A 5 Star review by Sian Deane (Lead for Future in Mind – Telford)
Project Manager and School Improvement Adviser at Severn School Teaching Alliance – Telford. *****
Future in Mind is a government initiative, transforming the way child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) are delivered nationally.
- The Book.
Finding Stones for Grandma by Sarah Griffiths
2. An overview of the story.
Finding Stones for Grandma is all about a young girl, who experiences bad dreams about the things in life that worry her; in this case the tests she has to take at school. Through guided visualisation, grandma models how to relax the body and mind and to turn negative thoughts into positive ones; with the child at the centre of a solution focused approach to problem solving, through meditation and guided visualisation. As part of the magical meditation, the child collects a range of stones and stores these in a safe place for grandma. The stones are there, whenever the child needs them. Following this, we see the mind-set of the child change; focusing on the positive, seeing themselves as successful in their tests. Throughout the book, the relationship between grandma and the child is paramount, written in the first person, any child could put themselves in the place of the child and the character of grandma could be changed, to someone the child trusts in their own lives and is taking them through this process. The beautiful illustrations help to exemplify the serenity the child might feel once they are involved in meditation and guided visualisation. This is a very accessible route to meditation and visualisation, something we all need to be able to do to restore calm in our lives when we feel this is lacking.
3. The message running through the story.
The story focuses on how we, as adults, can help to change perpetuating negative thoughts into positive ones, through the use of meditation and in particular guided visualisation. This is a strategy, that once mastered by the child, they can use these techniques to self-soothe, reducing the feelings of worry and anxiety. This story could be used with individuals, a family or in a group or classroom situation. There are opportunities to follow up the story with activities, exploring children’s fears and worries and to work with parents.
4. Recommendation and suitable age group.
I would recommend this book for children aged 6+, because it brought together the importance of relationships and the wisdom that family members can bring to helping children to solve life’s worries. The story felt like a blanket of calm being wrapped around me and the guided visualisation took me to special places in my memory. It can help to reduce worry, anxiety and raise self-esteem; developing a ‘can do’ approach to life and the ability to problem solve, reflect on and overcome barriers in life. The meditation step by step guide at the back, removed the need to be an expert, just someone with time and the determination to help a child to solve problems, self-soothe and be happy. After all, isn’t that what we all want? Happy and resilient children.
By Sian Dean – Lead for Future in Mind – Telford
Project Manager and School Improvement Adviser
Severn School Teaching Alliance – Telford