We always talk about big feelings and how to help kids navigate their world when they encounter these emotions. The book Marleigh is Mindful offers practical exercises for just such situations. There are so many things I like about this book. First, it takes the abstract concept of “a big feeling” and it breaks it down into actual relatable moments that a school age child might encounter. Second, it validates kids’ feelings and makes sure they do not feel judged and know that their parents are on their side. Third, It puts kids in the driver’s seat and gives them multiple creative solutions to try.

One example from the book describes Mason, a school aged boy who gets angry when his parents tell him he needs to stop playing and clean his room.  Mason employs Take Five Breathing to get through this challenging transition. The author describes “I put one hand up like I’m going to give someone a high-five and then I trace my hand. I slowly breathe in when I trace up and slowly breathe out when I trace down. After I’ve taken five deep breaths, my brain and my body settle down and I can clean up my room quickly so I can get back to the game.”

There are multiple other scenarios including fear of the dark, little brother trouble, excessive worrying, bounding energy, and many more. Each scenario is followed by a creative solution that encourages mindfulness and gets kids back in emotional balance. Enjoy!