On behalf of Multicultural Children’s Book Day (MCBD) 2019, I am reviewing Mindfulness for Kids: 30 Fun Activities to Stay Calm, Happy & In Control by Carol P. Roman and J. Robin Albertson-Wren (Althea Press, 2018).
This book was given to the Reading Tub for MCBD and will be donated to a sister 501(c)(3)
Read more about the MCBD event, purpose, and resources at the end of this post.
Whether we are at home, school, or spending time with friends, there are times when our emotions are going to shift to the not-so-fun side of the chart: anger or frustration; embarrassment; anxiety, fear or overwhelmed-ness; sadness; or even emotions we can’t name.
Using everyday scenarios (pesky siblings, spats with friends, accidental damage, lost items) peer guides acknowledge the emotions, help label them, and offer ways to take control of them so they can make healthier and more thoughtful decisions.
I first learned about mindfulness five years ago when my daughter attended a charter middle school for differently-abled learners. As I’ve mentioned previously, she is not a memorize-with-ease type of student. And like many of her teen peers, she also battles anxiety.
I say all that to say I came to Mindfulness for Kids with a bit of knowledge about and experience with mindfulness practices. For me, reading Carole Roman’s book was “personal.”
My hope is that you will also consider making it personal. There is a reason that the Headspace App is so popular: people – not just kids – are craving stability. Mindfulness activities help with that.
Why Mindfulness for Kids Trumps Headspace
First, let me say I am a Headspace subscriber. I came to Headspace, in part, because I had learned about mindfulness and wanted to be more intentional with my goals. It is a self-centered activity.
On the converse, Mindfulness for Kids is both a self-centered activity and a family growth opportunity. What the book calls activities I call scenarios that reflect our lives when engaging with our children, our families, our peers, and our neighbors.
The book has a peer-to-peer approach that I talk about here. But there is also an “unspoken space” for adults, too. Maybe an example can help.
Story #8 is about Erica, who is struggling with her math homework. Her brother Brady has finished his homework and has his reward: watching television. Mom asks her to hurry because dinner is almost ready and Erica is feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and pressured. Although not explicit, the story is ALSO about Erica’s mom.
- Erica is chewing on a pencil and breaks it.
- She erased the paper so hard she ripped it.
- She forcefully opened her bag to get another pencil.
- She stuffed the homework into the bag.
In the course of the story, Mom told Erica to “hurry”; asked Erica what are you doing (when the paper ripped); brought her tape to repair the paper; and reminded Erica that she hadn’t checked the homework yet.
She was not in the moment or tuned into her daughter, but focused on her own activities. She saw some of the outcomes (ripped paper) but was oblivious (?) to Erica closing in on herself with humped posture trying to hold in her emotions.
Have you been there? I have. With Mindfulness for Kids parents and kids can share the stories and talk about them. Ask your child about the story.
- What emotions does it raise for them?
- Have they ever had that experience? felt those emotions?
- Have YOU felt those emotions (as a child or adult)?
- What is YOUR go-to response to that emotion?
Those are just a few starter questions. With its structure and easy-to-follow ideas, Mindfulness for Kids creates an opportunity for everyone in a family to encourage and support each other with mindfulness practices.
My Bottom Line
Highly recommended. Although the cover says the book is for kids ages 6 to 10, I believe it is for all ages. Everyone can find something of value in Mindfulness for Kids.
More about Multicultural Children’s Book Day
The MCBD mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity on home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents,
Organizers would also like to give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team, who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event.
Hashtag: Connect with MCBD on social media. Look for – and use – the official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.
Join the Fun
On 27 January 2019 at 9:00 PM (ET) Make A Way Media is sponsoring the super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual @McChildsBookDay Twitter Party.
Join the conversation and win one of 12 five-book bundles or the Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books). The prizes will be given away during the Twitter party! We will be giving away a prize every 5 minutes!
FREE RESOURCES from MCBD
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: https://wp.me/P5tVud-1H
Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/H