Beyond Breathing and Counting - Ideas for Handling Our Emotions

Summary:

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. 


Parent Perspective:
Readers in the target audience will most definitely have experienced many of the scenarios described. The book's structure is such that the advice for overcoming the negative emotions of a situation seems to come from a peer. I particularly like that the five guides treat the emotion(s) as a 'normal' part of life and walk the talk about understanding the emotion without judging. That may not seem like a big deal, but I would imagine that some kids can easily get emotionally invested in the story they just read and begin to 'project' those feelings themselves.

Although I can see how Mindfulness for Kids could be beneficial for first graders (6), adults will need to participate not just in sharing the stories but in modeling the strategies. Which leads me to my bottom line: this is a book for families to share. One is never too young or too old to be more attuned to their emotions, reactions, and choices. Highly recommended.


Pros:

Readers of all ages will recognize themselves in these 15 stories about emotional challenges. They will also be able to think of a situation from their own life that matches the emotions that are expertly described. The book provides exceptional opportunities to open discussion with a parent reader or other family members, and also experiment with different strategies to see which one(s) work for them. 

Cons:

The audience is described as 6 to 10, but the reading level is beyond that age group. Phonetic parentheticals for words like amygdala would have been helpful. The subtitle is a misnomer, as these are not isolated "activities" but ideas/strategies for building mindfulness skills.


Type of Book:
This is a "case study" style book to engage kids in thinking about and providing strategies for their emotions, stress, and reactions to situations.
Reading Level:
6.2
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
11 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
6 and Up
Purchase Recommendation:
Buy. Especially if you are going to read this together.

Title Mindfulness for Kids: 30 Fun Activities to Stay Calm, Happy, and In Control
Author Carol P. Roman, J. Robin Albertson-Wren
Publisher Althea Press © 2018
ISBN 9781641520850
Material Paperback
Cost $13.99
Genres Interactive, Health - Fitness, Concepts
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