Introducing mindfulness into the lives of our children and teenagers is perhaps the greatest gift we can offer. Mindfulness builds emotional intelligence, boosts happiness, increases curiosity and engagement, reduces anxiety and depression, soothes the pain of trauma, and helps kids (and adults) focus, learn, and make better choices. If that weren’t enough, research now shows that mindfulness significantly enhances what psychologists call “flourishing”—the opposite of depression and avoidance.
Growing Up Mindful helps parents, educators, and counselors learn how to embody and share the skills of mindfulness that will empower our children with resilience throughout their lives. With more than 75 accessible exercises and practices, along with adaptations for the individual needs of a wide range of children and teens, this inspiring guidebook brings you road-tested insights and tools for:
- Tapping the power of the imagination, play, and creativity
- Body-based mindfulness and movement practices
- Creatively overcoming resistance and gaining kids’ buy-in
- The mindful use of technology and social media
- Building the foundation through your own personal practice
- “Attending” and “Befriending”—two positive responses to stress
- Setting intentions and managing expectations of new practitioners
- Sharing mindfulness in a formal setting including schools and workplaces
- Extending our practice into the larger communities we share
Christopher Willard, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist and consultant specializing in bringing mindfulness into education and psychotherapy. He has been practicing meditation for over 15 years and currently serves on the board of directors at the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy and the Mindfulness in Education Network. The author of five additional books including Child’s Mind, Dr. Willard teaches at Harvard Medical School and leads workshops worldwide.