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229 of 236 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon September 28, 2011
Goldie Hawn's book 10 Mindful Minutes is a thoughtful, scientifically-based program with the goal of teaching children "mindfulness." After an informative introductory foreword by child psychologist Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., Ms. Hawn explains her motivation behind the establishment of the Hawn Foundation and the MindUP program that is now being used in many schools across the U.S., Canada, and Britain. The results have been extremely positive; better reading scores, better attendance, less aggression, closer relationships, better stress management, etc.

Traumatized by a fearful incident at school as a child and later equally devastated by the 9/11 tragedy, Ms. Hawn decided that "no matter how small a gesture, I believe we can all do something to make this world a better place." Her small gesture has become a huge undertaking of scientific studies that explain how the brain functions and why helping children rediscover natural joy, understand the value of their emotions, and feel empathy can lead to less stress and a more joyful life. In order to do this, we as parents and grandparents can learn the MindUP process and lead by example.

The book explains that research has shown that children in the United States are the second least happy children in the world. Millions have emotional problems. Depression is a major problem among even very young children but especially among teens. Children are medicated at an alarming rate to treat these emotional problems. Academic performance continues to suffer. Dropout rates and suicides are increasing. Happiness is eluding us.

Ms. Hawn goes on to discuss a new field of study called "positive psychology," basically the idea that it is more beneficial to promote good mental health than to focus on the negative aspects of mental and emotional illnesses (in some cases here, I am semi-quoting the book). It also gives a detailed description of the physical properties of the brain, how they function, and what part they play in our thought processes. What controls stress and anxiety; what controls emotions; what controls aggression, depression, and fear. There is way too much science to it all to try to explain it here, but it is very well described and very informative reading.

She touches on the subject of the overuse of digital media (computers, video games, etc.) and its negative effect on a child's ability to communicate, how it affects the attention span, and even how the bombardment of violence in TV and games is desensitizing children and changing their abilities to be empathetic.

Stress is a significant factor in this study, and Ms. Hawn explains how the naturally occurring stress hormone cortisol affects our brains. She also explains that if we can explain to our children how their brains function, we can also teach them why they feel the way they do and how to have more control over their thoughts and emotions. Ms. Hawn gives clear, step-by-step suggestions on how to talk to your children and explain these things.

She goes on to explain how some basic practices can change the brain physically and therefore bring about positive effects on the emotional well being of children. These include things like time to "play" as a child and not have every moment of the day micromanaged. Mindfulness, the need for the brain to have a "break" off and on during the day. Understanding what it means to give your child your full attention with no distractions. Understanding the growing and ever-changing mind of the teenager and why it's so important to be in tune with your children at this stage of their lives.

There are sections on mindful breathing, mindful sensing, mindful listening, mindful seeing, mindful smelling, mindful tasting, mindful movement. Mindful breathing is probably the most important lesson learned here. It sounds much like meditation, but it is much more than that. I will be putting this one to practice for certain.

She lists many ways in which optimism has a positive effect on a person's life (including a longer life), and gives suggestions on things to do with your children to bring about those positive feelings. There are also sections on happiness, gratitude, anger (and how to handle it), sadness, fear, empathy, and kindness.

In each section, Goldie Hawn first explains/defines the subject and how it benefits or detracts from a child's (or adult's for that matter) emotional well being. She goes into great depth in her explanations and then gives detailed strategies on how to put this idea into practice. There are also short personal comments and quotes scattered throughout the book.

I have to say that I am amazed at the amount of research and study that she has put into this book. This is not just another psychology book or self-improvement manual. Ms. Hawn has taken the time to explain the why and how of each emotion to such a degree that I think it can give a parent a greater insight into their child's thought processes. She provides an extensive list of professionals from which she has drawn all of this research and information, and pulls years worth of work together into a sensitive, easy to understand book.

Goldie Hawn has always been a role model of happiness, a perfect person to write this kind of book. Her love of children and desire to provide us with information on how to teach our children to find that kind of joy and happiness in their lives shines through. One of the best lines in the book comes from the foreword: Jobs, friends, and even spouses come and go, but your children are yours forever. I truly believe that the world would be full of happier, healthier people if we would all put this book to work in our lives.
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64 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2011
It's kinda funny, There is a list of so many authors and scientist that she references who have been doing this sort of stuff for a long time - I recognized ALL of them, pretty cool. I grew up amongst the shelves of self help and have been familiar with yoga and meditation and subjects of illumination since my mom became a single parent and sought hope as she struggled with 2 jobs to raise her 2 kids. And yet growing up with such a vast background of knowledge I find myself a bit lost, perhaps in a cross roads of my, gulp, adulthood.

I downloaded the free Kindle App just so I could have quicker access to reading this book! (But really) I didn't even now about the Hawn Foundation or MindUP. What an inspiration. Look, I don't even have kids - but I appreciate the work she's doing and I confess I got this book for myself, for my inner child and I love it! It really is information for all. I'll probably re-read it so it really soaks in.

The intro. is great, Hawn's writing style is personable and she includes snippets from the parents and kids that are thriving on this. It's really a book for everyone, I highly recommend it.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2011
After hearing Goldie speak on talk shows over the years, I was always impressed by her healthy attitude about life and living. As soon as I heard about this book I jumped on Amazon to order. I can't say it better than the other reviews so far. Natural joy is something so worth working on and if we can help our children come about this in their every day living by getting used to a few methods then nothing can be more important. It is clear that happiness is disappearing in the United States, maybe, in my opinion, we've grown too used to being a bit spoiled and feeling entitled. "Positive psychology", better than focusing on negative aspects, has to be more beneficial to all and training the young from the get-go can't be a better way to form a healthy, happy human being. Optimism, yes! How would you prefer to live, positive or negative? Goldie is a "Gold Mine" in her being.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2012
I'm typically skeptical of anything different from the norm. Although skeptical, I will give things a try and was totally impressed with Goldie Hawn's book. One learns to use a simple breathing technique to slow down the brain and improve focus. The reader is than given exercises where one focuses on a sense, (sight, feel, hearing, etc.) for 10 minute search. For example, one can take a child out into the back yard to play a game. The child is asked to look at the backyard as if it is the first time. After focusing on what is in the backyard, the child picks out an object and trys to explain it to the adult who has his or her eyes closed. In that way, the child learns to slow down and appreciate thier sense of vision.

Goldie gives her own experiences with her parents and her child on how they encouraged use of her senses. These examples fit in beautifully. Their were other suggestions given on how to encourage children to treat others well, to donate time and talents. These actions, together with exercises explained above, really improve test scores and children's well being. Goldie ties the learnings back to scientific studies and real life experiences.

I took my 15 month old grandchild into the backyard and we picked out rocks and put into a clear container. She now enjoys taking these rocks out and feeling them, looking at them, etc. I have also took her out to find birds and take the time to watch and listen. I'll continue to use what I have learned from Goldie in my interactions with my grandkids.

I feel I have learned to slow down myself. I am motivated to give my grandchild the tools to slow down and smell the roses. A great book. I will be buying three copies for my three grown up kids.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2011
This is an excellent book on parenting. I am giving it to all my children for Xmas. Goldie has used this method in schools with much success. I recommend this book to anyone who is a parent. Who can't use some helpful parenting information. The book arrived in record setting time.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2012
Great book!!! I am a huge fan of Goldie & Kurt to me they are living proof it can work. I'm only halfway through the book but I can't put it down! I love reading and this is so well written! And very informative. After seeing Goldie on Dr. OZ I couldn't download this book fast enough. Thank you Amazon for your speed and efficiency.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2012
Excellent book to make you stop and take stock of how you live in this fast paced world and how it slowly errodes your basic self. This book helps you to make your life more harmonious and go back to the simplest of things that give pleasure. It also helps us to help our children to focus on how to deal with this fast paced world and not get so caught up in it, that we forget our basic selves.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2012
Fantastic. I thought I bought the book - then the cd turned up. I've never done an audio book. But this is fantastic. I listen to it in the car -and it's really much better than reading words. It's fantastic to hear Goldie Hawn's own reflections - it's so personal and touching. My 7 year old son says he loves listening to it too! I seriously thought it would bore him - but you can never underestimate children. I commend Goldie and the authors on their work - it's brilliant. (I'm not a self help junkie - just someone looking to grow and help my sensitive children hopefully become fulfilled adults in world). The CD doesn't preach at you. It really is just skills and examples to help us all be happier and grow. Take my advice get the cd. I can still hear Goldie's voice and 'tickle inside her' which make it soo much more enjoyable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Good book, with lots of short, thoughtful readings. I work with children who have social & emotional concerns. I use it with them to reduce their anxiety levels when they are feeling stressed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2012
The book contains information that will help parents and educators understand better the behavior of a person. It also helps the person to find peace and joy within. A must read!!!
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