all our senses, what part they play in daily life and how they can sway our thinking.
The Junior program follows on from here and builds a bank of tools they can practice and navigate through challenges. Mindfulness practices are built on and the Joy mindfulness can bring to their daily life. We offer a safe zone for open discussion, student to student and student to facilitator, building trust and giving them opportunities to practice personal boundary setting and using their voice. They are supported to step up and use self-regulation tools in their daily life. We look at friendship capacity building and the dynamics of bullying.
The senior program is where they are asked to fully bring themselves to the group. They strengthen their mental toolbox, practice communication, anger management, relationship and mindfulness skills. We implement strategies to build connection with family and friends, provide alternatives to self-harm, revisit their body cues and how they are influencing their decision-making processes, look at domestic and family violence and open up a place for them to ask some of lives big questions.
At all times we are mindful that each child/ young person is bringing their past life experiences to the group and provide a protective environment so they are able to self-care if material affects them. Follow-up is always given.
Children do not shy away from the big tough issues of life in fact they met them head on, and when given the respect and appropriate space to do so, they excel.