Reviews: Advice and self-help books

01:17, Oct 30 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Mindful Learning
By Dr Chris Hassed and Dr Richard Chambers (Exisle Publishing, RRP $35)

In these busy times we have a tendency to do things with a lot of thought, often resulting in a lack of connection and a lack of interest.

Clinical psychologist Dr Richard Chambers and Dr Craig Hassed understand that "mindfulness" is an essential part of learning and are keen to encourage all of us to adopt better learning habits by being present and accountable.

Subtitled "reduce stress and improve brain performance for effective learning", this book is a comprehensive guide to doing just that. Using what the book says is the proven stress management technique of mindfulness, they reckon you can improve your brain performance for effective learning.

Some of the content comes across as a bit fluffy and being a practical person, I figure it's really the modern-day version of the whole "sit up straight and pay attention" delivered by my standard 4 teacher Mrs Bridgeman with the assistance of a well aimed blackboard duster.

In this case, though, it is delivered with a good dose of gentle encouragement instead of the duster.

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It worked back then, so I guess it should work now, too.

Raising Stress-Proof Kids; Parenting Today's Children for Tomorrow's World
By Shelley Davidow MsEd (Exisle Publishing, RRP $30)

Reviewed by Naida Mulligan

This is a must-read parenting guide by Australian author, teacher and expert in restorative practice, Shelley Davidow.

Her award-winning books deal with a wide range of social issues.

This book explains the importance of minimising stress for our children and gives lots of hot tips on how to do so.

Part one discusses stress, part two environments and part three is on restorative parenting.

Each chapter concludes with a summary of its key points.

Educators would also benefit from a perusal of this book.

It is highly recommended to those who want to give the best to, and get the best out of, their children.

I Just Get So . . . Angry! Dealing with anger and other strong emotions for teenagers
By Timothy Bowden and Sandra Bowden (Exisle Publishing, RRP $30)

Reviewed by Naida Mulligan

This is an amazing little graphic novel written to help teenagers combat anger and build resilience.

The author and the illustrator are a husband and wife team and are both trained school counsellors who live in New South Wales, Australia.

Andy is the angry protagonist who undertakes a journey of self-discovery.

The aim is to aid teenagers in dealing with negative emotions and to become more mentally resilient. Every secondary school should have several copies.

Highly recommended.