Early Book Review: Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents) by Eline Snel

Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents) by Eline Snel is a non fiction book for parents that is scheduled for release on December 3 2013. This book offers encouragement, examples, and practical exercises for those that are willing to use simple mindfulness practices to help children between the ages 5-12 deal with anxiety, improve concentration, and handle difficult emotions. Mindfulness is simply making yourself aware of the little things, your breath and simply being while accepting the moment. Mindfulness exercises can help many adults, and children, focus on the cause of their emotions and in turn either calm down, find it easier to fall asleep, and become more patient and aware of those around you.  I read a digital galley version, so I did not listen to the CD of guided exercises that is included with the book, however I understand that the 60 minute CD includes guided exercises read by Myla Kabat-Zinn.

Sitting Still Like a Frog is a book for open minded parents that are willing to try meditation with their children. Teachers and others that regularly work with children might find some of the ideas and exercises useful as well. I liked that the author included personal experiences, and not just the sunshine and roses. Parenting can be hard, and accepting that we could all do better is a great first step. I will admit that I have not yet jumped ahead and started these exercises with my children, at least not yet, but I can see how some could be extremely useful in my house. Getting everyone to slow down on focus on just breathing, on being, and the subtle workings of our bodies can go a long way to focusing the mind and getting a handle on emotions that might otherwise feel out of control.

I would recommend Sitting Still Like a Frog to parents and caregivers that are looking to try meditation with their children, or just learn about how another mother has done so. The examples and exercises are interesting to read and easy to understand. I think many children could benefit from these exercises, but like everything else it is not for everyone. While I have not tried these with my children yet, have have taken many of the points and some pieces of the book and put them into practice for myself- because I cannot see my five and seven year old sitting down and working through the eleven exercises until I am more mindful in my own right. I find that achieving my own calm and awareness helps them and will make them more ready to try the exercises themselves when I introduce them.

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