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The Silent Guides & My Hidden Chimp

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 • Procrastinating • 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

My Hidden Chimp

There is also a companion book specifically for children, titled My Hidden Chimp. The children’s book features easy to follow explanations and simple strategies to help them understand how their mind works. With ten habits to put into practice, such as smiling, saying sorry and talking about your feelings, children can work on managing their behaviour and emotions and understand why they sometimes behave and feel the way they do.

My Hidden Chimp is an educational book for children to work through with an adult or by themselves. The book offers parents, teachers and carers some ideas and thoughts on how to help children to develop healthy habits for life. The science behind the habits is discussed in a practical way with exercises and activities. The neuroscience of the mind is simplified for the children to understand and then use to their advantage.
“As many children learn habits during childhood that are often carried into adult life, I have written this book based on habit formation. I hope it will help young children to develop constructive and healthy habits for life.” Professor Steve Peters