Calming Your Child


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About the Author

Michael Hempseed holds an honours degree in psychology from the University of Canterbury and speaks all over New Zealand on topics such as suicide prevention, improving sleep, and trauma. His first book, Being A True Hero: Understanding and Preventing Suicide in Your Community, has been used by the New Zealand Police, New Zealand Army medics, and many more.

In 1995, Dame Sue Bagshaw, MD, established 198 Youth Health, a health centre designed to care for the disadvantaged in the city of Christchurch, and in 2019, she was knighted for her services to young people. She is a senior lecturer of paediatrics at the Christchurch School of Medicine and the founder of The Collaborative Trust for Research and Training in Youth Health and Development.


 "A fine book that has everything parents will need to help a distressed child."
—Patch Adams, MD, bestselling author and Nobel Peace Prize nominee

"Calming Your Child is essential reading, whether you are a parent or not. It provides solid references and strategies to deal with the challenging task of raising a child and to prepare them for life as an adult in a turbulent, fast-paced society."
-- Captain Kevin Sullivan, Author of No Man's Land: The Untold Story of Automation on QF72

"Dame Sue Bagshaw and Michael Hempseed share their profound insights derived from decades of working with children with mental health challenges and behavioural problems. The authors frame an argument that the behavioural problems expressed by these children are not intentional, but the consequences of being under a state of threat. Accepting this perspective leads to an optimistic strategy of calming the nervous system that promote feelings of safety."
--Stephen Porges, PhD and author of The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation

Being a parent, caregiver, or someone around kids for any amount of time has its moments of exhaustion (physically and mentally), mainly because there are times when you don’t always know the right answers or actions for unforeseen situations. Kids are essentially miniature versions of adults but (usually) less capable as adults, meaning they aren’t equipped to handle their emotions or other “big” situations as appropriately as someone older. In Calming Your Child, Dr. Bagshaw, and Michael Hempseed speak from experience and research on activities to try with your child(ren) to assist them with becoming the best versions of themselves with what is available.

Calming Your Child contains five parts (two sections) explaining the various types of behaviors that might come from a child and their probable reasons. As a parent and a worker in the mental health field, the information is a beneficial reminder for me and possibly unknown to other adults. From the multiple reasons why behaviors may happen, thankfully, there are options of “coping skills” that are helpful for the larger crowd of kids, and for the few that need more customization, the ideas are at least a starting point. The information is understandable and easily relatable.—Rachel Dehning, Manhattan Book Review

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