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Colleen A. Patterson

1-2-3 a Calmer Me: Helping Children Cope When Emotions Get Out of Control


It's okay to feel mad.
This is what I do to help me feel better.
I stop and say a rhyme.
Let's try it together.

At one time or another, you have probably witnessed a child's emotions spinning out of control. When children are upset, it can be frustrating for parents, teachers, and any grown up. Don't forget, young children are still learning to control their emotions, and learning this skill is an important part of

Without your help, children may resort to hitting, kicking, biting, screaming, or crying when they feel frustrated, challenged, or disappointed. When children behave this way, we often tell them to stop. However, while these behaviors need to change, remember that upset or uncomfortable feelings
are okay. Part of growing up is learning how to handle those feelings in ways that make us feel better.

In this book, the rhyme "1-2-3 A Calmer Me" is a simple mantra for helping children cope when their emotions start spinning out of control. Based on the psychological principles of relaxation and mindfulness, the mantra can be used anywhere, anytime.

Includes a "Note to Parents, Teachers, and Other Grown-Ups" with more information about the steps of the "1-2-3" rhyme and advice for working on them together with a child.


About the Author
Colleen A. Patterson, MA, is a psychologist who has worked with children of all ages in hospital and school settings. She moves her mood by running and frequently races in support of children's mental health. She has coauthored two books with Magination Press, How I Learn: A Kid's Guide to Learning Disability and 1-2-3 A Calmer Me: Helping Children Cope When Emotions Get Out of Control. Follow her on Twitter: @psychbooks4kid

Brenda S. Miles, PhD, is a pediatric neuropsychologist who has worked in hospital, rehabilitation, and school settings. She is an author and co-author of several books for children, including The Moment You Were Born: A Story for You and Your Premature Baby, Stickley Sticks to It!: A Frog's Guide to Getting Things Done, Chicken or Egg: Who Comes First? and Princess Penelopea Hates Peas: A Tale of Picky Eating and Avoiding Catastropeas. Brenda encourages children of all ages to dream big, find joy, and embrace adventure.

Claire Keay, illustrator of numerouse children's books including Bee Calm, 1-2-3 A Calmer Me, and Bumblebee Bike, lives in the south of England where she works from her small studio at home illustrating children's books and greeting cards. Visit her at and follow her on Twitter: @claire_keay and Facebook: @clairekeayart.