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My co-author and good friend, Eileen, with me the day we received our books.

Released July 2023

Growing Feelings: A Kids' Guide to Dealing with Emotions About Friends and Other Kids


From the back cover:

A clear, useful, and entertaining toolkit for children about understanding their own and others’ feelings so they can build meaningful and joyful friendships.

Friendships are fun, but they can also be complicated, and they often involve dealing with difficult feelings. It’s common for kids to feel:

  • anxious around friends they don’t know well,

  • angry or hurt about something a friend said or did,

  • sad, lonely, or jealous when a friend spends time with someone else.

Learning how to deal with feelings about friends helps kids make and keep strong friendships. It also helps them be a good friend. In Growing Feelings, the follow-up to their bestselling book, Growing Friendships, psychologist and children’s friendships expert Dr. Eileen Kennedy-Moore and parenting and health writer Christine McLaughlin teach kids healthy ways to cope with and communicate about the full range of feelings involving friends and other children.... It equips kids with real, practical answers to understanding and dealing with their feelings about friends that they can use throughout their childhood and beyond.

Praise for Growing Feelings:

"The duo behind Growing Friendships (2017) return to offer kids more advice. Anger, jealousy, sadness—big feelings often arise in friendships, both among casual acquaintances and BFFs. Kennedy-Moore and McLaughlin consider the nuances of various emotions—for example, the section on anxiety is broken down into chapters on embarrassment, shyness, guilt, and more. Using the concept of “Feelings Stories,” the authors offer concrete examples of how people’s actions can impact others’ emotions. They also encourage readers to develop sound social-emotional habits, such as prioritizing trust and self-forgiveness, taking responsibility for one’s actions, having “a good cry” when needed, and treating others with kindness. Ultimately, the book stresses, you can’t control what others do, only what you do. Each major section ends with reflective questions and advice for using the strategies introduced to help others. The authors frame positivity as a “good practice” and suggest reserving the negative stuff for discussions with close friends. The book only briefly mentions a neurodivergent perspective. All additional resources listed in the back are ones Kennedy-Moore, a psychologist specializing in parenting and child development, has co-authored. Line illustrations throughout depict diverse characters; a cartoon dog and cat provide humorous, animal-themed commentary that at times seems to make light of the serious issues covered. A helpful primer for navigating the emotional ups and downs of friendship." (glossary) (Nonfiction. 6-10) 

― Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2023

“Growing Feelings translates top-notch psychological science into a clear and compassionate guide that will help kids understand their emotions and the role they play in building and maintaining friendships. This warm, wise, accessible book belongs in the hands of every elementary-school aged child.”


― Lisa Damour, PhD, author of Untangled, Under Pressure, and The Emotional Lives of Teenagers

“A great follow-up to Growing Friendships! Unlike other books that generalize emotions, Growing Feelings uniquely focuses on the powerful feelings that inevitably come up in children’s friendships. The thinking and research behind this book are sophisticated, but the concepts and strategies are presented in a way that’s accessible and empowering for children. The cartoons showing common friendship challenges are very relatable, and the silly comments from the cat and dog make this book a fun read. I love the message that all feelings, even painful ones, are useful to understand, plus the practical ideas for coping with and communicating about often-neglected emotions such as guilt, disappointment, and jealousy. Reading this groundbreaking book aloud with your child is a great way to help them gain essential tools for navigating feelings about friends.”


― Amy McCready, founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and author of The ”Me, Me, Me” Epidemic

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