1. So I love your book, Growing Happy Kids: How to Foster Inner Confidence, Success and Happiness. Can you tell us why you wrote it?
Over the years, I have found that most parents and children want to become happier but just don’t know how to do it. By learning how to create a deeper sense of confidence – what I call inner confidence – the foundation for someone’s happiest life is created. So I was inspired to write this book and share with more people how to create a deeper type of confidence that opens the way for real happiness.
2. You have a unique background bringing eastern wisdom, and western science together to help more adults raise happier kids today. Can you tell us more about your holistic approach to guiding parents?
Unique about me is my ability to see children (and parents) through a traditional lens of western psychology and also eastern wisdom. I have lived at the Base of the Himalayas, and studied with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in his temple as well as studied and taught Buddhist psychology – basically how to become happy – in the US, Europe and Asia. So my approach to guiding parents takes into consideration not only what we know from a scientific standpoint on how to become happier, and more inwardly confident but I also share ancient tools in everyday language so that anyone can develop the skill of confidence and then happiness.
3. With 20 years of global experience, you have clearly lived your work. Can you share with listeners some of the places you have visited and worked with children?
Yes. Some of the places I have worked with children include Mexico, India, Ireland, England, and across the United States. One of my most memorable trips is living at the Base of the Himalayas in India where I worked with Tibetan refugee children. It was this trip where I showered out of buckets weekly in the middle of winter – there was no heat - and also had the adventure of traveling on top of a bus, and living with inconsistent electricity. I believe that I was learning to the deepest degree about how to become confident and happy no matter what. I’d say it worked!
4. You explain that confidence is merely a skill for people to learn and it’s not a biological gift from great parents. Can you tell us more?
Yes – that is absolutely true. Confidence is a skill that can be created by merely doing things in a certain way. The Five Building Blocks of Confidence that are shared in this book is a proven system that nurtures a sense of confidence in children from outer to inner confidence. The blocks are: Biology, Beliefs, Emotions, Social and Spiritual. I share how each block “comes to life” and how through some clear intentions your time with your kids can pay even higher confidence and happiness dividends.
5. Can you tell us a little more about the Five Building Blocks of Confidence?
Sure. Building Block 1 is Biology that means every child’s body and brain must be healthy in order for confidence to flourish. This translates into children eating right, sleeping well and getting enough exercise on a weekly basis. My child clients with extremely low confidence, self-esteem and a general sense of unhappiness didn’t have their brain working for them – the chemicals in their brain were imbalanced and fixing this allowed them to set the stage for confidence. Building Block 2 is Beliefs that means every child must think inwardly confident thoughts to become confident and ultimately happier. It sounds simple but can be very complex. Again, Block 1 must be in working order, then Block 2 can be activated and so on and so forth (Block 3: Emotions, Block 4: Social and Block 5: Spiritual). Once these blocks are optimized then your child’s confidence begins increasing steadily day-by-day.
6. Also, you make something extremely clear in this book that I have never heard said before --- you say that confidence comes before happiness. Can you tell us more?
Yes. This is true. Confidence comes before real happiness. The type of happiness that isn’t fleeting but can stay regardless of the problems of everyday living. And when I say confidence I am talking about inner confidence. The type of confidence that is rooted in something internal versus external. So when I say confidence comes before happiness I am really saying, inner confidence comes before lasting happiness. I devote an entire chapter of the book on this connection and introducing you to it.
7. For listeners that would like to see you in person, buy your book or connect with you – where would they go?
Go to my website: www.growinghappykids.com
On the website, I have a free book excerpt, links to my upcoming free talks & book signings, a button to buy the book, and a place to sign-up for a free monthly newsletter full of great parenting tips.
Reprinted with permission.