Our job as parents isn’t to remove their distress around boundaries, but to give them the experiences to recognise they can handle boundaries - holding theirs and respecting the boundaries others.
Every time we hold a boundary, we are giving our kids the precious opportunity to learn how to hold their own.
If we don’t have boundaries, the risk is that our children won’t either. We can talk all we want about the importance of boundaries, but if we don’t show them, how can they learn? Inadvertently, by avoiding boundary collisions with them, we are teaching them to avoid conflict at all costs.
In practice, this might look like learning to put themselves, their needs, and their feelings away for the sake of peace. Alternatively, they might feel the need to control other people and situations even more. If they haven’t had the experience of surviving a collision of needs or wants, and feeling loved and accepted through that, conflicting needs will feel scary and intolerable.
Similarly, if we hold our boundaries too harshly and meet their boundary collisions with shame, yelling, punishment or harsh consequences, this is how we’re teaching them to respond to disagreement, or diverse needs and wants. We’re teaching them to yell, fight dirty, punish, or overbear those who disagree.
They might also go the other way. If boundaries are associated with feeling shamed, lonely, ‘bad’, they might instead surrender boundaries and again put themselves away to preserve the relationship and the comfort of others. This is because any boundary they hold might feel too much, too cruel, or too rejecting, so ‘no boundary’ will be the safest option.
If we want our children to hold their boundaries respectfully and kindly, and with strength, we will have to go first.
It’s easy to think there are only two options. Either:
- We focus on the boundary at the expense of the relationship and staying connected to them.
- We focus on the connection at the expense of the boundary.
But there is a third option, and that is to do both - at the same time. We hold the boundary, while at the same time we attend to the relationship. We hold the boundary, but with warmth.♥️
Glen T (verified owner) –
I bought the Hey Awesome books as my daughter had anxiety issues in school…she was 10. These books put the issue of having anxiety into context in the mind of a child and turned a perceived ‘weakness ‘ into a strength. I will be forever grateful to Karen helping turn my precious daughter into the potential we all knew was within her and making her light shine so much brighter…thank you Karen.
Elizabeth (verified owner) –
This book has been instrumental in improving my practice of supporting students with anxiety! It is an AMAZING resource!
Morgan T (verified owner) –
Adorable, educational, and makes great connections for children.
Pamela M (verified owner) –
simply written and as applicable for adults as children
Bethany G (verified owner) –
My son immediately read this and exclaimed it was his favorite book! Thank you!
Sarah B (verified owner) –
This book is truly lovely, and twelve year old boys aren’t too old to think so 🙂
Sonja M –
This book was suggested to me by a school social worker who came into my boutique. As a behavioural consultant and yoga and meditation teacher for children I am so grateful. I will now sell this book and use it in my private practice and classes for children. This book is creative and engaging. It gives simple strategies and thorough explanations. It is a book shelf must have. I liked the surprise of the checklists at the back. These were well thought out.
Debbie (verified owner) –
A wonderful book for families to read together. The resilience focus with an explanation of how the brain works is fantastic! I highly recommend this book to all families!
Steven H –
I love this book. Wonderfully written and illustrated, hugely insightful and I recommend it to friends and clients. It breaks down a complex set of issues into powerful simplicity and it has really helped my kids, and me!
Mark B (verified owner) –
I bought this book for work (family services) as I have never come across anything better to explain to kids suffering from anxiety what is happening in their minds & bodies and how to deal with it. It can be enjoyed on a story level, the illustrations are beautiful too, but it can also be used as a tool kit to help kids understand & deal with stress. Fantastic stuff. Highly recommended!
Gwen (verified owner) –
My 6 year old grandson is at times explosive. Improving as he gets older. This book he understood, love the language, the explanation of the fight or flight response. He really connected with being the boss of his brain. He really liked the about me part and shared much about himself. Some stuff I knew but also learned new stuff about him. Sent the book home for his parents to read with with him and just about anyone egg law that is connected to him in some way with the hope we will all use the same language to encourage him to be the boss of his brain!!!
Kath (verified owner) –
This book was perfect for my 10 year old son and I to read together when he recently started struggling to switch off at bedtime, overthinking, worrying and churning negative scenarios about the past and the future. After trying everything else I purchased this book and not long after reading it together he managed to articulate what was really bothering him. Something obviously clicked with him and now he’s asleep when his head hits the pillow again. Definitely recommended for any parents “toolbox”!
Alicia S (verified owner) –
The illustrations are fun and friendly. I purchased this for young adults who deal with anxiety. The use of scientific terms; amygdala, CO2:O2, etc. keep the prose from sounding too simple.
These individuals are already dealing with stress related to memorizing or following detailed scientific information. Having a funny positive image to call to mind when dealing with surging emotions can be easier to focus on then stern steps. It provides a ‘back door’ to regain control of our body’s response.
So far, response has been a fun read with good information and a positive way to consider what ‘takes off’ within their bodies.
Kristin H (verified owner) –
As a counselor, I am always looking for new books and resources. I consider Hey Warrior my best find yet! The way it explains anxiety and why our bodies respond they do is spot on and incredibly easy to follow and understand. My kids love this book and I have even used it as a reference with my adult clients. Amazing book!!
Kevin H. (verified owner) –
My 5 year old loves this book. He even told his therapist about his amygdala, its almond shape, and the “special” fuel it gives his body. It has helped him understand more of what is happening to his body. He is still just a touch too young maybe to understand everything, but he enjoys the book, thinks its funny, and gets stuff out of it that he can use He loves to talk about the jelly on his belly.
My counselor just read me this over our remote session, and I genuinely could not have felt more seen or heard. I’m ordering the physical copy after I submit this review so I can read it during my next anxiety attack. Karen Young, thank you so much for a book accessible to all. This 25 y/o autistic individual truly appreciates you!
Morgan (verified owner) –
My 6 year old struggled with anxiety this last school year, adding Hey Warrior to our reading cycle has been so helpful. He’s able to better understand what’s happening and loves telling everyone about his warrior.
Ashley A K (verified owner) –
Awesome books. Also, funny – which keeps kids engaged while they’re learning. There are several talking points in the books – good to note. Thank you for your work.
Monika G (verified owner) –
We really enjoyed reading the Hey Warrior. The stroy is nicely told and captured my six year old’s imagination. We were able to refer to it effectively when my daughter became anxious during a walk and I believe it helped her self regulate quickly.
Jeannine H (verified owner) –
I bought all three books for my Counseling Practice. Hey Warrior and Hey Awesome have had the best response from children, teens and adults of any books I have in my office library. Even children who usually are resistant to any type of book will allow me to read to them because they love the illustrations. After reading these books we continue to reference what they have learned in later sessions. I had to order more keychains within 6 months because so many client’s wanted one to take one home. I would highly recommend these books even if you don’t work with children. Just be sure to order the keychains because they are a great tool for mindfulness, CBT, redirecting negative thinking or whatever your client is using to reduce the intensity of symptoms.
Lisa (verified owner) –
Hey Warrior is such a fantastic tool to use in helping students who struggle with anxiety. As a school counselor, I have used this book with students and I have also shared it with family members. It is so empowering for young people to have information and understanding about what is going on in their brain and body. Thank you for such a meaningful book!
Katy R (verified owner) –
Very helpful for my 10yo with anxiety. He has named his Amygdala Brian, and so far addressing him directly is helping. He has asked to reread a few times already. Thank you!
Alet (verified owner) –
This is a wonderful book. I just read it to my kids and they nodded and laughed along… I think it will be very helpful with facing their worries (and even mine). So far the Amygdala is called Peanut Brain and Meat Brain (?) – I think that’s a compliment.
Jessica M –
Following attending the course with Karen, I used this book to talk to my kids about their amygdala and how it can hijack their thoughts. As a result of these conversation my son will now fall asleep on his own. For the five years prior to that I had to be in the same room as him. This was a game changer for us. My son found a new confidence and I felt empowered. The book is brilliant and beautifully illustrated.
Eve T (verified owner) –
I wanted to add to the positive words about Hey Warrior. I facilitate a social skills group with a group of middle school learning support students. I am always looking for books and other materials to use with this group of students. Hey Warrior was perfect! Beautiful illustrations, understandable language and a positive message about the ability to be in control of your emotions. Thank you for a lovely resource to help my students.