Mind Coach: How to Teach Kids and Teenagers to Think Positive and Feel Good by Daniel G. Amen, M.D.
From the introduction, “How your mind works determines how happy you are, how successful you feel and how well you interact with other people.” The Mind Coach book offers a brilliant explanation of the connection between neurochemistry, the brain and thinking patterns. It overviews all of the steps involved in the thinking process and then shows children the effects of negative thinking over time. Dr. Amen presents the information in an easy-to-understand manner. He identifies several species of “automatic negative thoughts” or “ANTS” and then suggests that we “talk back to the ants” in order to “kill them.” While I find killing ants to be overly harsh, I value the creative approach Dr. Amen takes to present the information in an interesting way. In my work with students, I prefer to “re-locate” the ants instead of kill them. At school I have started an ANT relocation program. In my groups, we practice “talking back to the ANTS” and select a different ANT species every week to talk back to. We easily made paper ants and posted them on a bulletin board to remind ourselves of the different ANT species and strategies to re-locate them in order to practice more positive thinking.
The Mindful Child by Susan Kaiser Greenland
This is a beautiful book, filled with a multitude of mindfulness activities for parents, families, educators and children. Addressing the many characteristics of mindfulness, Greenfield makes infusing mindfulness practice into daily life effortless and full of grace. From zipping yourself up and sending friendly wishes to teaching children what it is like to have a beginner’s mind, Greenfield takes the reader on a very thorough and joyful journey into mindfulness practice.