Emotions are hard enough for children to comprehend, even at the best of times. However, in high pressure situations where multiple emotions are at play, it’s easy for children to become a little confused. Max Mindpower aims to solve a lot of those problems for parents, in an easy and accessible way. A lot of the time when parents are dealing with things themselves, it can be quite challenging for them to relay their best advice to their kids and loved ones, when they aren’t sure how they’re feeling themselves.
Daily life is proving more and more challenging for parents, especially at times of transition, as modern culture forces us from our homes and robs us of much needed and cherished time with loved ones. From the daily commute to work or our endless list of household tasks, daily pressures mount on parents extremely quickly. Much of society today makes us feel as though we are not good enough, or we don’t do enough, or that we are not fit enough, when in reality we are all doing the best that we can at any given time. The same applies to children, as they grow up with the same social pressures to conform and are prepped for consumerism from toddlerhood. They develop with this feeling of “not enough” or worse still “not good enough”.
The benefits of mindfulness in children have been proven time and time again, showing improved concentration, empathy, overall well-being and calmness. The list is quite endless. However, with the growing pressures on parents, both in terms of time and finances, it’s growing increasingly hard to introduce children to a mindfulness practice that is both easy and enjoyable. Mindfulness classes, if not provided in school, have the added pressure of the commute, the financial and time commitment and the growing concern that, if not carried into the home, it won’t have the same benefits.
Max is specially designed to introduce children to mindfulness and other complementary techniques in a new and accessible way for parents to give children the skills they need to apply them in everyday situations. Max is accessible enough to be used on his own, or even in the company of a parent, if they so wish. Depending on the reading age of the child, the books can also be read alone or in company and give parents helpful insights into how to use these things in everyday life as well.
Max himself plays guided meditations and breathes along to the exercises, this is specially designed as a calming aid, which engages children on every level. Being human beings, we love the feeling of contact, especially children. So, Max not only is a cuddly plush toy, but he gives the user a feeling of being alive, by taking nice slow deep breaths. This may sound farfetched. However, our brains actually can’t tell the difference!
Max extends his teachings into everyday situations through his rhyming book series. We learn best through storytelling and using this tool enables Max to explore emotions in depth. The book series spans two age ranges, one for readers over 6 featuring 30 primary and secondary emotions in social settings tackling real life themes that many children go through today, such as loss of a pet or divorce. Children, as they grow, generally form their sense of self based on how they relate to others and how others relate to them. This can be quite a challenging time for many children as they also struggle with a large variety of new secondary emotions as well.
While younger children are quite different, as many of them only really feel primary emotions, coupled with the fact their main concerns are their immediate wellbeing and not really the feelings of others. His book series for readers under 6 features only primary emotions in more egocentric situations, such as fear of the dark, but also gently explores their interactions with others.
Max shows children what they’re feeling and explores how we feel it within the body and details some of the most cutting-edge methods used in psychology today through his book series. The unique thing about Max, while giving children the best chance at starting a mindfulness practice early, is that he also shows them how to apply mindfulness in everyday situations, which can be difficult enough for any adult to do. But Max makes this as easy as possible.
With emotions, Max gets even more involved, giving children the background on each. For example with rejection, Max explains that this comes from our primary need to be included in a pack without whom we may not survive if a predator comes by and is therefore unnecessary in today’s plentiful society.
Max is the children’s character that gives support and company to every child and is there when they need him the most!
“When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions, it’s our job to share our calm, not to join in their chaos.” – L R KNOST