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on November 17, 2007
This "What to Do" series was very useful to me as a parent. It explains complex psychological ideas at a child's level without condescending to them and then attempts to help them learn how deal with those strong emotions.

I purchased this book and What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety (What to Do Guides for Kids) after my 5-year old was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. It has helped her and her then 8-year old brother work through the many adjustments in our family after the diagnosis. We went through the book together and then talked about the activities that might help them deal with how they felt. The simple, clear explanations were a great starting point for discussion. Not everything "worked" nor did we focus on "solving" these emotions--rather we used the books to help the kids see that they are not alone and that there are things they can do when they feel trapped by strong emotions.

My daughter is now almost 7 and still takes the Grumbling book out to read it over. She knows she does have things to complain about in her life, but also that she doesn't want them to take over her life. I have also just purchased What to Do When Your Temper Flares: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Problems With Anger (What to Do Guides for Kids)which she is anxious to read! How many books on these tough topics can you say THAT about?

If you have intense, thoughtful, strong-willed kids, this approach to the perpetual problems of grumbling, worrying and (I hope) anger management will help. And even if they won't read it, it will help you know how to talk about those feelings.

P.S. Another good book is Who Moved My Cheese? For Kids I know it sounds corny but change is a big stressor for my kids so that book helped address these emotions too.
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on September 27, 2006
This book tackles an unusual and important topic for children- negativity. In a fun and very child-friendly format, the author uses metaphors, stories, and examples to explain to children what negativity is and how they can transform their negative thinking into more positive thinking. The learning is reinforced by fun activities and art experiences. As a mother and social worker, I strongly recommend this book to other parents, social workers, and guidance counselors.
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on January 6, 2012
I think my 10 year old could get an award for "grumbling". Everything was cause for complaint, small things big issues. This book helped a LOT. At first there was resistance to reading it, but once we got started, well...we finished it in just a few days. (I didn't want to rush it, wanting the information to sink in.) While I won't say things are perfect (what is?) it's much better and definitely a work in progress. But going the right way. Almost every day we take about at least 3 positive things that have happened, as one of the exercises in the book suggests. When on a recent long driving trip I was fussing about the CD player not working right. My son's response? Well, it could be the Garmin not working, so that's a good thing. I need reminding too!
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on January 17, 2007
I wanted this workbook to engage my therapy clients better than it did. They didn't throw the book at me, but it only held their interest for about10 minutes and most do not care too much to color or draw where the workbook calls for it. I agree with them, in that the interactive part of the book (the you-fill-it in part) is not compelling. HOWEVER, the subject matter is not really covered in any other therapeutic workbook that I have seen/reviewed/owned. The main topic is of negativity vs. positivity in a child's daily life. Great for kids with depression, anger problems, anxiety disorders, and ...the average kids!
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on June 23, 2010
I just received three of the books in this series. The font is nice and large and the readings and activities look simple but fantastic. I'm writing to let everyone know that on the books it says "Ages 6-12" but Amazon gives them a reading level of 9-12. They would be perfect to read even to a 5 year old.
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on March 15, 2009
I bought this book in an effort to help my nine-year-old son become more motivated and think more positively about school. We work on it a chapter or a half-chapter at a time and, though he sometimes complains, I can tell he enjoys the activities and is slowly improving his outlook. Research shows that Emotional Intelligence is a better indicator of future happiness and success than IQ or SAT scores, so I wanted to help him build skills in this area early.This book is a great emotional coaching tool.
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on May 11, 2007
I am a child clinical psychologist who regularly recommends books to parents to help provide reassuring information and practical tips to assist their children between sessions. My 12 year-old also loved this book and found a lot of good suggestions. Not only is the book easy to read and understand, it provides "homework" activities which allow a personalized approach and encourage active involvement by the child in overcoming a natural tendency toward negativity. I highly recommend this book!
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on November 14, 2008
Just from the intro. written to the parents, I was impressed. It made me feel more at ease about some of my son's issues. I am a former school counselor and I thought the layout of the book was great and it kept my 6 year old's attention (we would do a chapter a night each night before nights out). It gives some great concepts that plant seeds in a child's mind about what is going on when they are negative - even if they can't immediately put them to use. This is a wonderful series - we have tried three of the books.
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on August 7, 2014
Wow a great tool - I have a son that was very down on himself and about situations in general. He was the ultimate in grumbler. In fact when I got this book out he was grumbling but by the end of the book there was a totally different outlook. We were at the beginning of summer vacation and I didn't want to spend the summer dealing with a sour puss the whole time so I thought, "what will it hurt". I am SO GLAD I made the purchase. We were able to sit down the two of us or with mom too and go over a lesson every few days.

Each lesson had a great theme and was relate-able to a youngster in such a way they could put themselves in the situation as well as allowed us to do the same. Then as things came up we could calmly bring the lesson up and you could see the light bulb go off in his head - it clicked. So by the time we finished it was like we have a new person able to enjoy the summer again.

My wife and I were so impressed with it that we are looking at some of the other ones for the other kids too.
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on January 25, 2014
I purchased the whole set of these books to read to my 8 year old son who has a tendency to be negative. We read them together chapter by chapter. It is written in a way that helps him understand how and why he feels this way sometimes. It also gives helpful tips on how to combat negative emotions. After we read the first book, he actually asked me to read all the others with him! Now every time he gets upset and starts to grumble, I remind him of the book and he is able to get himself out of it.
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