It’s the 2nd (the previous one is ‘Jim and the Universe‘) and they are a perfect read to help introduce mindful awareness in a fictional way for kids who have big changes/struggles.
Eva is about a girl (I’m guessing 10) who always gets into trouble at school and then has a big life change where her father dies.
Jim is about a 12 year old boy starting high school and how he meets someone who helps him (mindfully) cope with the pressures.
Both books really touch on the importance of gratitude, energy and how children can bring self awareness to their lives more mindfully to achieve their potential and have more self compassion and self esteem.
I simply loved them and know (having read them to kids we have in our care) how they really like them too.
I hope you enjoy them!
(P.S. I’ve just posted ‘5 mindful tips for the summer holidays’ on our FB page and group)
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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.
It was so good I thought I would include it in my regular blog (see below).
But it got me thinking.
Dr Hanson talks about the importance of him learning meditation skills, especially to help him recover from the difficult times he had growing up – you know the regular growing pains most of us go through and the feeling of not fitting in or being quite good enough.
He talks about how mindfulness has helped fill the ‘hole in his heart’ that these experiences created. Continue reading →
I was giving a talk recently (I do a few of these online talks to help inform, educate and give you the confidence to start teaching kids/teens meditation) and I came across a term ‘negativity bias‘.
It means that our brain and body constantly scan the environment for threats.If we detect a threat, we manage it as it activates our stress response (fight/flight/freeze) – which is designed to keep us alive.
What it means is that we are hardwired (neurologically speaking) to seek out the negative in our life experiences more easily than the positive ones.
As Rick Hanson, Ph.D., a neuropsychologist and author of “Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom” argues thatour brains are like Velcro for negative experiences, and Teflon for positive ones.
As today is thanksgiving day in the USA (where we teach some of our courses) I thought it would be useful to bring some ideas and tips on how to combine this with meditation techniques for kids and teens. Continue reading →