Growing Up Mindful: Essential Practices to Help Children, Teens, and Families Find Balance, Calm, and Resilience

Growing Up Mindful: Essential Practices to Help Children, Teens, and Families Find Balance, Calm, and Resilience

by Christopher Willard PsyD


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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

"Seeds of mindfulness can be planted in anyone at any time—seeds that under the right conditions can burst and bloom into a life of compassion and connection," writes Dr. Willard. Growing Up Mindful invites you to "embark on something incredible and world-changing" as you join the growing community of adults bringing wonder, curiosity, and reflection back into childhood and adolescence.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781622035908
Publisher: Sounds True, Incorporated
Publication date: 06/01/2016
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 389,686
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

CHRISTOPHER WILLARD, PSYD, is a clinical psychologist and consultant specializing in bringing mindfulness into education and psychotherapy. The author of Child’s Mind (Parallax, 2010) and other books on the topic, Dr. Willard lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts and teaches at Harvard Medical School and Lesley University. For more, visit

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction 1

Part I Understanding Mindfulness 7

Chapter 1 Stress and the American Kid 9

Chapter 2 Mindfulness: What Exactly Is It? 27

Chapter 3 Building the Foundation: Your Own Mindfulness Practice 43

Part II Practices for Children and Teens 59

Chapter 4 Introducing Mindfulness to Kids 61

Chapter 5 Visualizing Mindfulness: Harnessing the Imagination 73

Chapter 6 Mind the Body: Body-Based Mindfulness Practices 89

Chapter 7 Going with the Flow: Mindfulness and Movement 107

Chapter 8 Shortcut to the Present: Using Sound and Our Senses 121

Chapter 9 Playing Attention: Games, Play, and Creative Mindfulness 131

Chapter 10 Making the Virtual Virtuous: Mindfulness and Technology 145

Chapter 11 Making Mindfulness Stick: Integrating Short Practices into the Day 157

Part III Sharing Mindfulness in a Formal Setting 185

Chapter 12 Tips for Teaching Mindfulness 187

Chapter 13 Enlightened Community: Creating a Culture of Mindfulness 203

Conclusion 219

Notes 223

Appendix: Matching the Practice to the Child 229

Acknowledgments 239

Index 241

About the Author 249

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