Goldie Hawn Urges School ‘Brain Breaks’ for Stressed Out Kids

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Actress spoke with National Press Club Tuesday on behalf of her foundation

Goldie Hawn wants to help kids lead healthier lives and has been crusading against public schools’ elimination of recess and gym and doctors who prescribe psychotropic drugs to children.

The Oscar-winning actress suggested in a speech to the National Press Club Tuesday that a three-times-a-day school brain break for elementary students would be one smart alternative to the lack of outlets and use of medication.

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Appearing on behalf of her Hawn Foundation, which promotes a curriculum that tries to help young people develop the social and emotional skills to reduce stress and anxiety, Hawn said the system shouldn’t promote meditation in schools as a way of “quieting” the concerns students have. She said students are no longer equipped to deal with fear, and aren’t helped by schools decisions to eliminate physical-education programs that have traditionally helped.

“Our kids are very, very stressed. Fear creates anger,” Hawn said in response to a question on whether or not stress could be causing some school shootings. “I think our children are acting out [their fears.]”

Hawn said she started the foundation because of her own experience in the sixth grade when a school movie about the atom bomb traumatized her. Drawing comparisons to modern-day kids, Hawn said constant Internet use offers some benefits but also some challenges.

“What we are learning about the Internet is it isn’t all bad. It is rewiring the brain in certain ways that are very important,” she said. “However, what we are missing is the social and the emotional aspects of it. What is happening is we are losing our connection to each other.”

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Hawn, 67, also questioned whether the increase in children’s use of psychotropic drugs is adding to problems and creating new ones when children go off the drugs.

Answering a range of questions at the event, including ones about her career and personal life, Hawn said she would be unlikely to appear in another movie with her partner Kurt Russell, because their more than 30-year relationship would likely affect the “mystique” of appearing together on screen. She said both she and Russell would be better off working with actors they don’t know as well.