Calm and Compassionate Children

By Wendy Garrido “Editor, North Star Family Matt… (Seattle, WA) –
I picked up the book yesterday and couldn’t put it down. As publisher of a magazine to inspire conscious parenting and empowered kids, this book reminded me of the importance of helping kids settle down, breath, and connect to the world (and people) around them. It’s full practical steps to apply in everyday life but what keeps the pages turning are the personal stories she relates. Some ideas we’ve heard over and over, such as using breath, movement or touch to soothe, but they serve as great reminders to put them back into our lives. Others are innovative, fun, and simple, such as giving your toddler two nickels to hold on to (one for each hand) to distract them while making a quick stop. Without giving too much away, the book offered a reminder that the way things are isn’t necesarily the way they have to be. It IS possible for four 10-year-old boys to be kind, compassionate and gentle with a 4-year-old boy who interrupts their game. Empathy is essential for two humans to connect and understand one another. Empathy is what is lacking within families and in world politics. We started our magazine because we know that it is children who determine the future of the world. With conscious parenting and the ideas presented in this book, our kids have a hope for a more peaceful personal life and world situation.

By Lorna Ann Knox “author ‘Scary News’
I love the way this book addresses what children already possess – open hearts and natural wonder, and shows us how to nurture those qualities so children don’t “grow out” of them. These are not ethereal ideas that disappear in the light of reality, they really work at home and in the classroom. I have my own children and work with children in a variety of settings and have tried many of the suggestions in this book – they are based on truth and experience, and they work. We don’t have to accept the common opinion that kids today are hyperactive, thoughtless and selfish. Children of all ages have enormous capacity for caring if we are willing to give them the opportunities they need to experience the possibilities. Recommended for all adults who share their lives with children.

By Heather Stone (Greenville, SC)
I highly recommend Calm and Compassionate Children for parents, educators, and anybody interested in the emotional state of children! As a parent and child therapist, I found the content very helpful in raising my own mindfulness of the negative influences on children, and more importantly in offering hands on suggestions for placing more healthy and positive influences on childrens’ spirits. Through music, literature, nature, and other modalities the author does a great job showing how to help children achieve compassion, balance, calm, inner contentment, and many other vitues that make for a joyful person. The author also shares personal stories from her experience as a teacher and parent which make the reading even more enjoyable!


Review & Commentary

One thought on “Calm and Compassionate Children

  1. Review

    When I first picked up this book to read, I honestly thought, what more could I possibly learn about helping to foster calmness and compassion in children? I am sure there is not much new here. Quick to judge, I know, but as a nanny for over 6 years, a yoga instructor, a post partum doula, and a mother with education in Tibetan Buddhism, and early childhood development, I felt that my tool belt for calming children and reminding them of their innate compassion was well filled. However, I was quickly proven wrong. Within the first few pages, I was wrapped up into the book and fascinated with Dermond's ability to clearly and effectively touch upon so many aspects of this goal, that is much bigger than it may seem, and still remain succinct and to the point.

    Using her expertise and experience as an educator, yoga and meditation practitioner, and 30 years of working with children, Dermond brought so many new and profound tools to the table that I at once felt compelled to adopt within my own life. While giving practical steps on how to integrate her theories into daily life, with each section Dermond gently reminds readers of the most direct and meaningful way to build on inherent qualities that children have – like openheartedness and trust – by starting with ourselves. It may sound simple, but how many of us who work or live with children really feel calm and compassionate most of the time? And how can we possibly expect our children to behave in or feel such a way that we rarely do?

    A good example of that is when we are hurrying around in a mad dash to take care of our long list of to-do's. Maybe we get annoyed at the drivers, maybe we rush our children out the door, into their seats, around the store with the manic go-go-go behavior that is so common in today's society. Then little Claire in the back seat starts to whine because she forgot her favorite teddy at home. What do we say? Come on, Claire – I don't have time for this now, come on let's go…we gotta get to the store!" Or something of that sort. Maybe we try to remain patient and explain the situation better, but while we try to act calm are we really feeling calm? Maybe we don't curse at the driver, but are we thinking it? Maybe we don't let our children watch hours of harmful media, but do we?

    Without judgment and in a most brilliant yet simple way, Dermond gives real examples, life stories and practical advice that remind us to slow down, calm our inner minds, change our environment, watch less TV and go outside more; while at the same time, loving and enjoying all that life has to offer – music, art, nature, stories, rituals, our breath, our movement, our constantly filtering minds – in a way that if children are with us, naturally brings them into a calm and compassionate state.

    This is a book that I will send to each parent I know, that I will re-read on a regular basis, and that I can highly recommend to anyone who has children or works with children, or who simply wants a little help awakening the child in them. Any teacher will find a wealth of practical steps to deal with each issue that arises when faced with the question of how to calm children and also remind them of their compassionate self. Topics discussed include: Celebrations, rituals, routines, nature, stories, pets, high-mindedness, music and movement, concentration, silence, personal power, and the environment.With a foundation of inclusive and wise spirituality, this handbook has more depth than it might seem at first glance. I encourage you to learn from my mistake- don't judge before you read! We can all learn something from this book that has not just given me new tools to work with, but rather has given me a whole new tool belt. For my family, it has made bed times easier, transitions uncomplicated, and the time we spend together seem slower, calmer and more meaningful. What more can I ask for?

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