Recommended Book: How to be a Superhero called Self-Control

how to be a superhero called self control - author Q&A and book previewHow to Be a Superhero Called Self-Control!: Super Powers to Help Younger Children to Regulate their Emotions and Senses by Lauren Brukner is aimed at children aged 4 and above and focuses on the power of imagination to combat overpowering emotional and physical dysregulative feelings, through the use of creative and powerful strategies that utilise mindfulness, deep breathing, and grounding physical exercises.

The second half of the book includes an appendix with photocopiable super power charts, reinforcers, and reminder tools to ensure that parents, teachers, and other professionals can support children in upholding superhero strategies after they’ve finished reading.

Purchase from Jessica Kingsley Publishers (10% discount on your order when quoting MHA) or Amazon.

Sneak Peek [Download]

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I asked Lauren, the author to tell me a bit about herself, the book and what she thought you might get out of reading it (and just for the record, I loved it and have jumped at the chance to take an early view of her next title).

How did you come up with this idea?

I truly believe in children feeling empowered, across the different environments they experience throughout the day. So much stress is often placed on children through academic rigor, social and peer pressure, etc. I believe that ensuring that we are facilitating that children have the tools to have control of overpowering feelings is the first step; rather it is fundamental for all those living with and working with children to ensure that we are consistently providing an environment that promotes this type of social-emotional learning, and allows for children to understand their just-right strategies.

What is the most important lesson people will learn from reading this book?

It’s about the emotional empowerment of children; all these strategies, or superpowers, as I call them, are there, not just so that they ‘can focus’ or ‘do their work’, but so they can be confident, happy, and successful in all facets of their lives to the best of their abilities.

What was the hardest thing about developing the content?

Broadening the strategies to a range of readers, so that it would be applicable for all children; so any child could pick it up, make a connection to their life, and find a helpful strategy to make their life happier, and thus, improving their confidence.

How do you imagine the book being used?

I am happy to say that this book is beginning to be adopted into school curricula, and I hope that this continues! Social-emotional learning is so key, and I hope that it gets into as many schools as possible. I know that it is also reaching therapy centers, as well as families across the world, which is astounding and humbling to me. That’s why I write my books-I hope that what I write makes a difference in the lives of children and their loved ones.

What did you learn whilst you were writing it?

I learned to hone in on my creative writing with this book, and it was a lot of fun. I found myself editing, re-editing, testing it out on my kids, and having to be ok with editing again, when needed. I learned that I am capable of hard work, as I spent many nights writing after a full day of work, followed by homework/bonding/bedtime with my kids, with weekends also devoted to my writing. You can accomplish more than you think, and are stronger than you know:)

How did you decide which topics needed to be covered?

My love within my profession has always been self-regulation; as I grew over the years treating, I developed my own strategies and language that I saw really worked. Those seeds planted into the two books that are currently published today, with my third book due out September of this year.

How did you road test the content?

Through clients I worked with and my own three kids-children are often the most honest, and the best critics!

How did you decide on the look and feel of this book?

When addressing self-regulation, I like utilizing simple visuals that are non-distracting, comprised of black and white only. I wanted it to be interactive, keeping readers actively involved by completing an exercise in order to change the outcome for a fellow child in need of their assistance (that is, by doing the strategy/superpower correctly). As this is a younger audience, I incorporated consistent discussion points and kinaesthetic elements consistently throughout the book (ie- touch your knee and tap your head two times), which also works on many important developmental skills.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I am a certified screener for Irlen Syndrome/Scoptic Sensitivity, and hold training and certification in Integrated Listening Systems. I am exploring consultative services to school districts and therapy clinics starting in July. I love to blog and am a contributing writer for Autism Parenting Magazine. When I am not working, I love to spend time with my family going on day trips to unexplored places, completing DIY home projects, and reading. I am also a huge coffee fan-and will travel (within reason) for an amazing cup of coffee:)

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of the types of books that I write, with a publisher who publishes “books that make a difference”. I never knew that this would be my path, and the messages I receive thanking me for my books through social media make me smile for days.

What’s next? (inc Do you have plans for any future books?)

I am excited to announce that I have my third book in my series due out September 21st, 2016!

Stay Cool and In Control with the Keep-Calm Guru: Wise Ways for Children to Regulate their Emotions and Senses.

Stay tuned!

About the author

Lauren BruknerLauren Brukner is a Senior Occupational Therapist who lives in New York City with her husband and her three children, two of whom have emotional and sensory integration difficulties. Lauren has appeared as a guest on The Autism Show and The Manhattan Neighborhood Network’s School-Home Connection. Her books have been listed as resources on websites such as Real Simple Magazine, Everyday Health, AOL’s Health and Wellness, MSN Health,,, and Friendship Circle, as well as numerous school district curricula around the world. She specializes in sensory integration and self-regulation strategies for children and young people, and their implementation in home, school, and community settings. She holds advanced training and certification in Integrated Listening Systems, and is a Certified Screener for Irlen Syndrome/Scotopic Sensitivity.

Laruen’s Blog:

Follow Lauren on Twitter: @brukner_lauren

You may also be interested in:

Book Review: The Kids’ Guide to Staying Awesome and In Control (Lauren’s previous book)

More recommended books

Jessica Kingsley Publishers Pastoral Education & Mental Health Books Catalogue 2016

JKP Children’s Books Catalogue 2016

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