As summer winds down, many families are taking one last opportunity to rest and restore themselves before the fall rush. If you need a reason to encourage your kid to take it easy, August 15 marks National Relaxation Day. According to the website, “National Relaxation Day advocates chilling out and promotes stress relief through meditation and other relaxation techniques. Managing stress requires relaxation, which leads to a clearer and calmer mind.” Relaxation means different things to different people. Magination Press has books that explore different approaches to relaxation including yoga, mindfulness, and meditation. Bee Still: An Invitation to Meditation by Frank J. Sileo, PhD Bentley is a lovable, calm honeybee. When the queen tells the bees to get busy, it sends them scrambling into a tizzy. But not Bentley. He chooses to be patient and wait. He decides to look for a place to meditate. Bee Still is a child-friendly introduction to meditation. Includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers with more ideas for introducing meditation into your child's life “Through this engaging introduction to the benefits of practicing meditation, children and adults will learn how to focus emotions and relieve stress and anxiety…" —Foreword Reviews Relaxations: Big Tools for Little Warriors by Mamen Duch This book uses gentle affirmations to improve and enhance confidence, self-esteem, concentration, and creativity. “So many kids are dealing with stress in many ways and it manifests itself in ways you may not expect. This book explores some of the basic concepts of relaxation and how you and your kids can find more ways to relax…. The visualization and breathing exercises were great and really allowed you to find an inner-calm within yourself. This is a great book that I highly recommend!” —Dad of Divas A World of Pausabilities: An Exercise in Mindfulness by Frank J. Sileo, PhD Told in rhyming verse and beautifully illustrated, A World of Pausabilities is an inviting introduction to mindfulness. Following a neighborhood on a summer day, readers will learn how to apply mindfulness to simple, everyday moments, and how days are filled with endless possibilities to take a pause. Includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers that further discusses mindfulness and ways to introduce pauses into your child's life. King Calm: Mindful Gorilla in the City by Susan D. Sweet, PhD, and Brenda S. Miles, PhD Marvin isn't like other gorillas. He doesn't stomp his feet and he never ever pounds his chest with a thump thump roar. Marvin is mindful. He's focused. He's calm…and he's about to teach his grandpa to be a king of calm, too! Includes a Reader's Note loaded with information about living mindfully and ways to become more calm, focused, and tuned in to the Great Big World around you. “King Calm is a wonderful gateway for teaching mindfulness to children. The narrative manages to give explicit instructions on being mindful without being pedantic or dull.” —Seattle Book Review Fantastic You by Danielle Dufayet There's one special person that kids get to spendRead More
The holidays can be hectic and stressful, even under the best of circumstances. But this year, due to the pandemic, many of our favorite holiday experiences may be different or put on hold. Concerts, performances, and big celebrations will likely be cancelled. Large family gatherings may be impossible. Shopping for gifts may have to happen online. You can still make the holidays special by slowing down and savoring the beauty and meaning of the season. This revised post from 2018 about creating a mindful holiday with your family provides pandemic-appropriate strategies to encourage your child to use their senses to notice what makes the season special, plus some Magination Press titles that may be helpful. You can give your family the gift of calm this holiday season by practicing mindfulness together. A silver lining of the pandemic’s change of plans is that it allows you more time to notice the beauty of the season. You don’t need to sit silently and meditate; you just need to slow down and be in the moment. You can model holiday mindfulness for your child by putting down your phone and other electronics and being present for each experience. Encourage your children to focus on their five senses and their hearts throughout the season. Here are some ideas to bring mindfulness to many common holiday activities and tasks: Concerts, plays, and other performances: These events will happen differently this year. Seek out favorite or new musical, theatrical, or dance performances online or happening outdoors in a socially distanced way. However they happen, these events are a feast for the eyes and ears. Encourage your child to watch and listen carefully. Ask them to think about how watching and listening to the performers makes them feel. At intermissions and afterward, talk about what each of you found the most beautiful, surprising, funny, or sad during the performance. Even if you don’t see a holiday performance, your family can create one of your own, singing favorite holiday songs or acting out favorite stories. Magination Press books Accordionly: Abuelo and Opa Make Music by Michael Genhart and My Singing Nana by Pat Mora explore how families enjoying music together can bring a family together. Decorations: Even if you don’t decorate your home for the holidays, you’ll be surrounded by decorations in your community. The sights, sounds, and smells can be captivating. Lights are a big part of many winter holidays, whether they are candles, twinkling lights on trees, or big displays. Talk with your child about lights as you see them or as you light candles. Why do they think lights are such an important part of many winter holiday celebrations? How do the lights make them feel? What are their favorite kinds of lights? Share your tradition’s stories about the role of lights. Many of our holiday decorations have a distinctive scent: pine, melted wax, spices (think Gingerbread houses or clove and orange pomanders). Even fire in the fireplace–not necessarily a holiday thing, butRead More
A Mindful Child Is a Happier Child
Taking a pause to focus the mind can help your child feel happier, calmer, and more relaxed. At Magination Press Family, you’ll find books that explore the idea of mindfulness and offer practical ways to incorporate it into your child’s daily life. Explore the catalog for APA-approved titles such as A World of Pausabilities: An Exercise in Mindfulness by Frank J. Sileo, which focuses on applying mindfulness to everyday moments.
Sometimes emotions can be very powerful, like the revving engine of a race car. Anger and frustration can feel like they are driving you. Dr. Michael A. Tompkins has created a manual for teens to help them learn to calm anger, manage frustration and irritation, and de-escalate tense situations. This adapted excerpt from his Note to the Reader in Zero to Sixty: A Teen’s Manual to Manage Frustration, Anger, and Everyday Irritations, speaks directly to teens. It explores anger and some first steps teens can take toward controlling it based in cognitive behavioral therapy. High-performance cars can go from zero to 60 in just a few seconds. That’s moving; and that’s what anger can feel like sometimes. One minute you’re cool and calm and then next minute, in a flash, you’re boiling. When that happens, people tell you to chill out or calm down, but no one actually teaches you how to do that. There are tools to control your anger, and you can learn them. Understanding anger is an important first step in building those skills. Own your anger Anger is an interesting emotion. It makes people uncomfortable. Anger can push people away or even frighten them. This makes it hard for people to understand others who are angry in the same way they understand people who are stressed, anxious, or depressed. When people are stressed, anxious, or depressed, others will often sympathize with them and tell them that it isn’t their fault that they feel the way they do. When people are angry, however, they are often blamed for feeling that way because others believe they could calm down if they wanted to. This makes it hard for people to own the anger and ask for help. It’s not easy to own a problem. It takes courage to stare down anger and decide to take it on. Do you see anger as something outside of your control? Do you think that you wouldn’t be angry if people treated you differently? What if: Your teachers didn’t load you with so much homework, Your friends did things your way, or People left you alone? Then you wouldn’t get angry. It’s them, not you, and to a degree that’s true. Other people do play a role. Sometimes people say something that hurts your feelings or treat you unfairly. Sometimes people do these things intentionally, and sometimes accidentally. What you do have control over is how you react to these things. Owning your anger means you don’t blame your friends, your school, your parents, or yourself. Owning your anger is the first step in taking charge of it. Admit the Benefits of Anger and Give It Back Have you ever lost your temper: To get out of class, homework, or chores, So that you could get your way, or Put someone down so you could feel better about yourself? Part of owning your anger means admitting that sometimes you use anger to help you get what you want. But understandingRead More