Books we love – teaching kids and teens mindful meditation

Here’s a quick book review – books we love

These books have been read by us and are reviewed by the founder of Connected Kids and author, Lorraine E Murray with an insight into why they will help you enhance your meditation and teaching practice.

Enjoy.

Where to buy these recommended books to help you teach meditation and mindfulness

 

The Whole Brain Child – Dr Dan Siegel – more info >>>

The Body Keeps Score – Bessel Van Der Kolk MD – more info >>>

Into the Magic Shop – Dr James R Doty – more info >>>

The Untethered Soul  – Michael Singer – more info >>>

Wonder – R J Palacio – more info >>>

Do you want to train to teach kids or teens meditation?

If you would like to learn how to create your very own meditations for kids/teens try our Connected Kids level 1 course – online or in-class) (This is the gateway to our professional level)

Or find ideas and tips in our book Calm Kids (beginners) or Connected Kids (working with special needs/anxiety).

If you want some creative inspiration you can listen to one of our Meditation CDs for children/teens >>>

 

How to be more creative teaching meditation

Why is creativity important to teaching meditation?girl playing mindfully

Since 2003, we’ve been teaching adults how to help kids and teens practise meditation.

What’s interesting is the way that we adults (initially) approach the idea of teaching kids meditation.

  • Some of us look for a ‘mindfulness wand’ that we can use (metaphorically speaking) to calm our children.
  • Some of us want to analyse and dissect meditation; how it works, the benefits, why bother teaching it.
  • Some of us  think that it’s good for kids to learn it because we practise and thus try to teach our kids meditation in the same style/manner of our meditation practice.

The fact that you are even interested in teaching a young person these life skills (in our opinion) is amazing!  The intention to offer this to young people is a gift and at Connected Kids, it’s our passion to leave this legacy for future generations.

But often we may attempt to teach children and find that either:

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Toolkit for teaching mindful activities – kids on the autistic spectrum

Creating a space to teach mindfulness to kids with autism 

We were asked a question about the types of tools people could use if they wanted to teach their kids (who are on the autistic spectrum) how to feel calmer and less stressed using mindful activities.  

” I will be moving into a purpose built unit for children with autism shortly and I have to kit out the sensory room. I’m wondering if you can suggest anything in particular that would be beneficial.”

Expert advice

We write about this subject all the time…particularly in the 2nd book – “Connected Kids‘.

However we have taught thousands of people how to teach kids meditation, and  thought that many of our Connected Kids Tutors would have great, practical advice.  

We were right!

Here are some wonderful ideas that may help your kids on the spectrum bring their energy back into balance with meditation and mindfulness.

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Meditation idea for toddlers

 

A simple meditation idea to teach 5-year old kids (inspired by my Goddaughter – Libby!)

 

How to teach kids of all ages how to meditate

If you would like to learn how to create your very own meditations for kids/teens try our Connected Kids level 1 course – online or in-class) (This is the gateway to our professional level)

Or find ideas and tips in our book Calm Kids (beginners) or Connected Kids (working with special needs/anxiety).

Meditation CDs for children/teens >>>

Changing the world with mindfulness

The heart speaks mindfully

I was really moved by this video.

I think it speaks volumes about how we can raise awareness and how to help children be part of the conversation about the future.

 

With all my heart I believe that if we teach children meditation, they find that mindful voice just as Meghan Markle has done in this powerful video.

 

When a young person finds that voice within, it teaches us adults how to hear them from our heart, mindfully, as they shine their light on what needs to change in this world.

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Mindful Parenting Tips

How mindfulness helps you ‘see’ your kids and teens

I was inspired to write this after reading a blog from NY psychotherapist, Katherine Schafler, about the 4 unconscious questions a person asks themselves.  The one that connected with me the most was about ‘being seen’.

As a child I grew up in a culture where ‘children should be seen and not heard’.  This attitude may have been exclusive to the Victorian/Scottish parenting style at the time, but as an adult, it has left me with lots of thoughts and feelings to work through and process – sometimes with the help of a therapist or my meditation practice.

I am also a foster carer and one of the key things I’ve learned is that ‘being seen’ is essential in order to have a connection with the children we care for. 

I believe that my mindfulness skills, my personal meditation practice and my ability to introduce a ‘teaching meditation’ to the kids we care for in a way that meets their needs and abilities (and interests) has helped us start to build a an emotional and mental bridge between the world and kids in our care so that they can connect to the world around them in a more kind, loving and caring way.

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The #MeToo campaign and mindfulness

 

Like me you have probably become aware of the #MeToo campaign which highlights the level of sexual harassment that women experience throughout their lives.

As we can see, it has been an underlying epidemic that females have tolerated for thousands of years in all areas of life.

But I’m uncomfortable with the idea of saying #MeToo and adding my voice to social media.

I don’t deny that I’ve had some unsavoury and traumatising experiences growing up that I would rather forget.  My yoga and meditation practice has (and continues) to help me heal from this.

However the #MeToo campaign leaves me hanging.   It feels a little bit like watching a tragedy on the news and feeling helpless to ease the pain of those involved.  I observe friends saying #MeToo on social media and then I start to worry and wonder about them and their experiences.

It also hangs guilt and shame on the wrong shoulders – of the decent boys, teens and men who don’t want to treat women that way.  Perhaps If I were a man, maybe I would lower my gaze and no longer feel confident engaging with females.

But if I sit and reflect on the #MeToo campaign through my meditation practice, I have a sense that …

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back to school – with mindfulness

Helping kids return to school with less anxiety (and more mindfulness)

In Scotland our schools have already returned after the summer break, but in the rest of the UK (and perhaps worldwide) children and teens will be gearing up for their return.

Some will feel excited about the prospect of a new school or new term.  However many will feel anxious.

Cast your mind back to what school was like for you growing up and perhaps it will help you access some empathy and compassion for the young people in your life.

Returning back to school is a challenge for many, but we can give our kids some mindful skills to help them negotiate this tricky time.

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Helping kids be mindful during the holidays

 

Mindfulness and the holidays

The summer holidays can be a long time to spend with your kids.

You love them but your whole routine can change and even though holidays are meant to be enjoyable, they can be a little bit stressful too!

So here are some tips and ideas to help you keep up your meditation practice and help your kids practise mindfulness during the summer break.

(Photo courtesy of Jennifer Furtney Miller – “Here is my 5 year old son meditating in the pool. Trying to compose himself during a conflict with his 7 year old sister. We love this photo. He often joins us at 6am to meditate too. Namaste.”) Continue reading