Book Review

Book Review

Coping Skills for Kids Workbook by Janine Halloran is a practical resource with strategies to help kids deal with stress, anxiety and anger. The authour is a licensed mental health counselor with over 15 years of experience working with kids. She has also created a website full of helpful resources.

Why am I highlighting this resource? Kids have big emotions and often lack the words or ability to deal with them in healthy ways. And in this pandemic season it is reasonable to assume that, similar to adults, the stress and anxiety levels of kids has increased. Kids often do not know what to do with all the stress, anxiety and anger they are experiencing or how to process and deal with those feelings. And perhaps parents and other adults are not aware of strategies or ways to help teach kids coping skills. This resource is an excellent tool to do just that. The authour has collected together the most useful and effective ideas she has used to help kids learn and practice coping skills. This is a resource that I suggest all parents will find very helpful in supporting their children in figuring out ways to deal with stress, anxiety and anger. This is a book that is designed for kids to work through on their own, however there are some activities that do require adult involvement. I appreciate the very clear instructions she gives that kids should always follow their families rules and that they should check in with them before trying any of the activities! This particular workshop is aimed at elementary age kids but she does also have another workbook available that is geared towards teens.

This book contains printable worksheets, a Coping Skills Checklist and is divided into four categories: Calming Coping Skills, Distracting Coping Skills, Physical Coping Skills and Processing Coping Skills. Each category has several skills for kids to try. I also appreciate that the authour has included a resource list of other helpful books, websites and apps. The authour also includes a simple and helpful checklist of symptoms to look out for that may indicate a child needs more help.

Ministry leaders, this is a book I recommend you read and make available to your parents. Perhaps consider adding it to your church library. It may also be worthwhile to consider exploring ways to facilitate conversations, small groups or a parent workshop (whether in person or virtually) about this topic. I wonder what difference it would make if we could guide our kids in discovering and learning coping skills to effectively deal with the stress, anxiety and anger they experience?

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