Review of: Count Yourself Calm

Anyone else have a tiny spit-fire in their home? You know, one who has big emotions that rise and flair? I have a couple, and the poor babies come by it honestly. So we have talks about emotional regulation on the daily. It takes conscious effort to get us all calm. And now we have a new tool we are loving! Count Yourself Calm: Taking Big Feelings to a Big God by Eliza Huie, is a treasure among books.

Christian book publishers are catching up, and realizing we need to help littles name and process their emotions. ‘Give your emotions to God’ has almost become a catchphrase when talking to littles about emotions from a faith perspective. However, few resources practically show how to do this. Count Yourself Calm by Eliza Huie not only offers a faith perspective on emotions, but also gives practical coping skills to help littles process and pray through their strong feelings.

What I Love

This book is one of a kind. Before I was a stay at home mom, most of my work experience was in group homes working with children and BIG emotions. Though books discussing emotions and how to handle them has become a popular topic in children’s books, there are still few that offer real life tools for children still learning to navigate their feelings.

Count Yourself Calm helps littles work through their emotions by naming the goodness of God in their lives. It is based on the therapeutic practice of centering your senses when you are upset. Taking a breath and naming something you can touch, taste, hear, smell, and see. However, this book offers prayers along with this practice, centering our emotions and senses on God.

As they they read the book, littles take deep breaths, using a breath prayer based on Proverbs 3:5. They count things and people God gave that give them joy, peace, encouragement, promise, and calm.

This is a helpful tool for any Christian parent or educator, especially those who have littles with big emotions. This book would make for a great circle-time read and would also be a good addition to a calm down box.

I would say, because the items they are supposed to count aren’t readily memorable (i.e. like the senses) it may be beneficial for parents to read this often when our child is already calm, and practice the steps. The book lays this out that this is helpful to ‘learn on good days, and practice on hard days.’ Then pick one of the items to count when child is in a wave of big emotion. It’s helpful to have a game-plan laid out before for when emotions get high. This way of praying really is a coping skill, and all skills take practice. And it is hard to use a new skill in the heat of the moment. So take it slow.

I also think that this book can be a fantastic tool for reading with a little that has just had an emotional outburst. If they have already lost their cool, and emotional regulation is something that is hard for them, the after math can come with a sense of shame and embarrassment. This book can bring healing in those moments.

It affirms that everyone has big emotions, and it does take practice to learn how to regulate. When they are calm after an outburst, take some time to read and think about joyful things, peaceful things, encouraging people, promises of God, and calm. All these things can help a child come back to being regulated and feeling like themselves.

What My Littles Love

As I said, I have a couple spit fires, so talking about getting calm is a daily conversation. They love the relateable drawing in this book, as well as the affirmation that everyone has big feelings, and God cares about them.

They also loved naming their own thoughts of things that bring them joy and peace. They quickly added this book to their own calm down box, knowing this is a helpful tool.

Click here to get your own copy of ‘Count Yourself Calm’ by Eliza Huie

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