January 31, 2020

Is teaching children how to calm their own minds and emotions now essential?

Debra Hall | Phil Day, 66

BookMONKEY MIND, 2020A5 Landscape

Recent UNICEF reports say U.K. children are amongst the most unhappy in the world. Growing up I found that happiness and the ability to ‘be yourself’ are very elusive if you have never been taught how your mind and emotions work and how to calm them. By teenage I was struggling, so making the journey to find out for myself was essential. I have taught mindfulness, creative arts and Earth education for over thirty years. Giving children tools to feel confident, make friends and try things out without having to worry what everybody else thinks, seems to me a priority because it’s what they want most for themselves. It also has bigger implications because as the future generations, children are increasingly having to find some kind of safe ground from which to cope with the world they have inherited and change it. With Monkey Mind I wanted to create a colourful, friendly book to introduce children, and the people who care about them, to mindful happiness with ideas to try at home embedded in the story. It is a fusion of the homespun and to-hand, scraps of up-cycled materials, the nature on my doorstep, and digital art.