25 Sep Growing Up Mindful: Essential Practices to Help Young Clients and Their Families Find Balance, Calm and Resilience
The purpose of teaching mindfulness to our children is to give them skills to develop their awareness of their inner and outer experiences, to understand how emotions manifest in their bodies and to recognize when their attention has wandered and to provide tools for control.
We know mindfulness is good for us. Mindfulness allows us to be present in our parenting, choosing a skilful response, instead of succumbing to our visceral reactions. Mindfulness is also good for our kids. There is an emerging body of research that indicates mindfulness can help children:
- improve their abilities to pay attention,
- to calm down when they are upset, and
- to make better decisions.
In short, it helps with emotional regulation and cognitive focus.
We are living in some very stressful times. Anxiety disorders, depression and stress are becoming the most prevalent mental health problem in our society. We tend to promote treatment when anxiety disorders, depression and stress-related health issues are in full bloom, but we tend to fail to promote prevention. Prevention is only effective if it starts early, the earlier the better.
While many adults now understand how mindfulness practice helps us alleviate the stress and anxiety of our busy modern lives, getting a child or a typical teenager on board is another story. Dr Christopher Willard (a tenured professor at the Harvard Medical School) has developed a special online course for us to show you how we can instil the practice of mindfulness, emotional regulation and inner peace in our children really early on. He draws on his work with hundreds of young children, tweens, and teens—along with countless hours training parents, teachers, and other counsellors—to make the principles and practices of mindfulness accessible, entertaining, and cool for people of all ages and interests.
Growing Up Mindful features dozens of exercises to incorporate mindfulness into daily life (in class, extracurricular activities, among peers), specific meditations and movement practices, compassion training, and more. “Teaching children to check in with, rather than check out of, their experience builds emotional intelligence, leading to happier kids and families,” says Dr. Willard.
Growing Up Mindful: Essential Practices to Help Children, Teens, and Families Find Balance, Calm, and Resilience shows psychologists, school counsellors, parents and professionals alike how to model and teach the skills of mindfulness that will empower our youth for the rest of their lives with greater self-awareness, resiliency, and confidence.
“This course offers a wonderful array of simple, playful, engaging mindfulness practices which can be shared by parents, teachers, and therapists with children at home, at school, and in clinical settings. Dr. Willard has created an invaluable resource to support you in sharing the nourishing power of mindfulness with children and adolescents. Like your go-to cookbook, this book is filled with healthy, delicious, satisfying mindfulness recipes that you can prepare and savour with the young people in your life.”
-Amy Saltzman, MD, author of A Still Quiet Place: A Mindfulness Program for Teaching Children and Adolescents to Ease Stress and Difficult Emotions and A Still Quiet Place for Teens: A Mindfulness Workbook to Ease Stress and Difficult Emotions
- Learn how 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.
- Understand how research now shows that mindfulness significantly enhances what psychologists call “flourishing”―the opposite of depression and avoidance.
- Learn how to embody and share the skills of mindfulness that will empower children and young clients with resilience throughout their lives.
- Inspire your practice by learning accessible exercises, along with adaptations for the individual needs of a wide range of children and teens.
- Learn about tapping the power of the imagination, play, and creativity.
- Watch the demonstration of the body-based mindfulness and movement practices.
- Learn how you can creatively overcome resistance and engage kids by making mindfulness fun.
- See how mindfulness can be introduced by the use of technology and social media.
- Help young clients build the foundation through your own personal practice.
- Learn about “Attending” and “Befriending”―two positive responses to stress.
- Understand how you can help young clients to set intentions and manage expectations.
- Learn how you can facilitate sharing mindfulness in a formal setting including schools and workplaces.
Christopher Willard, PhD, is a psychologist, professor at the Harvard Medical School Faculty, and international presenter based in Boston specializing in mindfulness. He is the author of 11 books on mindfulness and its application in preventing stress, anxiety, depression and in instilling resilience. He has been practicing meditation for 20 years, and has led hundreds of workshops around the world, with invitations to more than two dozen countries.
He currently serves on the board of directors at the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, and is the president of the Mindfulness in Education Network. He has presented at TEDx conferences and his thoughts have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, mindful.org, and elsewhere. He is the author of Child’s Mind (2010) Growing Up Mindful (2016) Raising Resilience (2017) and eight other books for parents, professionals and children, along with six sets of cards and therapeutic games, available in more than ten languages. He teaches at Harvard Medical School.
This online workshop will give you instant access to 4 hours of video content, accessible via streaming on our website. You can view the course content in your own time, there is no time limit on access.
A certificate of completion will be generated upon finishing the course and completing a short evaluation quiz. Please consult your professional organisation/association to confirm whether you are able to claim any CPD points/hours for this online workshop.