Books for Children to Help Build Emotional Resilience
Navigating the ups and downs of life as an adult can be challenging, but for children it can be overwhelming to deal with big emotions and stay calm through life’s struggles. Research conducted in 2020 showed that 1 in 6 children aged 5 to 16 were identified as having a probable mental health problem. Issues such as the ongoing pandemic have contributed to an increase in the number of children experiencing anxiety and depression.
Though parents and carers can’t always prevent children from experiencing difficulties and challenging situations in life, there are many ways in which they can help children to build emotional resilience and develop coping strategies using mindfulness techniques. Here’s 3 mindfulness books for children to help them feel calm, focused and peaceful throughout childhood and into their adult lives.
1. Sitting Still Like A Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents) - By Eline Snel
This book aimed at children aged 4+ years provides a great introduction to basic mindfulness concepts whilst being easily accessible. It teaches presence of mind, presence of body, and presence of heart, through a frog who sits very still. The book is accompanied by an audio CD which helps to teach both children and their parents how to cultivate healthy ways of dealing with emotions and stressful situations to feel calmer and in control. Parents have found this to be a valuable resource that has not only helped their children to deal with their emotions, but has also helped them personally too.
2. Mindful Kids (Mindful Tots): 50 Mindfulness Activities for Kindness, Focus and Calm - By Whitney Stewart
This mindfulness activity deck contains different cards to be used at different times throughout the day. Each card is brightly illustrated to engage with younger children, and has clear, easy-to-follow steps that make it simple for children to use. Parents have said this is a useful resource to introduce children to mindfulness techniques and help children to keep calm whilst learning to self-regulate their emotions. It is ideal for children aged 4 to 10 years old.
3. Breathe Like a Bear: 30 Mindful Moments for Kids to Feel Calm and Focused Anytime, Anywhere - By Kira Willey
With beautiful illustrations, this debut children’s book from Kira Willey is full of simple mindfulness techniques delivered in an engaging way. The book uses animals to teach children how to become more aware of their bodies and emotions, and learn tools to cope and stay calm, such as ‘candle breath’ and stretching like a cat. Parents have said this book is great for helping their children to wind down at the end of the day and de-stress whilst reducing feelings of anxiety.
A common theme in all three of these mindfulness resources is about becoming more aware of your surroundings and being present, and nature has a huge role to play in this. Green Bean Studios is all about encouraging children and families to rediscover the joys of being outside in nature and the benefits this brings for being present, nurturing positive mental health and wellbeing, and helping families to feel healthier and happier. Setting aside regular time to get outdoors for some fresh air and play time together as a family will help promote feelings of positivity, togetherness and peace to help navigate the challenges that life may bring your way.
Melissa Brannlund is the features writer and editor, for author Anita Frost.
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