Mind­ful Me: Mind­ful­ness and Med­i­ta­tion for Kids

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews - MELISSA WUSKE

Whit­ney Stewart Stacy Peter­son (Il­lus­tra­tor) Al­bert Whit­man & Com­pany (APRIL) Hard­cover $16.99 (256pp), 978-0-8075-5144-8

This chil­dren’s guide to a re­laxed, happy, self­aware life pro­vides skills of the sort that even adults sel­dom have.

Child­hood is full of over­whelm­ing emo­tional chal­lenges—nav­i­gat­ing school, mak­ing friends, get­ting along with par­ents, and learn­ing to love who you are. This book em­pow­ers young­sters to uti­lize the prac­tices of mind­ful­ness and med­i­ta­tion to meet those chal­lenges head-on in a way that is healthy, balanced, and com­pas­sion­ate.

The guide helps kids un­der­stand their thoughts and emo­tions, and re­spond to them in a pos­i­tive, self-hon­or­ing way. This ap­proach en­com­passes daily habits and key events, even­tu­ally turn­ing at­ten­tion out­ward to car­ing for and un­der­stand­ing oth­ers. The ad­vice is as sim­ple as it is pow­er­ful, and the prac­tices have clear, easy-to-fol­low in­struc­tions and jour­nal prompts for dig­ging deeper.

Some may be skep­ti­cal as to whether kids are ca­pa­ble of grasp­ing and prac­tic­ing mind­ful­ness, but chil­dren may be more adept and able to learn this than adults. The book em­braces the can-do spirit and mal­leabil­ity of the young; the ap­proach is ac­ces­si­ble, clear, and hits just the right level of higher-thinking skills. Ab­stract and over­whelm­ing con­cepts are made easy to grasp us­ing vis­ual lan­guage and com­par­isons. Far from con­de­scend­ing to chil­dren or wa­ter­ing down the prac­tices, the book shows em­pa­thy and re­spect for chil­dren, giv­ing them a full set of med­i­ta­tion skills. This judg­ment-free tone fos­ters open­ness and cu­rios­ity about the self and the world.

The il­lus­tra­tions by Stacy Peter­son are beau­ti­ful and invit­ing. They have a fem­i­nine feel and most of the kids pic­tured are girls, but the char­ac­ters are racially di­verse and also in­clude a child in a wheel­chair, em­pha­siz­ing the mes­sage that mind­ful­ness is a gift for ev­ery­one.

Mind­ful Me can change the tra­jec­tory of tweens’ lives, help­ing them weather mid­dle school, high school, and young adult­hood.

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