A Mindfulness Programme for Children and families with ADHD Symptoms


The MindKiwi programme is a treatment programme initially offered as part of a research study. The aim is to explore the feasibility of this programme and its effectiveness for children and their whānau within Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Through the programme, the research study hopes to demonstrate positive changes in core symptoms of ADHD as well as improvements in general child behaviour and psychosocial outcomes (e.g.,  parental stress).

Programme Description

The MindKiwi programme is based on a mindfulness-based therapy programme for adults with ADHD. It has been adapted for children and adolescents and integrated into a kaupapa Māori framework within a partnership model with mana whenua. Kaupapa Māori foundations such as tikanga and Te Reo Māori are core aspects of the integrated programme. 

The mindfulness programme follows a set structure, ideally undertaken weekly. During the programme, children will learn methods to increase their engagement in the present moment, such as awareness of thoughts, feelings, impulses and attention. The main goal of the mindful parenting part of the programme is learning to pay more attention to a child’s internal and external states in a non-judgmental and non-reactive way. Each module of the mindfulness programme includes the following areas: 

  1. Breathing mindfully
  2. Being more aware of the way we think and focus
  3. Coping with distraction
  4. Coping with impulsivity or strong feelings
  5. The balance between child autonomy and dependence (for parents)

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