Saturday, May 26, 2012

Review of Growing Happy Kids

Maureen Healy went on her own pilgrimage to Tibet for a three-month period. Part of her mission was to see for herself the causes of supreme happiness that she had witnessed in her Tibetan Buddhist friends' children. Her job working as a counselor to children with so many problems was a daunting one. She wanted to be of better service to them. The result was a sense of happiness and strength like she had never before experienced. Desire to teach other adults and children to be just as happy and strong played a huge part in writing this book, Growing Happy Kids.

In order to have inner confidence, you must cultivate a healthy self-esteem, which she describes as a snapshot of how you feel about yourself. You also need outer confidence, which is your ability to believe in your abilities now and into the future. She outlines the steps of achieving this. While it is best to start boosting your child's confidence from the very beginning, it can still be done at any age.

Healy shares stories of parents and children in the "real world" from a variety of cultures. Their stories demonstrate the inner confidence that their children have and how they have achieved it. Each story is followed by a takeaway that expands upon the moral of the story.

When I first started this book, I feared it was going to be a lot of New Age spiritual information that would easily turn off some who picked it up. Once you get past her history of how she came to write this book, you find a lot of real world advice that can apply to any culture and any religion. East truly meets West in the ideas and actions outlined within the book. It is also clear how Healy has drawn upon her experience as a child psychologist and scientific research to create realistic advice. A lot of this practical advice seems so common sense. A lot of the ideas were naturally implemented by my own parents. As a teacher, however, I have seen how quickly and easily a lot of these ideals are forgotten. It isn't done on purpose; society is just different today.

A lot of her tips and ideas would apply to adults, as well. We often forget about maintaining a healthy lifestyle through diet, exercise and adequate sleep. We allow people to be negative toward us and forget to have faith in ourselves and our lives.

Another thing I like about this book is that it teaches you how to instill confidence in your children without going overboard. You can learn how to teach confidence without becoming cocky, or by causing the child to feel like a failure when things don't quite work out the way they are supposed to. Sometimes, something can happen to shatter your child's confidence. Healy shows you how you can also rebuild your child's confidence.

The book ends with several lists of activities that can seamlessly become part of your daily routine with your child, to help boost his or her inner confidence. Many of these could be implemented in a classroom, as well. This book is beneficial for both parents and teachers to read, as they are the ones closest to the child who will have the most impact. Further reading is also included for those who wish to learn more.

Proceeds from Growing Happy Kids are being donated to both UNICEF and the Seramey Thewo Khamsten Children's Program.

Visit Maureen Healy's website for further information, including her articles from Psychology Today.

Growing Happy Kids is also available for your Kindle.