Review – Parenting a Child Who Has Intense Emotions


Review – Parenting a Child Who Has Intense Emotions
Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills to Help Your Child Regulate Emotional Outbursts and Aggressive Behaviors
by Pat Harvey
New Harbinger, 2009
Review by Tijuana Canders
Mar 29th 2016

Pat Harvey and Jeanine A. Penzo  graciously help parents who deal with a highly emotional child, (most commonly known as emotional dysregulation) to  grasp  foundational methods of thought processes, and the usage of dialects (thinking in a positive way), through their own exposure and  Marsha Linehan’s Dialectical Behavioral Therapy framework.  They note that most of us either think with  an emotional or reasonable mind and need an overlapping of the two minds in balance, “a path to thinking wisely”, “the  wise mind” of which according to Linehan, “Helps the parent to feel calmer, and comfortable with their decisions, helping them to make necessary changes in  response to the child” (1993a).

Harvey’s and Penzo’s examples of dialogue scenes between parent and child with referencing techniques, aid parents in the workbook sections to revise pertinent information learned throughout each chapter.  The scenes teach them to remain calm, implement wise mind techniques, and understand their child’s story of emotion in order.  In turn, this will help parents to carry out concrete workable reinforcers, the use of each helping to minimize the child’s possibility of reacting with an emotional outburst when in intense situations, while helping the parents to subside from high emotion to their child’s overwhelming behaviors, “learn to step back from a situation and to see things with new eyes and a different point of view.”  The methods spelled out in the book include applying valuable DBT Assumptions (“Your Child is Doing the Best He Can”, “Your Child Needs to Do Better”, “Your Child Must Learn Behaviors for All Situations”, “Family Members Should Not Assume the Worst”, and “There Is No Absolute Truth”) enabling parents to retain confidence in their child’s behavior for easier transitions of communication.  The authors’ emphasize that “a person must feel heard in order to hear” and “a person must feel accepted in order to change.”

Not obscure or overbearing, Harvey and Penzo bring parents to the realization that both parent and child have a part in this process, parents must realize a person must feel heard in order to hear, and must feel accepted in order to change.  Parents will come to see that although behaviors can be changed, they will not be changed overnight, so it does take patience and endurance, along with shifting family goals and expectations, in correlation with creative calm activities in order to modify old molds of parenting with new ones in parenting. Both parent and child will eventually start to see results and gain  a visional sense of a better future. Harvey and Penzo encourages parents stating that, “They are not alone as parents, nor are they bad parents, they have done the best that they could have done from the skills they knew”, but also makes it clear that new skills can be learned.

Parenting a Child With Intense Emotions is an invigorating 225 page book and well presented due to the authors’ warmness and transparency. The book helps caregivers and parents to acquire skills of sound parenting in relation to intense emotions and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy skills. Parenting groups, youth group homes and mental health facilities could benefit from the DBT perspective. A resourceful appendix of support and psycho-educational groups are provided in the back of the book for further help on the subject.

© 2016 Tijuana Canders



Review – Hope Unfolding


Review – Hope Unfolding: Grace-Filled Truth For The Momma’s Heart
by Becky Thompson
WaterBrook Press, 2016
Review by Tijuana Canders
Mar 7th 2016

Hope Unfolding is the pinnacle of many mothers’ story which every mom needs to read. Becky Thompson has presented an exceptional script for moms on all levels to relate too. For some moms their hard work is never enough by their own standards. Sometimes moms need to encourage themselves and see the great things that they apply toward their child or children’s upbringing. Perfection is not the big picture in being a mother but quality is.

Becky Thompson gives moms from every walk of life a glimpse of hope that they are valued, needed, and as every mistake made seems to drown out the good sown seeds from their parenting, that those sown seeds are still growing into a harvest of greatness waiting for the family as a whole to reap the benefits.

The transparency of your life should not be compared to another mother’s standards or accomplishments Thompson says, ‘because we are to look forward to the harvest we have uniquely created.’ When God blesses a woman with the gift of motherhood, He blesses her with grace, patience, and surmountable love to carry her own motherhood of gifts, serenity, love, and joy, to fruition for her child. Realizing who they are as a parent involves accepting who they are uniquely as a mother.

Hope Unfolding: Grace-Filled Truth for the Momma’s Heart is a poignant read for mothers who need to hear others point of views of how not to compare yourself, accept where you are, grow from your experiences, and to see the positive even when their circumstances, or trials speak louder than what they see at the moment. This book will be released 3/15/2016. It will make a great Mother’s Day gift or stocking stuffer on other occasions for moms.


© 2016 Tijuana Canders