Do you know an 8-13 year old who needs some support and ideas to get calmer, more confident, more motivated and better able to cope with some tricky life situations?

If so, I have a resource for you.  It's "When Life Sucks for Kids: Ideas and tips for when you feel mad, worried or sad - or life gets kind of messy" - a fun book with cartoons, ideas, help - and most importantly provides hope for kids.

This is a book that I've spent the last two years writing, but I've been thinking about it for the last 20 years, while working as a child psychologist.   Yep, I can be slow to get things done sometimes!

I've written this book for 8 to 13 year olds.  I've had hundreds of little people in my head as I've written it and wanted to address the common problems faced by the average Aussie primary schooler/early high schooler.

The sections include family, friends, life, school and feelings.  Each chapter consists of a common problem including:  I get really worried sometimes, my friend and I had a big fight, I hate homework, my parents always nag me to do boring stuff, I feel sad for no reason sometimes, I'm worried about my body changing, someone I love died, I get so angry, I feel like I'm not smart enough, I can't get to sleep and many, many more.

Each chapter includes
A real life story about a kid in this situation; 
Cartoons; 
Information about what is normal; 
What to do and say; 
How to get extra help from people around you; and
Calm sentences for the child to say to themselves to help them feel better.  

It also has a blank page at the end of chapter for parents or other adults to write some extra tips for that child personally.  I'm hoping this could be a way for parents to pass on their wisdom to their kids about managing tough times.

For the younger child (8-9 year old) - you can also read this to them - and use as a discussion starter.

For an older child (9-13 year olds) they can read it themselves and it will help them think about how to cope better with the challenges life throws at them.

For parents - they can read it themselves in order to know what to say to their child, what skills to give them and how to coach them through tough feelings or tough times.

Buy a copy for your child - or a child you know - and let's help Australian kids learn how to manage life, feelings and tough stuff.  

“Wow! What a book, Kirrilie Smout you soooooo get kids! Highly recommended”
— Bill Hansberry, Teacher & Mentor – Director: Hansberry Educational Consulting

If you don't have a paypal account and want us to send you an invoice then click below to send us an email - tell us who to post it to and who to make out the invoice to - and we will send it straight to you.

Would you like to see a couple of free chapters first?  No problems - click here.

(When we received the book) I sat with my girls and read out the chapter headings. As we read through they start to say “yes”, “yes” to quite a lot of the statements. I could see and sense they felt excited that these statements were reasonating. Then my 12 year old started to cry. We hugged and I asked her why she was crying. She said, “I don’t know really...I just know I have felt lots of those thing and I felt sort of happy that I can read this..and maybe it will help me..”. Thankyou. Thankyou. Thankyou. x
— Suzanne Modra

Not sure whether it will be right for your child?  No problems.  If you purchase the book, don't like it - then we are happy to give you a full refund, no questions asked.  And you dont need to return the book to us to get a refund.  We will refund your money, you can keep the book and pass it on to someone else who you think it might help. 

Praise for Kirrilie's Previous Book:  When Life Sucks for Teens:

Bravo! I know how many years, how much clinical experience and how much deep thinking has gone into this publication. You are making a difference in the lives of families all over the state and beyond. I thank you for sharing your wisdom in a practical, readable, entertaining and common sense way. Congratulations
— Emma Rieger, Secondary Teacher, Former School Counsellor
Thank-you for writing both When life sucks & The years that count. I found them to be incredibly insightful, intelligent & relevant for Australian teenagers. I will be recommending them to anyone struggling with the emotional needs of their teenagers, in a time which feels to be particularly challenging to be a parent
— Justine, Parent
Before reading the ‘Life Sucks handbook’ I found that I was constantly struggling to work out how to help my friends and I found myself getting more and more anxious each day but now it is so much easier! I love how Kirrilie has included comments or experiences from people she has worked with as they help me to know that I and these people are not alone. The different things and ideas we are given to think about and use are very helpful when different issues come up in life. This book was very, very helpful and I am sure I will continue to find it helpful long into the future.
— Katie, Year 12 Student
Beautifully written, clear and yet wisely thoughtful stuff about the problems commonly encountered by kids. I hope word about it spreads fast!
— David Coyte, Psychiatrist

About the Author

Kirrilie has worked as a clinical psychologist working with children for the last 20 years.  She has seen kids and teens (and their parents) and helped them cope with a range of situations and feel calmer, more motivated and more positive about life.  She has also presented seminars in schools across Australia to more than 40 thousand students, parents and teachers.