Does mindfulness help kids?

In the U.S., mindfulness programs for youth now abound. But do they work? Are they the solutions that youth need? Today's articles all focus on this issue.


Image credit: The Atlantic

Image credit: The Atlantic

Does Mindfulness Actually Work in Schools?
by Emily DeRuy
The Atlantic

Does mindfulness really help young students who need new ways to improve social-emotional skills? The popularity of such programs has exploded in the last few years, but evidence that they actually help students was often anecdotal. New research-based evidence indicates that such programs really can help students of color succeed in school. What do you think? Does this new study confirm your beliefs about mindfulness in the classroom? Or does it challenge your assumptions?


5 Tips for Teaching Mindfulness to At-Risk Teens
by Karen Bluth
Huffington Post

The study in the previous article focused mainly on younger children. But can mindfulness also help (often skeptical) teenagers? Bluth, who worked on a study that taught mindfulness to a group of teenagers in North Carolina, found that the program achieved some measurable goals, such as reducing depression, but also required flexibility to meet the specific needs of students. Freedom, choice, and trust proved critical to success with her students. Do you have a mindfulness practice? If so, what practices do you think would be most successful with the teenagers in your life?


Two opinions in Baltimore

Mandatory mindfulness, the antidote to Baltimore violence?
by Jill Epstein-Molter
The Baltimore Sun

Mindfulness isn't the answer
by Diana Mitchell
The Baltimore Sun

Does the potential immediate benefit that mindfulness programs can give students of color distract from the need to address the structural violence that makes those students need more social-emotional skills in the first place? These two pieces (an op-ed and a response) debate this question. What’s your opinion? Do you think the two are mutually exclusive? Where do you think we should put our efforts?