Mindfulness is not something that a teenager or young child thinks of daily or at all. Yet, as with adults, teens would benefit from being mindful of daily activities and how they feel.
What does it mean to be mindful? From Wikipedia: Mindfulness is "the intentional, accepting and non-judgmental focus of one's attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment" Webster defines it as a "state of being aware".
8 years ago, I once spent 3 straight hours meditating during a mindfulness seminar. For someone who never formally meditated outside of prayer and church, it was a shock to sit still for so long. Immediately afterward, I went straight to the gym. People who know me, know that this was a feat. Just sitting still was a chore. During my fellowship, these events were frequent and ushered in a new understanding of the meaning of mindfulness. To sit with one's thoughts in the present moment for an extended period of time is a foreign concept to most as it was to me.
As time has passed, this present moment activity has become common place and meditation is as important to me as mindful running (where I do my best thinking).
Study after study shows us the health benefits of mediation and mindfulness. Being mindful while you eat improves digestion. Being mindful during a conversation improves empathy. Being mindful improves stress and anxiety. And so on....
When I was a young teenager, I thought that I was mindful during organized church prayer and in my general life. Now, I realize that I often drifted into internal mental conversations, spacing out, rather than truly being mindful.
I bring this topic to parents to help them encourage their young children to practice mindfulness in line with the families belief system.
A great Teen Mindfulness Website. Tour this website for a beginners view of mindfulness.