The Silent Guides
During our childhood, we learn to manage emotions and thinking by developing coping strategies. These strategies, whether helpful or unhelpful, often progress into habits for life – our Silent Guides. Helpful habits can give many advantages in life. Unhelpful habits that persist into adult life usually bring stress and can be detrimental to our day to- day functioning, psychological health and relationships. The Silent Guides explores some neuroscience and psychological aspects of the developing mind, unconscious thinking, behaviours, habit formation and related topics in an easy to understand way. It then offers practical ideas and thoughts for the reader to reflect on using 10 helpful habits as examples.
The Silent Guides Has Two Themes
• To help adults to consider and understand where some of their unhealthy or destructive learnt behaviours and beliefs might have come from, and then offer ways to replace them with healthy and constructive behaviours and beliefs.
• To offer ideas and support to parents, teachers or carers that could help children to form healthy and constructive habits and prevent unhealthy or destructive habits from developing.
Examples of unhelpful thinking, behaviours and habits that can be changed include:
• Being overly self-critical
• Fear of failure and unforgiving perfectionism
• Worrying excessively or overreacting to situations
• Living with low self-esteem
Examples of helpful thinking, behaviours and habits include:
• Getting over mistakes
• Developing a positive outlook
• Being able to talk through your feelings
• Seeking appropriate help
• Being proactive
Over the last few years, I have had many requests from teachers, parents and guardians for a book that children and their carers could both use to help them to understand their emotions, thinking and behaviours. I am pleased to have the support of Bonnier in being able to publish two books, one for children and one for any adult that will help to give them insights, ideas and support. I am indebted to all those adults and children who have helped me to shape up both books.’Professor Steve Peters