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Growing Up Mindful Program

Register for Level One certification: This program grants the participant certification to share these mindfulness and mind body practices with kids and adults.


Dr. Chris Willard

Dr. Christopher Willard (PsyD) is a psychologist and educational consultant based in Boston specializing in mindfulness.  He has been practicing meditation for 20 years, and has led hundreds of workshops around the world, with invitations to more than two dozen countries. He currently serves on the board of directors at the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, and is the president of the Mindfulness in Education Network. He has presented at TEDx conferences and his thoughts have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, mindful.org, and elsewhere. He is the author of Child’s Mind (2010) Growing Up Mindful (2016) Raising Resilience (2017) and eight other books for parents, professionals and children, along with six sets of cards and therapeutic games, available in more than ten languages. He teaches at Harvard Medical School.

On the personal side, he enjoys traveling, hiking, cooking, reading and writing, and being a father.


Course Structure

Each week will cover a different topic, with 4-5 short videos adding up to about an hour each week. You can watch these videos on your own time or with your accountability partner. We will explore weekly reflection questions and practice on our own and with accountability partners during the week. 


Key Components of the Growing Up Mindful Course:

  • Science based instruction and curriculum
  • Personal mindfulness and meditation instruction and support
  • Weekly short videos to watch on your own time
  • Weekly community gatherings to share ideas and questions with me
  • Accountability partners and small groups to practice teaching
  • Strategies for creating your own mindfulness program for kids or adults
  • Free books, workbooks and scripts to use
  • Weekly personal practices and prompts



Weekly Themes

Introduction to each other and mindful awareness
  • An introduction to child and teen mindfulness
  • Setting community guidelines and intentions
Week 1. Defining mindfulness, defining intentions and science
  • Mindfulness and the neuroscience of healthy brain development
  • Playful and practical exercises to explore the mind-body connection 
  • Mind-body meditations to rewire young brains for resilience
Week 2. The power of your own practice
  • Why mindfulness will make you a better and happier therapist, teacher, or parent
  • Self-compassion, appreciation, and relaxation exercises to avoid burnout
Week 3. Adapting Mindfulness for all Minds
  • Developmentally appropriate adaptation ideas
  • The simple science of how mindfulness keeps stress and mental illness at bay 
Week 4. The Neurobiology and Research on Mindfulness and Compassion
  • Simplifying neuroscience to empower brain and behavior change
  • Mindfulness, mental health and learning. The state of the research.
Week 5. Mindful Eating in the Real World
  • The state of the research on mindful eating
  • Kid friendly formal and informal mindful eating practice
Week 6. Mindful Walking and Movement in the Real World
  • Research-based mindful movements
  • Developmental adaptations of mindful walking and movement
Week 7. Engaging kids and getting Buy-In
  • Practical and effective ideas that will generate buy-in from children and teens
  • How to make mindfulness fun and accessible even to all kinds of children
  • Dealing with resistance
Week 8. Mental Health, Trauma and Equity Perspectives and Considerations
  • Accessible analogies to explain what mindfulness is and isn’t
  • How to help kids and families slow down, sit still and single-task
Week 9. Creating our Own Practices, Visualizations and Adaptations
  • Comfortably adapt mindfulness to all kinds of minds, bodies and backgrounds
  • Tips and tricks to build your confidence when teaching mindfulness
Week 10. Toward Creating Mindful Community in Schools, Clinics and Beyond
  • Systemic approaches to culture change in schools, clinics and families
  • Creating a mindful and compassionate workplace, school, and family 
Bonus Content: 
  • Teaching with integrity and equity
  • A roadmap for creating a mindfulness consulting "business"
  • Interviews with mindfulness leaders