Mindfulness for Parents of Younger Adolescents

Mindful family
Be Sociable, Share!

    By Lauren Greer and Tenaia Gatland

    As a parent your mind is constantly running. Maybe you are out grocery shopping or at work and you will start thinking about what you have to make for dinner or worrying about something else that has been on your mind. Mindfulness is the practice of calming your mind so that you are present within that moment and can focus on your day. Taking time to take care of your mental health and practice mindfulness allows you to be present not only for yourself, but for your family (HealthLink BC, 2017). Young adolescents (12-15-year-old) are in a stage of life where they are transitioning not only from elementary school to high school but trying to create their own unique identity (Thompson & Gauntlett-Gilbert, 2008). As a parent of young adolescents, it is important to be mindful of your 12-15-year-old making these transitions in life and help teach them the tools they need to make such transitions.

    Supporting your teen

    Helping Your Teen deal with Stress

    Life can be stressful for a young adolescent from school, friends, family, or stress they bring upon themselves. Just like any adult a child can make high expectations of themselves and cause themselves to feel stress when they feel they have failed. As a parent you can help to reduce your child’s stress through using mindfulness to identify when they are stressed. If your child feels stressed acknowledge their feelings and reassure them that you are there for them. Develop trust and be supportive so that they feel they can come to you and share what is bothering them (HealthLink BC, 2017). Try not to overschedule your child as it can add to their stress and your own between driving them to and from activities and coordinating schedules. Talk to them about what activities or extracurriculars they enjoy doing and make time for those activities. This provides them with some control over their life and can help free up your own schedule from coordinating and commuting between multiple activities (HealthLink BC, 2017).

    Be Present

    Being a Good Role Model

    As a parent you can also provide them with good mindfulness skills and positive coping skills to help them with the stress in their lives. Be a good example for your kids. When you are angry try to keep calm and express your anger in an appropriate way. Opening up and communicating with your child builds trust so that they feel they can talk with you. Talk and teach them about the consequences to their actions. So that when faced with a decision in the future they can think about their choices and the consequences that go along with that decision (Thompson & Gauntlett-Gilbert, 2008). Encourage them and provide opportunities for rational thinking by helping to outline what is reality versus wishful thinking. Being mindful of your own stress and your young adolescents is good, but you will also need to find ways to help get rid of or deal with your stress. By dealing with your stress you can be more present with your family and help to set a good example for your children in what they can do to help deal with their own stress (HealthLink BC, 2017).


    Exercise is a great way to manage stress as it allows you to channel your energy into performing a physical task. Perform an exercise you enjoy doing and encourage your child to join in if they feel like the exercise activity can act as a stress relief and a bonding experience. Let yourself and encourage your child to talk, laugh, cry, and express anger when you feel you need to (HealthLink BC, 2017). Writing and drawing are other creative ways to channel feelings and create something of meaning to you. Children will often find a creative outlet as a way to express their feelings – allowing yourself or them to express these feelings will help you both to process them (Thompson & Gauntlett-Gilbert, 2008).

    Mindful movement

    Another way to relieve stress and act as a bonding experience between you and your child is doing things you love to do together such as, cooking, hiking, video games, etc. Finding ways to help you or your child relax will bring you closer together and promote positive coping. Breathing exercises, meditating, massage, aromatherapy, and yoga are great ways to channel your energy and practice mindfulness (HealthLink BC, 2017).

    Here are two exercises you can do with your family to promote mindfulness:

    Mindful Meditation

    A formal meditation often involves a person sitting very still and focusing in on a single thing, which can be difficult for children or even adults. If you are interested in meditating as a form of relaxation it can sometime take some practice. Using a guided meditation video or audio can help you get started. To practice meditation, start out with a smaller session and slowly make your meditation sessions longer to reach your meditation goal (Thompson & Gauntlett-Gilbert, 2008).

    Mindful Meditation

    First start by finding a relaxing position where you feel the most comfortable, either sitting or lying down. Begin to focus on your breathing and begin to slow it down with each breath you breathe in. Make note of any feelings you feel as you are focusing on your breathing and try to let them go as you continue to breath. Release any tightness that you feel in your muscles – release that tension with every breath you take in. As you continue to breathe you should feel your stress melt away. Do not give up on trying meditation if it doesn’t work after your first try. With meditation you need to find what works for you (Inner Health Studio, 2018). There are books, videos, audio, and apps available (some are listed below in our resources section) that can help you in your mindfulness journey and help you to meditate effectively.

    Mindful Music

    Mindful Music

    This activity is a great way to practice mindfulness with your young adolescent. Put on a song and really listen to the music and feel like you are getting inside the song. Instead of just listening to the lyrics, really listen to the instruments and see if you can identify them. Listen to how loud or soft the music is or how fast or slow it is. Ask yourself how you feel as you hear the song playing, both mentally and physically. What emotions does it make you feel and where do you feel these emotions? By asking yourself these questions you are practicing being present within that moment of listening, which is the main skill in being mindful (Sedley, 2017).

    Mindfulness and the Brain

    This YouTube video provides a snapshot of the functioning of your brain. Developed by Dr. Dan Siegel, the “Hand Model of the Brain,” is a great way for both you and your adolescent to understand how the brain functions, and how mindfulness skills impact our brain.

    3 Steps to Mindfulness

    Mindfulness is integrated into a variety of therapeutic modalities from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, to Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, but can be learned by any individual in a couple of quick steps. The biggest challenge is allowing your nagging thoughts to be present without feeling like you need to get rid of them, change, or control them. Consider these quick steps to get you started:

    3 Steps to Mindfulness
    Click image for a larger version to view

    “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”

    Jon Kabat-Zinn

    Try Our Mindfully Washing Dishes Video

    Mindfulness can be integrated into many of your daily activities. Whether it be eating, going for a walk, or even while you’re washing dishes.

    Video created by 
    Lauren Greer & Tenaia Gatland
    2 mins, November 2018
    In Adobe Spark Video

    Resources for Mindful Parents

    Book – Wherever You Go There You Are

    Jon Kabat-Zinn is a leader in the field of mindfulness and has done a lot of work on the integration of mindfulness to support the experience of chronic pain sufferers. He developed the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine at the University of Massachusetts. His research has demonstrated the benefits of combating chronic pain through the use of mindfulness skills. The bio for John Kabat-Zinn can be found here: https://www.umassmed.edu/cfm/about-us/people/2-meet-our-faculty/kabat-zinn-profile/

    URL: https://www.amazon.ca/Wherever-You-There-Are-Mindfulness/dp/1401307787/

    A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook

    This workbook is developed to make the experience of mindfulness easily accessible to any individual. Through the use of a workbook and guiding CD tracks, the individual is able to work through concepts and practice mindfulness at their own pace as time allows. Great for parents of children on-the-go.

    URL: https://www.amazon.ca/Mindfulness-Based-Stress-Reduction-Workbook/dp/1572247088/

    Book – True Refuge

    This book is a personal favourite. It touches on the difficulties that life offers. The author discusses the challenges of being a parent, a partner, and an individual, and inspires kindness for each of the roles a person has. It offers forgiveness to the individual and encourages gentleness between ourselves and our own thoughts. Dr. Tara Brach can further be explored through her website and has a number of helpful talks and guided meditations at – https://www.tarabrach.com/

    URL: https://www.amazon.ca/True-Refuge-Tara-Brach/dp/0553386344/

    The Mindful Way Workbook

    Many of us struggle with mental health challenges at some point in our lives. Mindfulness offers us a skill to help manage stress and reduce the intensity of overwhelming emotions. This workbook is another way that the individual can guide themselves through the process of setting up a mindfulness practice.

    URL: https://www.amazon.ca/Mindful-Way-Workbook-Depression-Emotional/dp/1462508146/

    Insight Timer – Meditation App

    This application is freely accessible on both Android and iPhone. It offers a large diversity of meditations ranging from body scans, loving-kindness meditations, and guided visualization. The best feature of this app is that it offers something for every individual, whether you are just starting out with mindfulness and meditation or are wanting to explore a deeper practice. My personal favourites include “May I Be Happy,” by Stephan Pende Wormland; meditations by Tara Brach or Andy Hobson

    URL: https://insighttimer.com

    Calm – Mindfulness App


    This application offers sleep stories, breathing exercises, and soothing sounds to help you focus, relax, and sleep better. It is easily navigated and provides a user-friendly experience to beginning a mindfulness practice.

    URL: https://www.calm.com

    Headspace – Meditation App

    One of the best features of this application is the accessibility it offers. This application is even available on some planes and can help the user reduce anxious experiences while flying. The application is designed to be accessible by a diverse consumer body and has inviting animations that help guide the individuals experience at any age.

    URL: https://www.headspace.com/headspace-meditation-app


    Lotus Blue

    This website is a one-stop-shop for everything mindfulness. One of the great offerings of this website is the information it provides on mindfulness and the brain. Not only does it offer the latest research on mindfulness, but also has sections that can help a person get started with adding mindfulness in to their lives.

    URL: https://www.mindful.org/


    Lotus Blue

    Zencast is a podcast offering a number of discussions on meditation and mindfulness related topics. What’s great about it is that you can listen while driving, riding the train or while exercising. As a result, it’s easily fit in to a busy schedule.

    URL: http://zencast.org/

    Heart Rate Monitor

    By using any inexpensive heart rate monitor, you can measure your heart rate at the beginning of a mindfulness exercise and notice the change in your heart rate on completion of your exercise. You might find it helpful to identify when your heart rate is increasing or by noticing feelings of stress or anxiety and using a mindfulness skill to reduce your heart rate and promote feelings of calmness. Having a high heart rate is not always indicative of anxiety or stress but can indicate increased energy expenditure like when you’re exercising.

    URL: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07L71HDM3/ref=sspa_dk_hqp_detail_aax_0?psc=1


    HealthLink BC (2017). Stress Management: Helping your child with stress. Retrieved From: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/aba5971.

    HealthLink BC (2017). Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. Retrieved From: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/abl0293.

    Inner Health Studio (2018). Guided Meditation Scripts. Retrieved at: https://www.innerhealthstudio.com/meditation-scripts.html.

    Sedley, B. (2017). Stuff That Sucks: A Teen’s Guide to Accepting What You Can’t Change and Committing to What You Can. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.

    Thompson, M., & Gauntlett-Gilbert, J. (2008). Mindfulness with children and adolescents: Effective clinical application. Clinical child psychology and psychiatry, 13(3), 395-407.

    Be Sociable, Share!

      Mindfulness for Younger Adolescents I

      Mindful Girl
      Be Sociable, Share!

        By Matt Tucker

        The Adolescent’s Desire for Independence & Autonomy

        Mindful teen

        As an adolescent, one of the most important developmental tasks is achieving a sense of autonomy – the ability for one to make one’s own choices without the need to rely on others, such as parents (Shaffer & Kipp, 2010). In order to have a healthy parent-child relationship, both the adolescent and parent should remain mindful of one another’s intentions, desires, and goals. Robert LeVine (1988) explained that parents all around the world share three common goals: to provide safety; to provide the child with the skills to become economically productive adults, and to ensure the child acquires the same cultural values as the parents. Adolescents should remain mindful of these parental goals as they desire greater autonomy and independence. Although greater independence is something that all adolescents need for a successful transition into adulthood, having too much independence may cause poor adjustment (Shaffer & Kipp, 2010). It is also important to be mindfully aware that the amount of independence given to an adolescent is based on several factors, such as the age of the adolescent, gender, cultural expectations and parental attitudes (Bumpus, Crouter & McHale, 2001). Although it is easy to make comparisons between peers, remember that each parent has their own approach to raising their child with the three parental goals in mind.

        Importance of Family and Mindfulness in Adolescence

        Warm and supportive parenting along with a strong sense of connectedness with family provides a source of support throughout childhood development. Family provides the adolescent with a secure base enabling them to widen their social environments and explore new things (Kim, Woodhouse & Dai, 2018; Allen et al., 2003; Byng‐Hall, 1995). Having a positive relationship with one’s family offers many benefits in terms of daily life and healthy development. A supportive and warm family relationship fosters social competence, self-esteem, independence and resiliency (Thomas & Joseph, 2013; Steinberg & Morris, 2001; Brennan, 1993). The importance of mindfulness increases during early adolescence as their views, desires and interpersonal goals may conflict with that of their parents (Shaffer & Kipp, 2010). Although some conflict between the adolescent and parent is normal, too much may have negative implications on both well-being and development (Moed, 2015). Fortunately, mindfulness can help reduce parent-child conflict by bringing attention into the present moment and allowing both sides to perceive each other’s thoughts and feelings more accurately (Duncan, Coatsworth & Greenberg, 2009).

        Mindfulness can be defined as the ability for an individual to be fully present and attentive in the moment (Sheridan, 2016; Gehart, 2012). Being mindful means accepting thoughts as they occur and allowing them to unfold without judgment (Gehart, 2012). A difficult concept to master is to let go of thoughts and notions of what “should” be and to investigative the deeper meaning of what is occurring (Gehart, 2012).

        Mindful family

        For example, Tom, a 15 year-old-boy reacts angrily at his parents who forbid him to stay up past 11 pm on a Wednesday night. Without being mindful, Tom believes that his parents are punishing him and not allowing him to “grow-up”. However, If Tom were mindful, he would understand that his parent’s intention was to allow him enough rest so that he would be able to perform well on his math test the following morning. Furthermore, mindfulness would have enabled Tom to avoid reacting automatically, investigate his parent’s reasoning and intentions, and in evaluating his own thoughts, feelings and emotions (Raski, 2015; Swart, Bass & Apsche, 2015). Mindfulness also has positive implications for family communication patterns, conflict resolution, and family cohesion (Brody, Scherer, Turner, Annett & Dalen, 2018). Therefore, the practice of mindfulness beginning in adolescence cannot be overstated.

        Benefits of Mindfulness

        Mindful teen

        The literature examining the benefits of mindfulness is extensive. Mindfulness is associated with improved emotional regulation, well-being, attention, self-compassion, empathy, acceptance of self, and ability to respond with awareness (Baer, 2010; Kocovski , Segal & Battistam, 2009; Brown & Ryan, 2003; South, Doss, & Christensen, 2010; Birnie, Speca, & Carlson, 2010). Evidence also suggests that practicing mindfulness can reduce stress by creating a relaxation response in the brain (Gehart, 2012). Research examining the benefits of mindfulness-based activities in adolescence has shown favourable effects on self-esteem, sleep quality and duration, academic performance, self-regulation, social skills and well-being (Tan, 2016; Biegel, Brown, Shapiro & Schubert, 2009; Greco, Baer, & Smith, 2011). Daily mindfulness-based practice helps improve quality of life and the ability to handle the stress associated with adolescence (Tan, 2016). In addition, mindfulness brings an awareness to different manifestations of stress and anxiety, enabling the adolescent to respond accordingly (Malboeuf-Hurtubise, Achille, Sultan & Vadnais, 2013). Thus, the stress and anxiety which can easily build up throughout adolescence can be quickly targeted using mindfulness, creating peace of mind (Malboeuf-Hurtubise, Achille, Sultan & Vadnais, 2013).

        Modifications to Mindfulness Practice in Adolescence

        Mindful teen

        Many of the current mindfulness-based activities do not take developmental considerations into account. In order to practice mindfulness effectively as an adolescent, modifications are required (Tan, 2016). For example, adolescent’s ability to focus attention on a single activity is limited when compared to adults (Tan, 2016). Therefore, mindfulness-based activities will not exceed a duration longer than that of which the adolescent can maintain focus. In addition, mindfulness-based activities will aim to incorporate multiple senses, such as the need for movement and physical activity (Tan, 2016). Although young adolescents are in Piaget’s formal operations stage, they are only beginning to develop complex cognitive skills, such as verbal fluency, abstract reasoning, and conceptualization (Tang, 2011). Therefore, all mindfulness-based practices should consider the childs age and stage of development.

        Mindfulness Exercise 1: Mindful Breathing

        Mindfulness practice enables the learner to obtain a more positive way of relating to thoughts, feelings, and experiences. In addition, it allows the adolescent the ability to implement better problem-solving strategies and more effective responses to problems (Oberle, & Schonert-Reichl, 2014). The benefit of mindfulness practice is that it can be practiced on anything that can be the focus of one’s attention (Gehart, 2012). The foundation of mindfulness practice is the focus on one’s breath. Researchers have shown several benefits of mindfulness breathing, such as promoting optimal brain functioning (Siegel, 2007). Mindful breathing requires the individual to sit in a chair in a dimly lit room. It involves a process of focusing one’s attention on their breath, over and over. Through focusing on one’s breath, the individual successfully refocuses their attention to the present moment (Sheridan, 2016).

        Mindful breathing

        To begin mindful breathing, set a timer for 5 minutes and sit in a comfortable chair. The goal during the five minutes is to focus your attention on your breath as you inhale and exhale. If and when you notice other thoughts creep into your mind, remind yourself to focus on your breath by using a cue word such as “thinking” (Sheridan, 2016). Returning focus to one’s breath also requires the individual to accept whatever thoughts occur without judgment (Gehart, 2012). The individual must also display self-compassion and not beat oneself up about losing focus (Sheridan, 2016; Gehart, 2012). Do not worry about the number of times you have to refocus your thoughts on breathing. Mindfulness-based exercises take patience and practice. Daily mindfulness practice will positively influence the rest of the day by bringing increased attention to the moment and reducing negative emotions and mental preoccupations (Sheridan, 2016). It is important to note that mindfulness breathing can be done throughout the day in a variety of settings and does not require much time.

        Mindfulness Exercise 2: Mindfulness Art

        As indicated previously, to maximize the benefits of mindfulness practice during adolescence, activities should incorporate multiple senses (Tan, 2016). In addition, including practical elements which encourage active participation in present-moment activities are beneficial for adolescents (Kabat-Zinn, 2003). Mindfulness art is a form of mindfulness practice which has the individual partake in creative activities, such as colouring and drawing. Beckwith (2014) explained that colouring pre-drawn mandala’s shifts the adolescent’s attention towards the present moment and increases awareness of their current experiences.

        Mindful art

        Mindfulness art has shown beneficial results for reducing stress, anxiety, fatigue, and rumination while promoting feelings of relaxation (Carsley & Heath, 2018; Mantzios & Giannou, 2018; van der Vennet & Serice, 2012). There are hundreds of colouring-books available for purchase and can be implemented effectively with little cost. However, when one is performing mindfulness art, avoid thinking about things other than the activity. As with mindful breathing, the individual will have to accept thoughts as they occur without judgment. However, instead of refocusing on one’s breath, the individual refocuses on their art.

        Try The Body Scan Video

        Video created by 
        Matt Tucker
        2:27 mins, November 2018
        In Adobe Spark Video

        Mindful Adolescent Resources

        The Greater Good Science Center

        Be Kind

        The Greater Good Science Center offers a variety of science-based activities, such as compassion, kindness, forgiveness, empathy, gratitude, and mindfulness. The website, hosted by the University of California, Berkeley, offers suggestions, guidance and the time required to complete each activity. For example, the mindful breathing activity requires 15 minutes and for the individual to find a relaxed and comfortable position. In addition, features on the website allow the user to mark activities as complete or to save it for later. The aim of The Greater Good Science Center is to provide the user with the resources and tools to live a happier and more meaningful life. However, as noted on their website, the tools and resources provided are not a substitute for therapy or to serve as a form of mental health treatment.

        URL: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/

        Mindfulness for Teens

        Mindfulness for Teens is a website which provides information, resources and tools to successfully apply mindfulness into everyday life. The website was designed by Dr. Dzung Vo, a pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine at British Columbia Children’s Hospital. His website includes a detailed description of what mindfulness is, its practical applications as well as firsthand accounts from adolescents who have implemented mindfulness into their lives. A goal set out by Dr. Dzung Vo is to promote resiliency in young people to help them thrive in today’s world. The website also provides guided meditation instructions on mindful breathing, sitting meditation, body scan, walking meditation, mindful movement, loving-kindness, and mindfulness of thinking. Lastly, the website provides additional resources such as websites, apps, and books which focus on mindfulness practice.

        URL: https://mindfulnessforteens.com/


        Foundry, a Canadian based company, provides information, resources, and tools to help improve access to health and social services for young people throughout British Columbia. Hosted by Providence Health Care, the website offers information on the basics of mindfulness including the benefits and different ways to be mindful. Foundry also provides a list of recommended apps, such as Calm and Headspace as well as links to where one can find help and support. Their interactive map helps youth find local programs and community services which may offer them additional assistance. Foundry also provides resources for friends of individuals who may need help. For example, the website includes information on how you can help a friend; signs your friend may need support; concerned about a friend’s alcohol or substance use; tips for talking with your friend; and tips for supporting a friend’s mental wellness.

        URL: https://foundrybc.ca/

        Healthy Living Toolkits

        Kelty Mental Health Resource Center offers a variety of toolkits for adolescents and their families. The online Family Toolkit offers detailed and practical information on healthy eating, physical activity, stress management, and sleeping. The resource also offers video’s on how to set S.M.A.R.T goals as a family. The online and in-print Family Toolkit is offered in English, French, Korean, Farsi, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Punjabi. If needed, the printed version of the Family Toolkit can be borrowed from BC Children’s Hospital. The Family Toolkit offers links and titles to additional resources on all topics covered. In addition, the online resource offers contact information of trained parent and youth peer support workers which can aid adolescents and their family’s on weekdays from 9:30am-5:00 pm.

        URL: https://keltymentalhealth.ca/toolkits

        Breathr: Mindful Moments

        Breathr is an interactive app developed by the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre to help adolescents develop mindfulness and improve overall health. Available on both Android and Apple, the app provides the user with several mindfulness activities as well as the science behind each practice. The aim of the application is to provide the adolescent with a fun, easy to use, developmentally appropriate tool to benefit their well-being and health. Breathr guides the user through several exercises, such as body scans, mindful breathing, and SOBER coping space. The goal of these activities is to improve mindfulness and switch attention to the present moment. Finally, Breathr allows the user to set reminders and notifications of when to perform mindfulness practice. In addition, the user can select which type of mindfulness activity they would like to perform at specific times throughout the day.

        URL: https://keltymentalhealth.ca/breathr


        Adult-cell-face-female-girl-happy [Digital image]. (2012, February). Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/adult-cell-face-female-girl-happy-18377/

        Allen, J. P., McElhaney, K. B., Land, D. J., Kuperminc, G. P., Moore, C. W., O’Beirne–Kelly, H., & Kilmer, S. L. (2003). A Secure Base in Adolescence: Markers of Attachment Security in the Mother–Adolescent Relationship. Child Development74(1), 292–307.https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8624.t01-1-00536

        Baer, R. A. (2010). Self-compassion as a mechanism of change in mindfulness- and acceptance-based treatments. In R. A. Baer (Ed.), Assessing mindfulness and acceptance processes in clients: Illuminating the theory and practice of change(pp. 135–153). Oakland, CA: Context Press/New Harbinger Publications.

        Barnert, E. S., Himelstein, S., Herbert, S., Garcia-Romeu, A., & Chamberlain, L. J. (2014). Innovations in practice: Exploring an intensive meditation intervention for incarcerated youth. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 19, 69–73. doi:10.1111/camh.12019

        Beckwith P. (2014) Mindfulness and mandalas: Alternative therapeutic techniques for AOD adolescents. Capital University’s Undergraduate Research Journaln.a.: 1–5.

        Biegel, G. M., Brown, K. W., Shapiro, S. L., & Schubert, C. M. (2009). Mindfulness-based stress reduction for the treatment of adolescent psychiatric outpatients: A randomized clinical trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology77(5), 855–866. https://doi-org.ezproxy.kpu.ca:2443/10.1037/a0016241

        Bigelow, R. (2016, February). Kindness-chalk-handwritten-word [Digital image]. Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/kindness-chalk-handwritten-word-1197351/

        Birnie, K., Speca, M., & Carlson, L. E. (2010). Exploring self-compassion and empathy in the context of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR).Stress and Health, 26 (5), 359–371. doi: 10.1002/smi.1305 .

        Brennan, J. L. (1993). Family relationships and the development of social competence in adolescence. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health29, S37–S41.https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-1754.1993.tb02259.x

        Brody, J. L., Scherer, D. G., Turner, C. W., Annett, R. D., & Dalen, J. (2018). A Conceptual Model and Clinical Framework for Integrating Mindfulness into Family Therapy with Adolescents. Family Process,57(2), 510–524.https://doi.org/10.1111/famp.12298

        Brown, K., Ryan, R. M., & Creswell, J. (2007). Mindfulness: Theoretical foundations and evidence for its salutary effects. Psychological Inquiry, 18 (4), 211–237.

        Bumpus, M. F., Crouter, A. C., & McHale, S. M. (2001). Parental autonomy granting during adolescence: exploring gender differences in context. Developmental Psychology37(2), 163–173.

        Byng‐Hall, J. (1995). Creating a Secure Family Base: Some Implications of Attachment Theory for Family Therapy. Family Process,34(1), 45–58.https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1545-5300.1995.00045.x

        Carsley, D., & Heath, N. L. (2018). Effectiveness of mindfulness-based colouring for test anxiety in adolescents. School Psychology International39(3), 251–272.https://doi.org/10.1177/0143034318773523

        Crane RS, Kuyken W, Hastings RP, Rothwell N, Williams JM. Training teachers to deliver mindfulness-based interventions: Learning from the UK experience. Mindfulness. 2010;1:74-86. 

        Duncan, L. G., Coatsworth, J. D., & Greenberg, M. T. (2009). A Model of Mindful Parenting: Implications for Parent–Child Relationships and Prevention Research. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review12(3), 255–270.https://doi.org/10.1007/s10567-009-0046-3

        Gehart, D. R. (2012). Mindfulness and Acceptance in Couple and Family Therapy(1st ed.). New York: Springer.

        Gepp, А. (2016, November). Girl-teen-smartphone-russian [Digital image]. Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/girl-teen-smartphone-russian-1848478/

        Goyal, A. (2018, November). Young-independent-travelling [Digital image]. Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/young-independent-travelling-3819291/

        Greco, L. A., Baer, R. A., & Smith, G. T. (2011). Assessing mindfulness in children and adolescents: Development and validation of the Child and Adolescent Mindfulness Measure (CAMM). Psychological Assessment, 23 (3), 606–614. doi: 10.1037/a0022819

        Kabat-Zinn J. (2003) Mindfulness-based interventions in context: Past, present, and future. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice 10(2): 144–156. doi: 10.1093/clipsy/bpg016

        Kim, M., Woodhouse, S. S., & Dai, C. (2018). Learning to provide children with a secure base and a safe haven: The Circle of Security-Parenting (COS-P) group intervention. Journal of Clinical Psychology74(8), 1319–1332.https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.22643

        Kocovski, N. L., Segal, Z. V., & Battista, S. R. (2009). Mindfulness and psychopathology: Problem formulation. In F. Didonna (Ed.), Clinical handbook of mindfulness (pp. 85–98). New York, NY: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-0-387-09593-6_6 .

        LeVine, R. A. (1988). Human parental care: Universal goals, cultural strategies, individual behavior. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development1988(40), 3–12.https://doi.org/10.1002/cd.23219884003

        Malboeuf-Hurtubise, C., Achille, M., Sultan, S., & Vadnais, M. (2013). Mindfulness-based intervention for teenagers with cancer: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials14(1), 135.https://doi.org/10.1186/1745-6215-14-135

        Mantzios, M., & Giannou, K. (2018). When Did Coloring Books Become Mindful? Exploring the Effectiveness of a Novel Method of Mindfulness-Guided Instructions for Coloring Books to Increase Mindfulness and Decrease Anxiety. Frontiers in Psychology9.https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00056

        Moed, A., Gershoff, E. T., Eisenberg, N., Hofer, C., Losoya, S., Spinrad, T. L., & Liew, J. (2015). Parent–Adolescent Conflict as Sequences of Reciprocal Negative Emotion: Links with Conflict Resolution and Adolescents’ Behavior Problems. Journal of Youth and Adolescence44(8), 1607–1622.https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-014-0209-5

        Meditation_calm_above_city [Digital image]. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://free-images.com/display/meditation_calm_above_city.html

        Oberle, & Schonert-Reichl, K. (Eds.). (2014). Mindfulness in adolescence : new directions for youth development, number 142. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com

        Peace-of-mind-woman-girl-outdoors [Digital image]. (2014, May). Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/peace-of-mind-woman-girl-outdoors-349815/

        Raski, M. P. (2015). Mindfulness: What It Is and How It Is Impacting Healthcare. UBCMJ,7(1), 56-59.

        Shaffer, D. R., & Kipp, K. (2010). Developmental psychology: Childhood and Adolescence(8th ed.). Belmont, CA: WADSWORTH.

        Sheridan, C. (2016). The Mindful Nurse: Using the Power of Mindfulness and Compassion to Help You Thrive in Your Work. Charleston, SC: Rivertime Press. ISBN: 978-0-9933245-2-9.

        Siegel, D. J. (2007). Mindfulness training and neural integration: differentiation of distinct streams of awareness and the cultivation of well-being1. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience,2(4), 259–263.https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsm034

        Silhouette-father-and-son-sundown [Digital image]. (2018, January). Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/silhouette-father-and-son-sundown-1082129/

        South, S. C., Doss, B. D., & Christensen, A. (2010). Through the eyes of the beholder: The mediating role of relationship acceptance in the impact of partner behavior. Family Relations,59 (5), 611–622. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3729.2010.00627.x .

        Steinberg, L., & Morris, A. S. (2001). Adolescent Development. Annu. Rev. Psychol,83-110.

        Swart, J., Bass, C. K., & Apsche, J. A. (2015). Treating Adolescents with Family-Based Mindfulness(1st ed.). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

        Tan, L. B. G., & Martin, G. (2013). Taming the adolescent mind: Preliminary report of a mindfulness-based psychological intervention for adolescents with clinical heterogeneous mental health diagnoses. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 18, 300–312. doi:10.1177/1359104512455182

        Tan, L. B. (2016). A critical review of adolescent mindfulness-based programmes. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry21(2), 193–207.https://doi.org/10.1177/1359104515577486

        Thomas, N. R., & Joseph, M. V. (2013). Positive Adolescent Development: Relevance of Family Interventions. Rajagiri Journal of Social Development; Kerala5(2), 115–134.

        Unhappy-man-mask-sad-face-sitting [Digital image]. (2014, July). Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/unhappy-man-mask-sad-face-sitting-389944/

        van der Vennet, R., & Serice, S. (2012). Can Coloring Mandalas Reduce Anxiety? A Replication Study. Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association29(2), 87–92. https://doi-org.ezproxy.kpu.ca:2443/10.1080/07421656.2012.680047

        Werner, B. (2012, June). Totem-pole-native-Indian-Vancouver [Digital image]. Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/totem-pole-native-indian-vancouver-50437/

        Be Sociable, Share!

          Mindfulness for Younger Adolescents II

          Mindful Teen
          Be Sociable, Share!

            By Michael Izatt

            Mindfulness for Adolescents & Teens

            Mindful teen
            Source: Green Charmeleon. Retrieved from http://realisticshots.com/post/126994769222/000109

            Being a teenager can be really tough at times. With the pressures of school, friends and other relationships, home life, extracurricular activities, or trying to figure out who you are in this world, things can get quite stressful! Whether you are struggling from something particular or just feeling overwhelmed with everything going on—you are not alone! In fact, according to the American Psychological Association (2014), current stress levels among adolescents and teens are significantly high, which from a mental health perspective is problematic, as their ability to cope with stress and anxiety has become increasingly difficult. The good news is, there are many things adolescents and teens can do to effectively manage daily stress and anxiety. One effective tool is the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness can help you manage your stress and anxiety so you feel more calm and grounded as you live your life. In fact, mindfulness has been medically proven to reduce stress, increase mental toughness, and create ways that can help those who use mindful techniques gain a healthier perspective on both themselves and the world they experience (Bluth & Eisenlohr-Moul, 2017).

            Benefits of Mindfulness

            Source: Blake Verdoorn. Retrieved from http://realisticshots.com/post/130616915364/000137

            Better sleep
            Decrease in stress & anxiety
            Improved mood
            Stronger relationships
            Improved focus & concentration
            Fosters compassion and trust
            Allows us to “live in the moment”


            How Do I Practice Mindfulness? What Can I Do?

            You don’t have to be a spiritual guru or an expert in yoga to practice mindfulness! Anybody can do it and it’s really easy to learn and practice. While there are more advanced practices that will improve your mental and physical health (e.g. things like meditation, yoga, spiritual retreats, etc.), there are a few simple mental exercises that will allow you to calm your mind, relax your body, and live in “the now.” Here are two mindfulness techniques recommended by Anxiety Canada (2018) that can easily be done from your home or any other quiet place where you’re able to relax. Give them a try! Your mind and body will feel much more relaxed after!

            Three Senses Technique

            First, put your cell phone away and turn off all other connective-technology and find a quiet and safe place to sit and relax

            Three Senses Technique

            Next, take a few big breaths in with long exhales. Feel your body as it sinks into the chair.

            Then, calmly ask yourself:

            i.) What are three things I can hear? (the birds, my breathing, a fan, etc.)
            ii.) What are three things I can see? (the chair, the clock, the door, the lamp)
            iii.) What are three things I can feel? (my socks, my chair, my hair on neck, my shoes)

            Calm Breathing

            Mindful teen

            i) Mindful Breathing

            Find a quiet place to lay down or sit. Close your eyes and begin to breath naturally. Place your hands on your stomach and feel your stomach move in and out as you take deep breaths in from your nose and exhale through your mouth. Focus your thoughts on each breath in and nothing else. If your mind wanders to a random thought, redirect it back to thinking about each breath in and out. Let your body sink into the bed or chair and continue to take deep breaths in for 3-4 minutes.

            ii) *Box Breathing- See video below!

            Mindfulness Technique-Box Breathing Video

            Video created by 
            Michael Izatt
            3:18 mins, November 2018

            Mindful Adolescent Resources

            Mindfulness for Teens

            Lotus Blue

            Wonder what mindfulness looks like for teens? Check this link out! Created by Dr. Dzung Vo (MD), a pediatrician who specializes in adolescence medicine at BC Children’s Hospital, this website has everything you need and is specifically tailored for teens. Included is a brief description of what mindfulness is and things we can do to practice mindfulness. The best part? This website even has ‘youth voices’ that includes stories from other teens who use mindfulness as a way to reduce anxiety and de-stress. With a ‘guided meditations’ section, this website even has videos that teach you breathing techniques, mindful thinking, body scans, and much more! A great resource for teens who wish to benefit from mindfulness.

            URL: https://mindfulnessforteens.com/

            MindShift App (iOS and Android)

            Lotus Blue

            Feeling stressed about an upcoming exam or just life in general? Anxiety or fear getting in the way of your daily living? Download this app and get your mind back on track! This app is completely free (donations accepted) and was created by Anxiety Canada with the help of BC Children’s Hospital and helps those suffering from anxiety. Use it at home or when you’re out with your smart phone—this app has everything from education about anxiety, useful tools and strategies, inspirational quotes and much more! Don’t let anxiety and fear debilitate you anymore! Get this app and start controlling your anxiety and keep it in check! For an additional resource, check out https://youth.anxietycanada.com/

            URL: https://www.anxietycanada.com/resources/mindshift-app

            Smiling Mind App (iOS and Android)

            Lotus Blue

            Who doesn’t like free apps? This mindfulness app was designed and created for people of all ages and even has programs designed for specific age groups! Feeling stressed about planning for the future? Changing schools or entering a new grade? School or family got you feeling overwhelmed? Download this app and pick a program that will help you manage your thoughts, feelings, and moods. Equipped with guided meditations, mindfulness activities, and progress trackers, this app will help you develop a mindful approach to any stressful situation or event. It’s completely free with no hidden fees and is extremely user-friendly! Give it a try! For more resources check out https://www.smilingmind.com.au/

            URL: https://www.smilingmind.com.au/smiling-mind-app/

            Psychology Today: 10 Ways to Protect the Brain from Daily Screen Time

            Lotus Blue

            This link provides 10 evidence-based strategies that will help your brain from overstimulation caused by too much screen time. Written by Dr. Victoria L. Dunckley (MD), these strategies help you reduce your screen time so you can improve your mood, sleep, diet and energy levels. Each strategy explains why it will help your mind insofar as how it affects your brain chemistry and hormone levels. In a world riddled with phones and computers, try putting them down for a bit and give these practices a try and see how well it improves your mental well-being! P.S. It even has something on mindfulness!

            URL: https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/mental-wealth/201704/10-ways-protect-the-brain-daily-screen-time

            The Mindfulness Summit

            Lotus Blue

            Feel like obtaining some guru-like wisdom in your life? Listen to these videos by Jon Kabat-Zinn (Ph.D.), a pioneer in mindfulness and founder of mindfulness- based stress reduction (MBSR). Focus on awareness, patience, the power of letting -go, trust, and living in the moment to help you live on life’s terms and not your own. Blend in with life and its events in a much more calm and mindful way. Whether you just want to listen to some calming videos by Jon Kabat-Zinn or find other mindfulness videos from a variety of mindfulness speakers (both free and by subscription), check out The Mindfulness Summit and find all kinds of helpful links and strategies for mindfulness. https://themindfulnesssummit.com/

            URL: https://themindfulnesssummit.com/sessions/9-powerful-meditation-tips-jon-kabat-zinn/


            American Psychological Association. (2014). Stress in America: Are teens adopting adults’ stress habits? http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2013/ stress-report.pdf

            Anxiety Canada. (2018). Mindful exercises. Retrieved from https://youth.anxietycanada.com/ mindfulness-exercises

            Bluth, K., & Eisenlohr-Moul, T. A. (2017). Response to a mindful self-compassion intervention in teens: A within-person association of mindfulness, self-compassion, and emotional well-being outcomes. Journal of Adolescence, 57, 108–118.

            Be Sociable, Share!