With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, food allergies and other auto-immune conditions on the rise, so many parents and their children find themselves struggling to manage emotions that can be intense, challenging and confusing.
Clinical psychologists Judith M. Glasser, PhD, and Kathleen Nadeau, PhD, offer us Learning to Feel Good and Stay Cool: Emotional Regulation Tools for Kids With AD/HD.
This easy-to-read handbook provides parents, caregivers, teachers and school counselors with practical and fun ways to navigate the often frustrating feelings that children and their families may experience with AD/HD, autism and other conditions that affect children’s bodies and emotions.
In the first chapter, Glasser and Nadeau walk through 20 of the most common feelings with empathic examples and sometimes provide a blank space for children to draw their feelings. For example, readers are asked to draw a picture of the last time they felt proud.
Illustrator Charles Beyl captures these feelings with engaging cartoons that gently encourage children to recognize, listen to, feel and explore their emotions.
Chapter Two shows kids how to stay in their “feel good zones” with the acronym “CHEERS”: CHill Out, Exercise, Eat Healthy Protein, Routines and Sleep, and offers sample routines. (Isn’t this great? I’m going to revisit this one myself. The only things I would change are the suggestions for healthy snacks, of course. There are several options for protein and other healthful foods that steer clear of the Top 8 food allergens.)
Chapter Three teaches kids about “steering clear of your upset zone” by becoming aware of the warning signs.
Chapters Four and Five talk about a “feelings toolbox” of specific ways they can feel good and also handle their “upset feelings.”
Word searches, a maze, a secret message, actions plans and a progress chart give children tangible and fun ways to think about what they’ve learned.
Finally, parents are given a list of ways to provide positive rewards to their children, along with other helpful tips to help foster invaluable skills sets for dealing with AD/HD. A list of helpful websites, meditation resources (CDs and books), and books for both parents and kids.
My son, who has multiple food allergies, enjoyed going through the list of feelings with me. It not only introduced him to ways of expressing new feelings, but it also gave us a cool platform for talking about feelings that we often experience while managing food allergies. This is one handbook that I know we will revisit again and again. You can find the book on Amazon: Shop at Amazon.com!
Too, I recommend as a companion book the beautifully illustrated picture book Visiting Feelings by Lauren Rubenstein. Its easy-to-read rhyming verses are catchy and fun, and also gently encourage children to explore their emotions. You can find it here: Shop at Amazon.com!
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Vector illustration by Pakhnyushcha/www.shutterstock.com.
BIBLIO: 2014, Magination Press, Ages 3 up, $14.95.
FORMAT: Picture Book