Two books by Eline Snel: "sitting like a frog" and "breathe through this" Worth thinking about, whether or not you buy them, read them, borrow them or give them as gifts. They both have to do with using meditative tools to know yourself and to allow your kids or grandkids or whomever to practice meditation towards an increase in mindfulness (awareness of internal states). Snel is a Dutch therapist and both are published by the leading house on the subject of meditation/mindfulness, which is Shambhala. "Frog" is for elementary kids to learn to meditate and "Breathe" is for parents who have to face eye-rolling and impolite adolescent language and opinions while trying to nurture the perpetrators into powerful, happy adults.
In the 70's and 80's, I became aware of the evidence supporting Americanized versions of religion-free meditation as a mental and emotional tool for increasing self-awareness and self-knowledge. As a professor of education (teacher training), I was interested and aware that I had not heard of anything along the lines of teaching meditation or mindfulness to anyone, but especially to children. You may know that I began this blog to try to use it to support and advocate for meditation practices and awareness of and instruction in mindfulness.
I knew that sitting on the floor in a cross-legged position would bring to mind yogis and Hindus and elicit fear of undermining Christian practice in favor of foreign gods and goals. It was clear to me then and is clearer now that anyone anywhere can learn about being in the now, concentrating on one's breath, searching out and relaxing tension in one's face, shoulders and throughout the body. Doing so while respectfully shelving, however temporarily, one's thoughts about taxes or tomorrow, increases one's awareness of what one is doing with one's attention and mental energies. Putting my focus on my body and on keeping my mind in neutral for about 10 timed minutes is showing itself to be good for athletes, soldiers, dancers, and everyone else.
More and more adults are seeing the value of meditation practice for themselves and for their children and teens. The two books mentioned can help with inspiration and ideas.