The themes and life skills taught in the Inner Kids model are introduced through one of five methods commonly used in education, psychotherapy, and contemplative traditions to develop social, emotional, and academic skills. They are anchor games that develop concentration; visualizations that encourage kindness and compassion while developing concentration; body scans that develop concentration and self-awareness; analytical games that develop clear thinking; plus, awareness games that develop all of the above, together with greater insight into other people, our relationships, the planet, and ourselves. It’s not necessary to identify the method that each game employs, but there is a crucial difference between anchor games and awareness games that’s important to remember. Regardless of age, children have the developmental capacity to play anchor games that ask them to focus on one object and nothing else. Awareness games require a more open, receptive way of paying of attention, however, and the meta-cognitive skills to support them are not likely to develop before the fourth grade. Awareness games can be modified to become anchor games quite easily though, and suggestions for how to adapt them are included in Mindful Games.


When we’re faced with a disappointment we acknowledge our feelings, and then we think of three good things in our lives too.