Natural Treatments

Book Review: Breathe

When raising children with ADHD, calming strategies are a must. But how do you encourage your child to practice mindfulness when you can’t get her to sit still? Breathe, a colorful activity book for children, teaches breathing exercises and calming techniques that will delight and engage even the most resistant child.

Magination Press; $16.95 hardcover
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This book combines imagination and play with breathing relaxation exercises to engage young children in calming activities and teach mindfulness practices. Kids won’t realize they’re practicing elements of mindfulness, yoga, tai chi, chi kung, or kinesiology as they imagine they’re sailing a boat, blasting off as a rocket, stretching like a lazy cat, or taking flight like a bird. They’ll be having too much fun.

Author Inès Castel-Branco’s illustrations are sweet and playful, and the exercises are simple and powerful. Breathe introduces children to exercises to calm anxiety, reduce stress, and reconnect them with their bodies and minds. The exercises are framed as magical journeys and kids will want to do them. The book also includes a “Notes to Parents & Caregivers” section, in which you learn why the practice of breathing is important.

When raising children with ADHD, anxiety, and/or intense emotions, calming strategies are a must. Kids may resist when you tell them to breathe, or they may not know how to breathe in a way that will calm the body. That’s the genius behind Breathe: They won’t know that the fun they’re having with their imagination is actually practicing mindfulness.

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