Making Healthy Choices: Teaching Children How to Make Value-Affirming Choices

Subject Matter of Children's Book Review:

Teaching Children to Make Healthy Choices

Children's Book Review: "It's Up To You: What Do You Do?"

by Sandra McLeod Humphrey

Reviewed by Laura Pickford Ramirez

Sandra McLeod Humphrey's, "It's Up to You: What Do You Do?" is a book about making healthy choices. The book features various scenarios in which kids are presented with a dilemma and invited to think about what they would do. Situations such as dealing with a jealous friend, deciding whether to take the opportunity to sneak into a movie show and what to do when another person is teased relentlessly are hard choices to make even for teenagers and some adults. That such choices must be made in the face of peer pressure makes doing the right thing that much more challenging.

Presenting children with scenarios universal to us all and encouraging them to think about making healthy choices plants seeds into fertile ground. Although the book is geared to 8-12 year olds, I read it to my four and six year old sons and was pleasantly surprised at the choices they made and the reasoning they followed. If we want our children to think before they act, then as with anything, we must give them the opportunity to practice. We must teach them "how" to think about the consequences of their choices.

By guiding your child through the process of making healthy choices, you'll be teaching him how to make his values actionable. The end result is a child who feels good about himself and stands strong in his convictions, even in the face of peer pressure.

Each day, our children are presented with a myriad of choices. Each choice reveals their values, defines their character and acts as a reinforcer for making future choices. Since one day their peers will have more influence than authority figures, it's crucial to teach young children how healthy choices make a difference in the quality of their lives.

Need more information on teaching kids to make healthy choices? Search the web below:


About the author of the book: Sandra McLeod Humphrey is a retired clinical psychologist with more than 36 years experience working with young people.

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