Magazine article Work & Family Life

Raising Empathetic, Happy, Confident Children

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Raising Empathetic, Happy, Confident Children

Article excerpt

Raising empathetic, happy, confident children

We all want our kids to live happy lives. We want them to follow their passions, empathize with others, appreciate the people around them, and manage and cope with their own stress.

This, in a nutshell, is the theme of The Happy Kid Handbook by child psychotherapist and parenting expert Katie Hurley. It's an excellent new book that presents a clear and thoughtful approach to parenting that focuses on the individual child.

It is organized in two parts: Raising Happy Kids and Lessons in Coping. In Part 1, the author reminds parents of how important it is to know-really know-your child, beginning with an understanding of his or her temperament. Are you raising an introvert? Extrovert? A day-dreamer? A child who tends to be easy-going or anxious?

"No two kids are exactly the same," she says, "and we have to parent the individual."

Writing in a conversational style, Hurley talks about her own family-a "fairly introverted" mom and a dad who's "about the same" raising their "unique" kids.

Hurley has chapters on the power of play, understanding emotion, the art of forgiveness, building empathy, assertiveness skills and embracing differences (see Front Page feature). …

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