Top positive review
A brilliant primer (and potentially useful for all ages)
18 November 2018
I am a huge fan of the chimp paradox and so it is probably not a surprise that I like this. I see this book as a relatively simple means of understanding how emotions can have huge benefits or create challenges for us. More importantly it provides a number of ways in which we can choose to manage them and provides reasons why we would benefit from doing so.
I really like the fact that there is a strong scientific basis for all of the ideas but that all of the content is presented in a manner that children could easily understand.
One word of caution. Passively reading the book is unlikely to be as effective as reading it, thinking things through and practicing some things. Therefore different people would need to approach things differently, there is unlikely to be a one size fits all approach.
I would thoroughly recommend this book particularly for:
1) children who want to understand how their emotions can take control of their thinking and can be incredibly helpful as well as challenging
2) adults who want to help children build their understanding and skills
3) adults who would like an introduction to the chimp paradox - this book could be a great start point
A key learning for me (albeit it now seems obvious) is how expectations should ideally change with a child’s age.
As an adult I have a set of experiences, knowledge, thoughts and feelings. It’s easy to see children as smaller versions of adults and in some ways they may be at least some of the time.
However, a child’s abilities change and grow as they get older. Therefore being realistic on what we might reasonably expect a child to be able to think, do, feel etc. could be extremely important.
As adults we are likely to have much greater flexibility and choice available to us. A little thought could make it much easier for the child to behave and express themselves in a way that we’re both as happy with as possible.
It sounds so simple when I put it like that, but it could be a really powerful insight. Making it as easy as possible to get good outcomes – what’s not to like?
In summary a great book but not a magic bullet. It is written in a simple style which could appear simplistic but the ideas are really powerful.