After putting in a lot of hard work, commitment, love and passion, I am so delighted that “Roots and Wings – Childhood needs a Revolution” has got some fantastic recognition and wonderful feedback. I often find it difficult to promote myself or my work, but I wrote this book to help myself and others to make this journey in our modern society a little bit easier for us and our children, so there is no point in not wanting to get it out there!! So thank you so much to everybody who has taken the time to read “Roots and Wings” and get back to me with much appreciated feedback.
2018 Nautilus Award Gold Winner in the Category Family & Parenting
2019 Honourable Mention in the Erik Hoffer Book Awards
2019 Finalist for the New Horizon Award
2019 Finalist for da Vinci Eye Award
2019 Finalist in the Parenting & Family Category National Indie Excellence Awards
2019 Finalist in the Parenting & Family Category International Book Awards
As a mother of 3, a Play Therapist and a Children’s Yoga Instructor I really value the benefit of mindfulness for all of us but especially for our children, our future. As a Play Therapist I have seen an increase in anxiety in small children and a lack of connection for them with nature, and their families. This book helped me to understand the true importance of mindfulness, its impact and concrete ways to incorporate into children’s daily lives. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and looked forward to settling down with it each evening when the kids were in bed.
Roots and Wings Emotion Matching Game:
This game is so simple yet so powerful, as a Play Therapist I use this with many clients, it is a gentle directive piece of work that the children can choose to play within their session. It encourages children to start connecting their feelings to events and situations they have experienced, which opens up conversations that have endless possibilities for personal growth.
Roots and Wings Kindness Challenge:
As a Play Therapist, I have used the Kindness Challenge Cards in group work where we are learning about the feeling of ‘happiness’ and how by being kind to others we allow them to feel happy and in turn feel happy in ourselves. This is a very good resource for my group work. As a mother, I use the Kindness Challenge cards to encourage me daughters to consider kind acts in their daily interactions with themselves and others. They love the cards and enjoy being ‘the kindest’.
Siobhan Fitzgerald, play therapist and children’s yoga instructor
“I highly recommend Alex Koster’s Roots and Wings. It is a well thought out handbook promoting positive change. Alex is an educator and a parent so she brings common sense from her personal experiences as well as a depth of study. She brings together information from excellent resources and her own experience which creates an enhanced experience for her readers. Are you seeking to make positive changes in the world around you? This book is for you. In Alex’s own words, “It is easier to raise happy children than repair broken adults.” In this powerful, idea packed book, Alex shares her passion for the mindful lifestyle. It is chock full of practical ideas to bring presence, peace, stability, joy and togetherness into our interactions with all. Included is a vast resource list to further study and wonderful templates at the end.
I highly urge you to try this book.”
Carol Lindsay, educator, Artist in Residence with music and dance, parent and grandparent, mindfulness teacher
Roots and Wings – Childhood Needs a Revolution: A Handbook for Parents and Educators to Promote Positive Change Based on the Principles of Mindfulness by Alex Koster M. ED is an insightful guide that will help readers to make positive changes in themselves and their children while handling the challenges they face in life. The book will prove useful when it comes to tackling these challenges and finding ways to raise happy and healthy children. There are times when people realize that they have to get
back to basics and move away from the cut-throat competition that is common in society. Children of the current generation are growing up amid all this and the author writes about a mindful lifestyle which will help to bring about balance, peace, stability, and joy during their formative years and later on.
The book stresses the importance of mindful living and how it enhances enjoyment, happiness, and well-being. The author’s words will encourage every reader to make changes to society in their own small way, bringing up their children in a supportive and inclusive childhood. Reading this book will guide readers to integrate more mindfulness, to consciously make time to connect with children and families, to cope better in difficult situations, and to slow down at times when the mind is racing. The author’s personal experiences, activities, and specific exercises make the book an entertaining and engaging read. The author’s writing style is simple and neat and speaks about a relevant topic in a very interesting way, pulling in readers to participate in the activities and the exercises in the book.
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite
I have recently received my Mindful Games Bundle and I’m absolutely thrilled. The Body Scan pack has worked a treat. The kids really love the cards as cues. We used the Kindness Challenges pack for World Kindness week which added to the excitement!! The pack I love best however is the Mindful Moments which I immediately started using personally at home and now will be included in the mindfulness part of my kids and preteen Yoga & Mindfulness classes. I know the kids are going to love them as much as I am! Can’t wait to read the Roots & Wings Handbook next…
Roots and Wings is one of my favourite books for parents and teachers on introducing mindfulness to children. It is an informative, easy to read and practical guide for anyone interested in this area. I always recommend this book to my students and they all love it too!
Louise Shanagher, mindfulness teacher, children’s therapist and Psychology lecturer, author of The Mindfully Me series
In her refreshing handbook for parents and educators promoting children’s wellbeing, Mindfulness practitioner and teacher Alexandra Koster describes Mindfulness as an approach strengthening our parenting, which is more important in our busy lives today than ever. Alex guides parents on how Mindfulness can become an integral part of every child’s life, enabling them to live their lives to the fullest, growing up into confident, happy, kind, loving and creative adults. Alex’s gentle and human spirit rings through each page. I consider Roots and Wings as an invaluable guide for parents and educators, bringing us back to the beauty of the simple things in life.
Dr. Malie Coyne, clinical psychologist, writer, broadcaster
This wonderful book is more of a reference bible than a book to me. I’m not a big reader so this book is one I dip in and out of. Alex has a magical way of writing that creates an image of what’s been said and this for me is a huge advantage I’m a visual learner.
I would recommend this book to any parent or educator as a way of understanding the best way to ignite the imagination and creativity of children in an expressive way. She has a deep understanding of how children think so hearing her express this is trully inspiring.
Thank you so much Alex for sharing all your wisdom to us through your captivating book. ❤
Karina Murray, founder of Aunua Academy
I absolutely loved this book. Every important part of childhood was touched on – play, connection, art/creativity, nature, importance of reduced screen time and so many good references listed. Wonderful resources in part two – can’t wait to try them with the children I work with & with my son! Thank you.
Lisa Benson, mindfulness practitioner
What a gorgeous and thorough book! There are so many great resources and thoughtful passages to help adults fully understand the value and practices of social emotional learning and mindfulness!
Andrew Jordan Nance, author of “Puppy Mind”
“Roots and Wings – Childhood Needs a Revolution, Alex Koster, Roots and Wings Publishing – We need to go back to basics if we want to live a simpler, happier life. That’s the premise of a book written by Alex Koster M.Ed., an educator, mindfulness practitioner, and mother who has great concern about the developments in children’s well-being in our modern-day world. Koster saw how our society and children’s lives have changed considerably at a very fast pace over the past fifty years. Today, unsupervised play and a close connection to nature and the seasons are increasingly a thing of the past. In many homes, time and opportunities to foster intimate and physical relationships have become scarce. The book also offers a wealth of practical tips, ideas, and exercises to help parents revive in their families the values of compassion, tolerance, and mindfulness. Intentional and mindful parenting is important in helping children grow up to be responsible, strong, content, kind-hearted adults, all traits which our society currently needs in order to welcome diversity and create a balance.”
The US Review of Books
As a newly minted mum of three since January it’s safe to say “Roots and wings – Childhood needs a Revolution” came into my life at just the right time! I’ve always strived to be a gentle and empathetic parent but things went a little awry in the first few weeks of 2018 after number three arrived.
Adding a new family member is always a bit of an upheaval. But a tough mix of sibling rivalries, new-born sleep deprivation, frustration with early breastfeeding difficulties (despite feeding my toddler for 28 months & thinking I knew it all!!) and cold, dark winter days with too much time with us all spent indoors (with more tv than I’d like to admit to!!) meant that voices and tempers were often raised (mine, hubby’s and our 6 & 3year old kids’!). This book served as a really great way of taking stock and resetting our whole family dynamic back to the kind, loving bunch we had been as a quartet.
Based on the principles of mindfulness this book goes further than just explaining theories on parenting styles and lecturing to the reader. It provides nicely illustrated examples and exercises to work through with your kids as a family.
As an educator and mother herself the author – Alex Koster – has struck a great tone with this book. Its clear that she is highly knowledgeable and well read; but the book feels almost conversational and the way the chapters are laid out makes it easy to dip in and out without losing track or getting bogged down (handy when baby brain is a factor!!)
“Roots and Wings” is all about guiding parents in how to equip their children with the self-confidence and skills to navigate modern life – which is vastly different to society when most of us were children ourselves! The challenges facing kids today are discussed really openly: the one-size-fits-all approach of the Irish education system, the rise of the internet, social media & screens in our homes, lack of time and connection with nature, the rise in childhood mental health issues and the increasing sense of entitlement modern kids can have are all given an airing. Most importantly the author then shares means of offsetting these potential detriments to our kids’ development and doesn’t just stop short with a list of woes without solutions.
Guidance is given in areas such as:
- Building and maintaining self-esteem in a materialistic and competitive society
• Dealing with new family structures and parenting styles
- Understanding the influence of social media and technology
• Recognising and tackling mental health issues
- Creating healthy parent-child relationships
- Simplifying children’s lives
- Encouraging and modelling kindness
My personal favourite chapter in the book was “The lost art of gratitude” which opens with a great quote:
It’s not happy people who are thankful; it’s thankful people who are happy.
Amen! This chapter and the activities linked to it was the biggest change-maker in our improved family set-up.
Part 2 (which makes up a third of this great little book) is full of more practical tips ideas and exercises. These include many, many mindfulness activities to undertake with your kids (we haven’t even completed half of them yet!), kindness challenges and suggested reading. Several of these resources & print-outs are available for free on the Roots and Wings website that accompanies the book www.rootsandwings.pub. There is also a great Facebook group with daily posts and information shared with members giving a real sense of inclusion and involvement in this movement to revolutionise childhood.
Book Review by Clare Fahey (nee Flannery), published 2018 in “Natural Parenting Ireland Magazine”
To read more about introducing a more mindful lifestyle and being part of a positive change check out “Roots and Wings – Childhood needs a Revolution” and our Mindful Games. Thank you!
Also available now: Mindful Games for parents and educators.