In Episode 80, I’m chatting with Maureen Healy, author of The Emotionally Healthy Child: Helping Children Calm, Center, and Make Smarter Choices. We talk about embracing the discomfort of handling challenging emotions and raising emotionally healthy and happy kids.


  • It’s okay to be uncomfortable with a feeling.
  • We need to learn how to express our emotions constructively.
  • We’re always bigger than our emotions.
  • We need to embrace our uncomfortable feelings in order to get to the other side of them.
  • It’s challenging being a child and children face challenges that adults don’t always see.
  • Getting frustrated is normal and healthy.


Maureen Healy

Maureen: “Many moons ago I started as a coach to CEOs and I worked in business. And then I found sometimes they would act like children, so I went back to school and studied child development, child psychology, and I love it! I fell in love with working with children, and parents, and teachers.”

Maureen: “My expertise is really children’s emotional health. Their social and emotional learning.”

Maureen: “I have a background in eastern/western psychologies. I’ve lived in India and for the second edition of my book, The Emotionally Healthy Child, the Dalai Lama wrote the preface.”

Audrey: “Sometimes the simplest concepts are the best ones.”

Maureen: “A starting point of emotional health is learning how to name your emotions and express them constructively, no matter what they are.”

Maureen: “In the book, I talk about kids that run hot with anger or kids that run cold with sadness. Of course, there are lots of emotions in between, but I tend to see children who have challenges either with deep sadness, or get really triggered frustrated angry easily.”

Maureen: “Getting frustrated is normal and healthy.”

Audrey: “Emotionally healthy adults need the same things that the kids you work with need.”

Maureen: “We always need to learn how to express our emotions constructively.”

Maureen: “You’re responding consciously, carefully, and then you’re making smarter choices when you’re challenged.”

Maureen: “To be emotionally healthy we have to know what emotions are and how they work. I have a chapter in the book, Emotionally Healthy Child, about how emotions work.”

Audrey: “So with your work you’re trying to both help the kids to get this new mindset to understand their emotions and where they come from and they’re okay.”

Audrey: “The section in Emotionally Healthy Child, The Secret To Success- Discomfort, is something I think parents have been hearing a lot more about–why it’s important that our kids experience discomfort and learn to deal with it.”

Maureen: “The only way we learn is by falling down and getting back up again. And our goal is to be the best we can and then go with the rest.”

Maureen: “You want them to be uncomfortable in a safe setting where you can help them to navigate through it.”

Maureen: “I always think of bad behavior as a child who has not yet developed the skills to handle the emotions they’re having.”


Maureen’s website: Go to and sign up for a newsletter to get a free sample chapter.

Documentary mentioned: Screenagers

Books mentioned: The Yes Brain, Dr. Daniel Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson


Ep. 73: Under Pressure with Lisa Damour

10 Ways to Teach Kids to Calm Down

Books by Maureen Healy

Audrey’s Recommended Sections of The Emotionally Healthy Child, Helping Children Calm, Center, and Make Smart Choices:

– On pages 47 and 48, there’s a great chart to help you keep a healthy and optimum balance in life.

– Seven Ideas That Children Need To Learn About Emotions is on page 52.

– The Emotionally Healthy Mindset is on pages 60 and 61.

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