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The Mindful Child: How to Help Your Kid Manage Stress and Become Happier, Kinder, and More Compassionate Paperback – May 4, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“A superb and imaginative distillation of the essence of mindfulness made available to children, parents, and teachers in age-appropriate, wise, and playful ways. Sets a high bar for further work in the rapidly growing field of mindfulness in K-12 education.”
--Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., Professor of Medicine emeritus, UMass Medical School and author of Letting Everything Become Your Teacher andWherever You Go, There You Are

“One of the best books on mindfulness for kids that I have read. Practical and accessible. You can feel Susan’s years of experience and dedication.”
--Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart and The Wise Heart

“Parents often ask me for advice about being mindful with their children. From here on out, I will refer them to this tremendously helpful book, filled with clear insights about children and how to teach them gently and skillfully. A truly inspiring book.” —Sharon Salzburg

“Susan Kaiser Greenland is the real thing. She is not just teaching young children how to focus their attention more effectively, the secret to how to control their own brains; she is teaching children how to become wise, way before most kids generally understand the value of wisdom. This is a most important book; any parent who cares about raising good, morally responsible children must read it.”

--Jeffrey Schwartz, author The Mind and the Brain (with Sharon Begley)

The Mindful Child is a masterful work of art that weaves the wisdom of ancient contemplative practices with the insights of contemporary neuroscience within captivating stories of the author's journey to bring mindfulness to young people and their teachers. Susan Kaiser Greenland has created unique and effective everyday practices that can be used by educators and parents alike to provide enjoyable experiences for children and teens that cultivate resourcefulness, focus, and resilience. Readers will be captivated by the inspiring examples from real life experiences that stimulate the imagination and inspire us to awaken our lives to the power of mindfulness as a health-promoting, stress-reducing, and compassion-generating way of being. What more are we waiting for?”

--Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., Co-Director, UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center, Executive Director, Mindsight Institute, and author of Mindsight and The Mindful Brain

“There are all sorts of great books about helping children by improving parenting skills and communications—things outside the child’s skin. The Mindful Child is a different kind of book! Readers will envision themselves being more effective with children rather than working with them. Susan Kaiser Greenland emphasizes directly changing the inside rather than encouraging the inside change from all that seeps in from the outside. This unique author delves into the heart of developing character, and coping skills that enable children to resolutely and effectively handle difficult situations through a more relaxed self- awareness.”

--Foster Cline, author of Parenting with Love and Logic

“What a wonderful and timely antidote to the hyperactive culture that makes kids super-wired but too disconnected from themselves and others. Every parent should read The Mindful Child for practical strategies to teach boys and girls how to manage stress and pay attention to what really matters.”

--David Walsh, Ph.D., author of Why Do They Act That Way? A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen and No. Why Kids-of All Ages-Need to Hear It and Ways Parents Can Say It

"Greenland excels in teaching these concepts [of mindful awareness] to children of all ages, providing activities and metaphors that both nicely illustrate the goals and make them accessible and fun. It is easy to see this being used for children with attention problems or those suffering illness." --Library Journal

"This useful manual will help parents and their children practice mindfulness together, whether they're seated at the dinner table or on meditation cushions." --Yoga Journal

About the Author

Susan Kaiser Greenland
left behind her successful law practice to found InnerKids, a program affiliated with the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. Online, Kaiser Greenland is one of the early Huffington Post bloggers and an original "Intent Voice" on Chopra Media’s Intent.com. She lectures regularly at universities, medical schools, and other prestigious institutions worldwide and lives in Los Angeles.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; 1 edition (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416583009
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416583004
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Susan Kaiser Greenland, JD is a former corporate attorney who developed the Inner Kids mindful awareness program for children, teens and their families. Research on the Inner Kids elementary school program was conducted at the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA and is published in the Journal of Applied School Psychology.

Susan is author of The Mindful Child: How to Help Your Kid Manage Stress and Become Happier, Kinder, and More Compassionate (Free Press, 2010). She teaches children, parents and professionals around the world and consults with various organizations on teaching mindful awareness in an age-appropriate and secular manner.

Susan was on the clinical team of the Pediatric Pain Clinic at UCLA's Mattel's Children's Hospital for many years, Co-Investigator on a multi-year, multi-site research study at UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center/Semel Institute on the impact of mindfulness in education, Collaborator on an investigation of mindful eating for children and their caregivers at UC-SF, served on the Garrison Institute's Initiative on Contemplation and Education Leadership Council, and as advisor to the UCLA Family Commons. In 2006, Kaiser Greenland was named a "Champion of Children" by First 5 LA, the largest and most influential children's advocacy group in Los Angeles. She has spoken at Vanderbilt University, University School in Nashville, UES Seeds Elementary School at UCLA, the Krieger Early Childhood Center at UCLA, the Mind & Life Institute, University of California Los Angeles, University of Massachusetts, University of Kansas, Columbia University, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the San Diego Children's Hospital, the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre California, Bangor University in Wales, National University of Singapore, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand, Casa Tibet in Mexico among many other prestigious institutes in the United States and abroad, she has been quoted in Parenting Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, Kiwi Magazine, Time Magazine for Kids, Better Homes and Gardens, and Publico in Gutalajara, Mexico and her writing has appeared in the Huffington Post, Shambhala Sun, The Insight Journal, Intent Blog, and elsewhere.

She and her husband co-founded the Inner Kids Foundation in 2000. InnerKids has been covered by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, National Public Radio, various yoga journals, and the CBS Morning News. InnerKids was profiled in a half-hour news program called Profiles in Caring that is syndicated in about 100 cities in the US and 40 countries on Voice Of America TV.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a useful book. The Mindful Child offers simple techniques to help parents help children (of all ages) gain more control over their responses to the world -increasing happiness and calmness as a result. The author does a great job of distilling age-old mindfulness and meditation techniques into simple exercises and games that children and any non yoga-fanatic can do. You can tell this is a book written by a real mom who has seen the results in action - her sincerity and conviction come through throughout - and that makes a huge difference for me. I gave the book to my sister who has two young kids and both she and I found it enormously helpful. We had fun playing the games and activities and the kids did too! Without being preachy or new-agey, this book offers way to get kids to tune out the noise of tv, internet etc. and focus more on themselves. One exercise asks them to imagine what could be inside a closed box, which, in a group setting, encourages kids to be creative and creates a suspenseful, engaging scenario; the game helps children not only use their creativity, it helps them become better aware of each other as well.
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Format: Kindle Edition
If you have a child, you'll want this groundbreaking book!

Susan has created and developed a winning teaching method that may very well change the fundamental paradigm of how we approach teaching children - The New ABC's - Attention, Balance and Clarity/Compassion.

These are practices that playfully teach principles based on the practice of mindful awareness - the art of developing and sustaining awareness of present moment experience with an emphasis on a kind, non-judgmental acceptance and curious attitude to whatever arises. As exercise and nutrition support our bodies, mindfulness practices are exercise and nutrition for the mind and heart. Some have called it "brain hygiene." Now an ongoing subject of psychological and neurobiological study, mindfulness practices have shown to reduce stress, anxiety and blood pressure, while improving our memory, concentration and immune systems. Training us to take things less personally, regular mindfulness practice develops a deeper degree of overall well-being and happiness in our daily lives.

The genius of her method (and this book) is that she has cultivated and developed these practices for many years with the intended audience - the children themselves! So rather than being a didactic lecture about the benefits of mindfulness or advice for parents, The Mindful Child is instead a practical guide filled with learning strategies disguised as games, activities and stories of discovery.

Creative wisdom runs through each of the various practices in this book, designed to bring a kind awareness to a child's inner and outer worlds.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've just started The Mindful Child in hopes of helping my boys, particularly my 9 year-old, cope with stress. He's super bright but socially and emotionally behind. Plays beautiful piano and cello, but can't relate to his peers, a huge source of stress; he's also a military kid, and my husband travels fairly frequently. . . - 15 months away in '03-'04 - presently gone for 2 weeks; lastly, both boys have sleep apnea, not solved by conventional treatments, they use CPAP machines. My 9 y/o has really been fighting the machine the last couple of weeks, and his behavior is reflective of his lack of good quality sleep.

Last night though, I guided them through "Making Connections Between Breath, Body and Mind." My 9 y/o was out before I finished! THANK YOU for this tool! I just started the book, and jumped ahead in search of something to help them ease out of the day's activities, and into a restful sleep!

I can hardly wait to try it again tonight!
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Format: Paperback
I was eager to read this book - who wouldn't want to help their child manage stress? However, the author spends more than half the book citing other mbsr (mindfulness based stress reduction) books and shares anecdotes of classes she taught. Having learned mindfulness techniques from an experienced meditation teacher, I did not need to be persuaded that this would help kids. I was surprised that maybe 70% of this book is devoted to convincing the reader that young children can benefit from meditation. I was hoping to find simple mindfulness exercises to do with my children, and there weren't any at all! However, for those who do not believe this would work for kids, this book is worth a read.

In the end, I found what I was looking for in thich nhat hanh's book Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children. That book gives a simple background in zen philosophy so the reader understands the approach taken by mindfulness, then provides games and exercises to do with kids.
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Format: Paperback
This is the book I have always wanted to read! I have long wanted to share with my children the many gifts I have gleaned through my longtime yoga and meditation practices, but have struggled to find a meaningful way to do this. This Mindful Child offers a wealth of inspiration - from personal stories about the author's family and experiences working with children all the way through to detailed descriptions of various games and explorations to share.

I have a long list of "games" to try out from the book, and have already given a few of them a try with my children. I am so impressed by how clearly the author has distilled life's essential truths into beautifully simple and straightforward explorations. And I am equally pleased by how interested and eager my kids have been to "play along." I am especially happy that the author offers mindfulness in a way that doesn't feel preachy or dogmatic at all. I don't feel like I'm trying to ram anything down my kids' throats, but rather saying, "Hey guys, come look at this. Isn't this interesting?"

The Mindful Child will help my family, and I hope many others around the world, apply the ancient truths of mindfulness to our very modern lives. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested helping children cultivate happiness, self-awareness, kindness and ease.
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