Guide Teaching Mindfulness to Children & Teens

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Amy Saltzman, MD , is a holistic physician and mindfulness coach whose passion is supporting people of all ages in enhancing their well-being and discovering the Still Quiet Place within.

The School Yoga Project

She is recognized by her peers as a visionary and pioneer in the fields of holistic medicine and mindfulness for youth, and her current work focuses on sharing mindfulness with school-age youth in socioeconomically diverse school and community settings. In collaboration with the Department of Psychology at Stanford University, she has conducted two research studies evaluating the benefits of teaching mindfulness to child—parent pairs and to children in low-income elementary schools.

To support others in discovering the joy and peace of the Still Quiet Place, Dr.

Mindfulness

Are you expecting mindfulness to eliminate tantrums? If so, you are likely to be disappointed. While feeling calm or being quiet are nice side-effects of mindfulness, they are not the ultimate purpose. It is not a panacea, and it will not completely get rid of what is, frankly, normal kid behavior, like tantrums and loudness and whining and exuberance and arguing….

This is a good time for you to practice non-attachment to outcomes!

10 Ways to Teach Mindfulness to Kids

Go sit in the mindful corner! Keep it simple. With older kids, you can share the widely-used definition from Jon Kabat-Zinn in the image above. But those are a lot of big words for little kids.


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Listen to the bell. An easy way for children to practice mindfulness is to focus on paying attention to what they can hear.

Teaching Mindfulness Skills to Kids and Teens | | Research Press

Tell your children that you will make the sound, and they should listen carefully until they can no longer hear the sound which is usually 30 seconds to a minute. Create a mindful bedtime ritual. Bedtime is a great time to introduce mindfulness to kids. My daughter loves to do a short body-scan meditation before bed — she closes her eyes, and I tell her to bring her attention to her toes, to her feet, to her legs, etc. It is a calming way to return to the body at the end of the day.

So, you want to know about what this “mindfulness” is all about…wonderful!

You can find several downloadable meditation scripts including body scans here , and you can read about the bedtime ritual my daughter and I created here. Practice with a breathing buddy.

Monsters of Mindfulness - Cincinnati Children's

They focus their attention on the rise and fall of the stuffed animal as they breathe in and out. Make your walks mindful. Establish a gratitude practice. Download Sample Chapter.


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Buy from Barnes and Noble. Amy Saltzman, MD , is a holistic physician and mindfulness coach whose passion is supporting people of all ages in enhancing their well-being and discovering the Still Quiet Place within. She is recognized by her peers as a visionary and pioneer in the fields of holistic medicine and mindfulness for youth, and her current work focuses on sharing mindfulness with school-age youth in socioeconomically diverse school and community settings.

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