What I find amazing is how simple
Martha Straus makes it to become cool, calm, and connected if you fill in the worksheets, do the exercises, and practice the steps that she so clearly outlines in this workbook. Whether your child or teen challenges you with outbursts of anger, intense anxiety, or sullen silences, here is the path to help them regulate those states while maintaining your own calm. Dr. Straus provides easy-to-follow worksheets that help you:
- Analyze your temperament and compare it with your child (you may be different!)
- Identify when (and, even better, how!) to take a break or draw closer
- Find (and use!) good helpers among family and friends
Even better, she provides several simple-to-apply methods for parents and children together to become cooler and calmer in moments of high temper, such as ways to breathe, get grounded, and verbalize distress. This workbook is chock-full of activities that are calming – and even fun – for parents and children to do together as they find the best steps to calm down when emotions run high.
Dr. Straus writes with a unique voice, filled with such humor, wisdom, and love, that readers will find it easy to listen to her suggestions and believe they, too, can accomplish their goals to have a more peaceful household. This is a book I wish I had available as a young therapist and mom!
Dr. Margaret Wehrenberg,
author of The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques
and You Can Handle It: 10 Steps to Shift Stress from Problem to Possibility
Cool, Calm & Connected
is an engaging resource that can help parents and caregivers concerned about troubled children, as well as a great tool to supplement trauma-informed, evidence-supported treatment programs. Marti Straus goes beyond most guidebooks by sharing her own feelings and experiences as both a parent and a therapist, making the workbook at once relatable and realistic. Using the activities and thought-provoking exercises in the book helps caring adults become aware of their own reactions and how they can use their feelings to help themselves and their children stay regulated in stressful situations and prevent frustrations, disagreements, and anger from tearing them apart. Straus helps caring adults step back, recognize their own needs and reminders of past traumas, and use their enhanced capacity to help their children. This includes thoughtful and do-able guides for what is often so difficult for parents: to choose what to repeat from their own upbringing, determine when and how to apologize for mistakes, learn how to get support and help, and appreciate the value of thankfulness for the joys of parenting, even in stressful times. Cool, Calm & Connected
is “relational healing for relational traumas” at its best.
Richard Kagan, PhD
author of the Real Life Heroes: Toolkit for Treating Traumatic Stress in Children and Families
and The Hero’s Mask Guidebook: Helping Children with Traumatic Stress
Martha Straus masterfully talks to parents about the importance of modeling emotional connection and regulation, and then shows them how to do it. With empathy, warmth, and a clear understanding of the challenges all parents face, she dives straight into what feels overwhelming and chaotic to families, and then gives the concrete skills and exercises families need to change patterns for the better. We need such a book now more than ever.
Lynn Lyons, LICSW
co-author Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents
Cool, Calm & Connected
is an excellent parent-friendly workbook! Activities are carefully crafted to empower parents as they help their children build healthy communication, strengthen self-regulation capacities, and develop mindful routines. The workbook also taps into the creative abilities of children (and adults!) with a great hands-on section. This is a must-have resource for parents and clinicians.
Lisa Weed Phifer, PhD
author of CBT Toolbox for Children and Adolescents
This workbook has simple, thought-provoking activities to help adults create a home life for their families that encourages healthy emotional development. The focus on self-regulation for adults is so essential because when we can be calm, we can model and help the kids in our lives learn to regulate as well.
Janine Halloran, LMHC
author of the Coping Skills for Kids Workbook