Monday 10 July 2017

Children's Meditations in my Heart - new Danish book review

I've written before about my interest in mindfulness as a way to help with everyday wellbeing. I received a book about becoming a mindful parent a couple of months' ago and there's still a few things from this that have stuck with me and resonate. 

Mindfulness is a bit of a buzz work, and another trend of late has been Danish inspired living - anyone get a bit obsessed with Hygge last autumn/winter? Well, there is a new mix of the two that other parents like us may be interested in - a meditation book to help children sleep from a Denmark. 

The Children’s Meditations In my Heartby emerging Danish author Gitte Winter Graugaard, promises to help children to fall asleep within minutes. Now available in three different languages, it is beginning to change bedtime routines the world over - so you can see why I was keen to snap up one to review!

Ethan is a pretty good sleeper by all accounts now, as you'd hope for aged four years old, but we do still have to take some time to settle him in the first place. Hubs and I take turns each evening to put Ethan to bed, reading him one story (or three) and playing songs, with more success in a shorter time span for hubs than for me. So I'm keen to find ways to help us reduce the bedtime settling routine and to help Ethan relax into sleep quicker, as some nights it can take over an hour for me.

First of all, this book is beautiful. Well spaced out text, four meditations you can follow by reading along and some lovely illustrations.

I have enjoyed reading this myself and without giving too much away, I like the cloud visualisation and using this as a way to let go of things at the end of the day. We were also sent our own fluffy cloud to keep with us, which was a nice addition.

I personally think that Ethan is still too young to really play along with this, as keeping his attention can be pretty tricky at times, but it is good to have to hand and will be something I look to introduce in time.

But what’s her secret, I hear you ask? 

Here's a little more information on the book and how it can help aid sleep...

A collection of four meditations for parents to read to their children, Graugaard’s book shows parents how to teach their child the importance of self-esteem and self-love, enabling them to drift off into calming, reparative sleep, their hearts full with love.

Now more than ever our children are bombarded with messages, overt and subliminal, wrangling with expectations both perceived and real, which when coupled with the casualties of modern living, stressed and divorced parents, stressed and still together parents, over-scheduling and long school days, can greatly impact on their mental wellbeing: more children than ever before suffer with stress, depression, anxiety and sadness.

Sleep, or rather a difficulty in falling asleep, is one of the most obvious tell-tale signs that ‘something’s up’, and in general, children today sleep for one hour less than they did 25 years ago.

Continual information overload and lack of sleep makes for a challenging cocktail for any child and of course their parents, with research indicating that children who consistently miss out on sleep can, over time, show symptoms similar to reactions we see in children with ADHD.

Asked why she thinks meditation before bedtime is key to overcoming anxiety in children and the pre-slumber ‘stand-off’, Graugaard draws on her own experiences as a parent:

“When I started sharing beautiful heart meditations with my daughters, I was surprised to see how much they loved the interaction and how quickly they would fall asleep. As different as children are, almost every child delights in hearing about how much a parent or caregiver loves and treasures them. Even teenagers – to my surprise! – seem to be calmed by hearing the meditations in the book read aloud. However, the best part is that your child learns to fill his or her own heart with love. And learning how to turn up their self-love has shown to give children so much comfort long into the following day too, at nursery or school and beyond.” 

Now available in the UK, The Children’s Meditations In my Heart book is available from priced £14.95 for a hard copy, £4.97 for a kindle copy, and £5.09 for a PDF download from

* I received the book for purposes of review - all opinions are always my own.


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