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August 22, 2010

Book review: The Mindful Child (Susan Kaiser Greenland)

As the limitations and failures of NCLB become more apparent, as our children become increasingly stressed out, withdrawn, and angry about school and general society, there is a quiet but strong movement towards helping children become more mindful and self-aware. The Mindful Child by Susan Kaiser Greenland is the latest book to address this vital issue.

Similar in concept to last year’s Mindful Teaching and Teaching Mindfulness by Deborah Schoeberlein, The Mindful Child contains exercises, games, stories, and other activities to enable and equip parents and educators who work with children to develop a more reflective and responsive child. Greenland’s approach to the “new ABC’s” of Attention, Balance, and Compassion could easily be viewed in conjunction with the work of emotional intelligence and social intelligence put forth by Daniel Goleman.

While targeting parents, many techniques contained within this important book could be effectively utilized in the classroom regardless of the age, grade level, or ability of the student. As our schools, administrators, and politicians become increasingly and mistakenly focused on test scores that will be forgotten the following year, the importance of teaching young people the skills associated with reflection and true human connection cannot be underestimated or ignored.

From Free Press (a division of Simon & Schuster) and available from your local, independent bookseller. (Shop local, shop independent, and tell ‘em you saw it on Elephant Journal.com!)

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