Understanding Myself: A Kid's Guide to Intense Emotions and Strong Feelings

Understanding Myself: A Kid's Guide to Intense Emotions and Strong Feelings

by Mary C. Lamia

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A self-help guide for kids to understand and manage their strong emotions.


A self-help guide for kids to understand and manage their strong emotions.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Facile pop-psychology from a clinical psychologist with the credentials to know better. Assigning a chapter each to a select range of feelings—nearly all of them painful or negative ones, such as guilt, fear or anger, with but one shorter chapter allotted to the likes of love and joy—Lamia offers generalizations about what emotional responses look and feel like, typical circumstances that might cause them to arise and superficial insights ("Negative or worried thoughts spoil a good mood"). She also offers bland palliative suggestions ("Forgive yourself and move on"), self-quizzes, sound-bite comments in the margins from young people and, in colored boxes labeled "Psych Notes," relevant research abstracts from cited but hard-to-obtain professional sources. Aside from a mildly discouraging view of "Infatuation," she isn't judgmental or prescriptive, but her overview is so cursory that she skips the stages of grief, makes no distinction between disgust and contempt and barely takes notice of depression. Teens and preteens might come away slightly more self-aware, but they won't find either motivation or tools to help them cope with major upset.(Self-help)
Children's Literature - Alison F. Solove
Chock full of useful information, Lamia's book carefully explains the diversity of human emotion. In the introduction, she observes that emotions are not positive or negative. Instead, all emotions, when correctly understood, equip kids and adults to deal with the world around them. Adolescents will be sure to feel more confident dealing with the world around them—and with their own complex emotions—after reading this book. Lamia carefully explains each family of feelings, including self-conscious, threatened, gloomy, elated, and stormy. Instead of encouraging readers to suppress their emotions, she provides helpful solutions that encourage personal growth. For example, preteens who feel anxious might want to try talking to a trusted friend, taking a warm shower, or organizing their rooms. Lamia also encourages kids to seek help if feelings of anxiety, anger, or obsession make them feel out of control. Each chapter includes several "Psych Notes!" sections which summarize real psychological research, making clinical studies relevant and accessible to 8- to 13-year-olds. Interesting quizzes scattered throughout the book also help make the material interesting and relevant to readers' lives. While many curious readers will appreciate Lamia's frank tone and adult vocabulary, some may be intimidated by words like "cognitively" or "physiologically," even after Lamia defines them. The book also lacks an index or glossary, both of which would make it more accessible and more useful for research. Overall, though, Lamia provides an excellent resource for preteens learning to cope with the complexity of teenage and adult emotions. Reviewer: Alison F. Solove

Product Details

American Psychological Association
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.80(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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