Parenting is a difficult but rewarding job. How to raise happy, confident and successful children should be the goal of all adults who have a role in bringing up a child. Jeni Hooper’s book, What Children Need to be Happy, Confident and Successful: Step by Step Positive Psychology to Help Children Flourish, is essential reading for all professionals working with children including teachers, counsellors, social workers, as well as parents, and grandparents.
“Being a child isn’t easy. The journey through childhood is complex. Kids provide the drive while the adults do the steering.” These excerpts are all taken from Jeni Hooper’s book. Need help steering the child under your care in the right direction? Ms. Hooper’s parent-friendly, step-by-step guide has all one needs to nurture a child to his full potential while balancing his personal and social wellbeing and fulfilment.
What I especially like about Jeni Hooper’s book is how the focus is always on the whole child. Ms. Hooper explains the Flourishing Program which she started working on in 2006. The program shows how quality adult support works to create the ideal condition to build a child’s capacity to flourish emotionally, socially and educationally. The book is a practical parenting guide to the essentials of wellbeing. She explains how to discover and build a child’s unique personal talents. Readers learn about the psychological strengths children need for an enriching, meaningful and fulfilling life.
Realistic Parenting Strategies!
Yes, the author knows there are challenges to overcome in all our lives. Her book does not describe fairy tale childhoods but real children with their ups and downs. Here are a few of the subtitles that show this:
- Are Rewards Always Rewarding?
- Setting Realistic Goals
- See mistakes as signposts not problems
- Praise effort not achievements
- Turn negatives into positives
- How to avoid roadblocks and bounce back from setbacks
Who is the Book For?
What Children Need to be Happy, Confident and Successful should be read by every adult who interacts with children. The target age for the Flourishing Program described in the book is 3 to 11 year–olds because early intervention is key in the road to psychological wellbeing. Getting things right from the beginning is the route to follow for effective parenting. Slowly and steady adults guide the child to acquire the skills which every child needs to help them live their best life and to keep things on track when life gets tough. Drawing on ideas from positive psychology and child development theory, Ms. Hooper’s program can be used with most children. The program is designed to be personalised to reflect a child’s strengths and interests as well as address their current needs.
What is the Flourishing Program?
The Flourishing Program provides a comprehensive guide to help children achieve their personal potential in every area of their lives. There are 5 core areas of wellbeing:
- Personal Strengths is the dynamic energy that we all have within us but it needs to be nurtured and channelled so that each child knows what works for them.
- Emotional Wellbeing is having the energy and enthusiasm for life and the self-control and motivation to pursue worthwhile goals.
- Positive Communication is the skills that make relationships satisfying. It creates the security that children need to feel confident and able to play and learn.
- Learning Strengths is developing learning habits to motivate and get results. “Learning to learn” will help children be versatile and learn new skills throughout life.
- Resilience is learning to avoid roadblocks and learning coping strategies to bounce back from setbacks.
Each key area is given a whole chapter with information on how to personalize the program to suit your child.
Features of the Book
Jeni Hooper’s message and methods will fill anxious caregivers with hope. She lets you know in her first pages that the real and lasting difference in the wellbeing of your child now and for the future is in your hands but her practical guide book brimming with effective, simple suggestions reassures you and shows you the way. She says every adult has the tools to help a child achieve psychological wellbeing. Her ideas are simple; require no material, equipment, or money. Your time, your common sense and your love for your child will make following her suggestions possible.
“Many children find themselves faced with unrealistic expectations from their parents now that families are smaller and parents have fewer close relationships to support their own emotional needs.
Jeni Hooper, Child Psychologist
The content is well organized and user-friendly with its detailed Table of Contents, numerous Tables, Figures and Boxes, Notes, and a comprehensive Index. This book is a great resource to refer to often.
The pages check marked can be downloaded for example The First Step to Flourishing Questionnaire which is an assessment of how your child is progressing in the five areas of wellbeing.
She uses a few case studies to help the reader understand how her program works.
You do not have to be a psychologist to use the Flourishing Program. Professionals working with children and parents will be able to follow her practical activities to nurture wellbeing. The language used is easy to understand as the following excerpts show:
- Every teacher and parent knows the vital importance of giving children with additional needs a life rich in experience and which helps them feel capable and valued.
- Ensuring that a child has at least one hour a day of uninterrupted time to do as they choose should encourage a child to explore and experiment.
- When children know adults will provide for them and protect them they feel secure, and their negative emotions become less frequent and intense… A calmer, happier child is free to learn.
- Planning ahead and goal setting encourages children to see themselves as capable of change and growth.
- We owe it to children to create enjoyment in their lives because it is the oxygen of wellbeing which creates the physical and psychological states necessary to flourish. … Enjoyment and love are vital to emotional wellbeing.
- Children learn about the world through play… Play keeps a child’s interest and by sustaining their attention, play gradually helps a child develop all the skills which underpin executive function.
As the author says, “The path to adult life is a long haul but offers an incredibly exciting journey.” Ms. Hooper writes that the motto for this book is, “You can make a difference – every adult matters in a child’s life.” She also adds, “Many children find themselves faced with unrealistic expectations from their parents now that families are smaller and parents have fewer close relationships to support their own emotional needs.” How to find the right balance for effective parenting? Read Ms. Hooper’s book carefully and keep it handy for future reference.
Jeni Hooper is a Child Psychologist and Parent Coach who is based in Winchester, England. She has over 30 years’ experience working with children in both public and independent settings. She is a chartered psychologist and member of The British Psychological Society and also registered with The Health Professionals Council. She now specialises in applying positive psychology to promoting children’s psychological wellbeing as a trainer, coach and consultant.
Ms. Hooper offers a variety of flexible and practical support methods to suit the families she works with. You can choose from:
- Telephone and Skype coaching programmes
- Home visits for families living within traveling distance
- Workshops and training events