Empower your kids! A coaching guide for parents – A Review

Empower your kids! A coaching guide for parents

by Judy Bartkowiak


We could all do with some ideas for coping strategies right now, and Judy Bartkowiak’s latest book covers a number of different techniques and strategies to help children (and adults) cope with a range of issues; from anxiety to low self-esteem and phobias. Bartkowiak explains the EFT ‘tapping’ principles and technique in depth and the steps of the technique are repeated throughout the book, so that you don’t have to keep referring back to an earlier section. I found the explanations of different personalities and the way different types of children/adults learn, process information and approach the idea of choices, really interesting. Being reminded that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to learning has been so relevant and helpful in a year where a huge amount of learning has taken place away from school and without direct contact with teaching professions. The book also provides a ready starting point for discussion with children about things that might be bothering them; it is much easier to say “I have been reading about people who don’t like change – what do you think – do you like, or dislike, change?” and even if that isn’t what you really want to talk about, you can start there and then gradually steer the conversation round to what you do think might be bothering them, without it seeming too direct or intrusive. There are sections on interestingly named exercises and scenarios such as the ‘anger onion’ and the ‘drama triangle’ which really help you to take a small step back from what might be a very fraught situation and just see it a bit more calmly as an observer looking at a child’s reactions to certain triggers. The book provides guidance on how best to get to the root of a melt-down, or how best to help a child to help themself, rather than just sorting things out yourself (quicker, but ultimately self-defeating). I have to admit to previously not knowing what mindfulness was, or its purpose, even though it is now widely taught in schools, but Bartkowiak explains the purpose and technique in the context of managing anxiety about what may happen and learning to ‘self-soothe’ in stressful situations. There are also sections on the benefits of changing your breathing pattern to affect your mood – whether that be slowing your breathing and breathing more deeply to calm down, or to aid the transition into sleep, or speeding breathing up during exercise as part of structured daily wellness to aid focus and learning.

Hopefully, we are past the most stressful year of many people’s lives, but that doesn’t mean the end of everyday stresses, anxieties, tantrums and fears, and having a knowledge of what to do to when these occur, and how to introduce techniques which children can use themselves to clear their own negative feelings is invaluable. A very worthwhile read.

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