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Mindful : October 2019
living on their own, teaching skills such as sewing on buttons, balanc- ing a budget, and changing a tire. Teachers at E. J. Lajeunesse school in Windsor, Ontario, upped the ante with another excellent category: mindful- ness and stress management. MEETING A NEED There was nothing like Liberate, a new free medita- tion app for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), when Julio Rivera went looking. He came to meditation on the verge of burnout from a career as a software engineer. The Afro-Latino man often found himself in mostly white medita- tion spaces. After discovering a people-of-color sangha (commu- nity) at the New York Insight Medi- tation Center, he finally felt at home. He also realized he could cultivate a similar experi- ence for others. The app features BIPOC teachers and addresses the complexity of living mindfully for those in the BIPOC community. NERVOUS ABOUT CHANGE? Tr y t o : Increase your acceptance of not knowing and not being in control. Be open to what happens. MINDFUL YOUTH Mindfulness and meditation, says Emily Brierly, first helped her with anxiety and panic when she was 13. In the wake of the deadly May 2017 bombing of Man- chester Arena, then-15-year-old Brierly leaned into meditation. “Mind- fulness allowed metoletgoofthe need to control the future,” she told the Mindful- ness in Schools Project (MiSP) 2018 Conference. In 2019, MiSP named Brierly one of their Youth Ambassadors, opening a new door to share her skills and passion for mindfulness with her peers. MiSP is a UK char- ity that provides secular mindful- ness education for young people. My teenage son has ADHD. I think mindfulness would help him, but he just rolls his eyes when I suggest it. Is there any- thing I can say to convince him to try it? Q mindful FAQ Mark Bertin, MD is a developmental behavioral pediatrician and an assistant professor of pediatrics at New York Medical College. His latest book is How Children Thrive: The Practical Science of Raising Independent, Resilient, and Happy Kids. ADHD is a medical condition of executive function, not attention spe- cifically. Executive function includes cognitive skills related to organization, planning, and goal setting. It impacts more than routine distractibility; it’s a “life management” disorder. Teen ADHD creates a challenging develop- mental conflict. Teens typically want more inde- pendence. Perhaps because they don’t want to feel “different,” they often avoid their own medical issues. And since executive function is integral to judgment and planning, teens with ADHD are behind in their capacity to manage life independently. For parents, family mindfulness begins with living it ourselves. From that star t, make it real: Think like a teen. Take advantage of his desire for independence and reflect on his experi- ence as it happens. Worried about a test? Can’t sleep? I’ve found mindfulness helpful. Teens also rely greatly on peers, which is why some mindfulness teachers see group programs as easiest for getting adolescents to practice. Behavioral therapy is a proven ADHD sup- por t, so a psychologist familiar with mindful- ness can also be a great step. In the end, since we can’t make anyone else practice mindful- ness, sometimes it still comes down to patiently planting seeds for the future while remaining confident that our own practice influences our family for the better. A October 2019 mindful 11 PHOTOGRAPHBYALEX“NEMO”HANSE,STEPHANIEDIANI