My Personal Story of Overcoming a Mental Health Condition and How It Created My Book on Parenting
A mental health sufferer from childhood has written a book to help parents and children emotionally bond. The book is full of stories containing moral values and advice on how to deal with difficult emotions. The author hopes that the book will help break the cycle of racism and mental health issues as children grow up.
According to the author, one of the main goals of the book is to help parents and children connect on an emotional level. “Too often, parents and children don’t communicate openly about their feelings because they’re afraid of what the other might say,” said the author.
It’s available on Amazon to purchase now!
This book addresses the most common parenting challenges and aims to give parents time with their children while reading the stories. The stories include twenty-two moral values, five lessons to learn from each one, and an exercise for the parent and child to complete after the story, this is to strengthen the lessons learned and have something tangible for the child to refer to. While doing this you also provide your child with emotional bonding and open them up to talking and sharing those important life experiences we go through alone.
The stories cover gratitude, lying, manners, respect for others, losing gracefully, forgiveness, compassion, anger, keeping calm, greed, jealousy, hard work, challenges, judgment, bullying, pride (winning gracefully), acceptance, self-confidence, making mistakes, the importance of learning, bad intentions and following your dreams. Everything you would want all children in your and our society to be learning daily.
We can’t always be around when our children start going to school and we can’t just bring up situations out of the blue to discuss with our children or determine when the best time to teach them is. The Author Lewis Anderson has three children himself and say’s he finds it difficult to teach children ethics, morals, and how to deal with life situations without them either first being in the situation themselves or sounding like he is preaching by trying to teach them without any prompt to do so.
Lewis says when he was a child, his mother brought him up well, but there were so many other situations he had to experience and deal with on his own, that he was just not prepared for in life. He also states, “when these situations arise and we are faced with them at school when our parents are not around, we can keep it to ourselves, and our parents may never know what happened or how they dealt or are dealing with it.”
Lewis gives an example of this from his own life and details how he closed as a child after experiencing racism in his first few weeks at school and could never deal with making friends or getting involved in social situations after that point. He says it’s a dramatic long-term effect that started his mental health problems that he could have been better prepared to deal with if only he had a book like Nurturing Kindness by Nature: Life Lessons to get Parents and children talking.
Here is Lewis’s brief story on one of the many reasons he wrote his book:
“When I was about 4 years old doing my first year at school, I was a happy boy just playing and trying to make friends. I was brought up in a slightly posh area of my local city so everyone in the school was from a middle-class background excluding myself. I didn’t realize anything about the world at that age, only that I love my family and loved going to school.
When I tried to make friends, I found it difficult, for some reason no one would talk back or want to play with me.
I didn’t think much of it at the time, but I thought there might be something wrong with me.
Then the second week into school, I was playing in the field, when two boys came up to me and chanted, “paki, paki, you’re a paki” I didn’t understand why they were saying those things or what they meant but I knew it wasn’t nice, so I walked away and carried on playing alone.
Later that day I went home to ask my mum what a paki was, then she explained I have a different color skin to everyone else in my school because my dad is Jamaican.
The word they used was supposed to be an insult toward people from Pakistan.
That’s the point I realized I looked different from everyone else and that’s the point in my life where I shut off from being social and saw myself as different from everyone else. I went inwards and shut off from the social world altogether.
It wasn’t until 4 years later that I made a friend who accepted me, he was Jamaican and from then on, I found my best friend.
I carried that with me for years as a child ruining relationships with friends and not wanting to mix with others because I thought there was something wrong with my skin.
Why else would those nice kids I wanted to be friends with be mean to me and call me names? it must be me, right?
Well, this kind of thinking goes on in our children’s heads every day, it’s the root of mental health issues as an adult, they are alone in the world dealing with real issues we don’t always know about.”
Lewis’s story shows how it’s impacted the rest of his life since the age of four. In his book, he believes that he could have better dealt with the thoughts and emotions of looking different, and the other children who did the bullying could have learned about bullying, judgments and that there are differences between people so they would have never picked on him for being different in the first place.
Lewis also gave an example of only being able to teach our children stealing is wrong, after they have done it or had it done to them, the same with lies and more serious bullying.
How this book can help parents
In the 22 stories in his book, the situation is explained in a short bedtime story, then the parent and child could discuss that situation, giving the parent opportunity to give their best advice, preparing them in the way they choose. The book avoids giving any direct parenting advice but details the reasons behind needing to be a good kind person and opens the conversation up for discussion.
The book also details five lessons to learn from each story, the reasons why they are important in life, and asks the child to write down what they have learned from each lesson, so it can be a fun exercise if read during the day too. There is also a journal you can buy as another part of the parenting which encourages your child to journal experiences and feelings and discusses them with the parent.
When you read “The Boy That Cried Wolf” style stories to your children every night you can ensure you discuss the story and provide your own best advice to your children. These stories never end with people being eaten but there is a moral lesson in every story.
Lewis states that “maybe religion could have taught me better, but I would never have been guaranteed to learn as there is so much stigma and other issues included in religion, I wanted an easy planned out way of being able to talk deeply and openly with my children” so this is where this book was born from. Also noting that our children are always open for discussion at bedtime, so bedtime stories were a perfect fit to include the lessons taught in his book.
So, parents grab a copy and let us know what you think!
Nurturing Kindness by Nature: Life lessons for parents and children to get talking is available on:
Nurturing Kindness by Nature – Journal: Journal the Life Lessons You Talk Through with Your Children
Contact Lewis Anderson at his website: https://lewis-anderson.com
Note to Media:
Lewis Anderson is available for interviews
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org#GentleParenting #AmplifyBlackVoices #MentalHealthAwareness #WorldBookDay2022