Mindfulness at School
Be curious, not judgmental.
— Walt Whitman
Mindfulness programs intended for children and adolescents are relatively new. They are specially formulated to stimulate the well-being and mental health of young program participants whose brains are still growing structurally, while remaining sensitive to developmental aspects of evolving consciousness. Such programs are supportive of stimulating concentration and cognitive development, while enabling social and emotional learning through self-regulation.
The focus of these courses, which can all be classified as mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs), is the development of skills and general wellbeing associated with the cultivation of mindfulness. MBI program participation motivates attendance to present-moment experience, including immediate emotional and physical states, and discomfort, in ways which promotes non-judgment and acceptance. Such programs, adapted to benefit younger participants, and typically offered onsite or at school, could offer a space in which a child would grow up more nurtured by what the pediatrician and psychoanalyst D. W. Winnicott called the holding environment, which provides "a context of love, support, belonging, and meaning that contributes to a basic sense of confidence and to healthy psychological development in general” (Welwood, 1990).