Award-winning author and popular Psychology Today blogger Maureen Healy discusses her indispensable guide, The Emotionally Healthy Child: Helping Children Calm, Center, and Make Smarter Choices.
While growing up has never been easy, today's world undeniably presents kids and their parents with unprecedented challenges. The upside, cites Maureen Healy, is a widespread acknowledgment that emotional health, resilience, and equilibrium can be learned and strengthened. Healy, who was a "wild child" -- the kind, she writes, who left babysitters "wondering if they wanted children" -- knows her subject. She has become an expert on teaching skills that address the high sensitivity, big emotions, and hyper energy she herself experienced. Three simple steps are key -- Stop, Calm, and Make a Smart Choice. While not always easy, these steps are powerful, and Healy shows readers exactly how to implement them. Children move from acting out or shutting down, experiencing frequent physical symptoms such as head and stomach aches, or hurting themselves or others, to recognizing they are being triggered, feeling their emotions, and using strategies such as exercise, journaling, and talking to supportive friends or family to respond from their calm center. This center is where good choices come from. As parents learn to model these skills, both parents and children become freer to do and be their best.