Being emotionally healthy is vital to our overall happiness

Loving our child comes naturally – ‘naturally’ takes work.

Being emotionally healthy is vital to our overall happiness and to our ability to live an enjoyable and fulfilling life. The evidence tells us that children who are emotionally healthy and psychologically resilient are less likely to experience emotional difficulties and are more likely to overcome these difficulties if they occur.

Working as a clinical psychologist with children and teenagers for over twenty-five years and running a large mental health service has taught me that for children, love is the essence of emotional wellbeing. Children who love themselves and are loved, particularly by their parents, have a healthier sense of emotional well-being and stronger psychological resilience.

This book explores the concept of ‘loving our child’ and how we can connect with and utilise this love to help our child to be an emotionally healthy person. It explores how we can teach children to love themselves and how this love helps them to lead emotionally healthy lives. How we can best prevent and manage the emotional difficulties our child might encounter is explored alongside the importance of keeping ourselves emotionally healthy.

Parenting is a journey of discovery through which we learn more about our child and ourselves each day. This book aims to help in this discovery journey; each chapter is prefaced by a brief reflection in which I blend my own thoughts on parenthood with those of parents I have spoken to during my course of work. Throughout the book there are exercises aimed at encouraging us to think about our special relationship with our child and their emotional well-being.