Dubai: When Goldie Hawn was 11, she was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up. She replied: “I want to be happy.” At 72, the actress continues to advocate happiness among children, through The Hawn Foundation.
The actress is in Dubai for the ongoing World Government Summit.
She spoke in a short session called ‘Mind up and be happy’, about the need to teach children the importance of mindfulness.
Hawn said as parents, educators and education administrators, adults need to do more to help children find happiness. For this she said: “we needs to start with teaching them the very basic understanding of how their brain works.
“Children don’t understand their brains,” Hawn said emphasising that the power of the brain in ensuring a happy life is often undermined.
She brought together a team of neuroscientists, doctors, educators, and positive psychologists to study happiness and create a curriculum and foundation called Mind Up.
The Mind Up curriculum teaches children how to quiet their mind, relax, reduce stress, develop pro-social behaviours, and learn about the brain to better understand human behaviour.
According to Hawn, the program is a success: “We found that 83 per cent of our students make themselves happier.”
She feels parents need to help children become positive: “An optimistic child is a child who can learn. We need to teach them that it is more importance to be happy than to fret over something that didn’t work out.”
Hawn threw light on how stress is dangerous for children. She said, adults give children “toxic stress”, when they pressurise them.
“To pressure our children is to give them a crown of thorns. We need to balance our education system,” she added, as she spoke about the need to consider mindfulness as a part of education.
Hawn said: “Happiness is an inside job. When you are happy, it mirror images in your family.”