Let’s face it. Some days it’s awfully tough being a kid. School work, social pressures, parent expectations and overscheduled activities can all lead to stress and anxiety for children.
As physical problems like headaches, sleeplessness, panic attacks and bedwetting appear, parents will want child psychologist Dr. Charlotte Reznick on their side. In her book, The Power of Your Child’s Imagination: How to Transform Stress and Anxiety into Joy and Success (a Los Angeles Times Best Seller), Reznick shares her nine tools for using imagery to empower children and alleviate stress.
The Power of Your Child’s Imagination is based on Reznick’s nine tools for handling common struggles. Reznick does a great job of explaining each tool, then providing a sample script for adults to explain it to a child, variations on the technique, the way a child will use the tool and troubleshooting.
Reznick begins by teaching Balloon Breath, which we love, because it incorporates deep breathing as the foundation to any relaxation practice. Once the reader learns and understands the value of deep breathing (or belly breathing-the practice of filling your abdomen and not just your chest with air), he or she can move on to the remaining skills, including Discovering your Special Place, Tapping into Energy, Using Color for Healing, and Meeting a Wise Animal Friend. Because Reznick builds each tool upon one another, one does not feel overwhelmed when beginning this practice.
“These tools facilitate a child’s inward journey to that deep place sometimes called the subconscious or unconscious. Each touches a world of metaphor, creating a waking dream,” says Reznick in her book’s introduction. “These images help children direct their attention to problems and symptoms they want to change. They are easy-to-use, whimsical, and remarkable effective.”
Perhaps the most valuable aspect of Reznick’s imagery-based practice is that all the tools are easy for a child to use on his or her own. Parents or teachers provide the guidance a child needs to learn these techniques, but kids are then free to access and utilize them as needed.
“You’ll help your kids use imagination to access their natural strengths and wisdom, and deal with their problems,” says Reznick. “With just a little guidance, our kids can gain access to the answers for most of life’s questions within themselves.”
Here at ChildLight Yoga and Yoga 4 Classrooms, we’re big believers in using imagination-based techniques for relaxation, play and staying healthy. Teaching children tools for stress management, resilience and emotional regulation through yoga, mindfulness and reflection is the cornerstone of our programs. We’re thrilled that Dr. Reznick has shared her techniques, used for over twenty-five years to help kids, parents and professionals. In fact, we honor Dr. Reznick in the opening pages of our Yoga 4 Classrooms Teacher's Guide as her important work helped to inspire some of the 'Imagination Vacations' that are part of of the Y4C classroom curriculum and Card Deck activities. As well, her book is listed as a must-have resource in both the ChildLight Yoga Teacher Training and the Yoga 4 Classrooms Teacher Workshop and Instructor Trainings. We've recommended it to many parents who have children suffering from anxiety, and have successfully used these visualizations at home with our own children.
For more information on Reznick, her program and where to buy The Power of Your Child’s Imagination book, CDs (listen to samples!), and others products, please visit www.imageryforkids.com.
READ MORE ABOUT THE 9 TOOLS in our post from Sept. 11th, 2009.
ENTER TO WIN! Win a copy of The Power of Your Child's Imagination by Charlotte Reznick.
Leave a comment here telling us why you feel it's important to encourage children's imaginations and how you plan to use the book should you win it.
Contest is open to US and Canadian residents only. Contest will close on Dec. 31st and a winner will be selected and notified on or around Jan. 1. Good luck!
FREE BONUS GIFT: Dr. Reznick gifts you with a free White Light Meditation. Listen and be transported to a sanctuary of inner peace.