The Happy Kid Handbook

“This practical and highly workable handbook details a broad selection of delightfully creative strategies for helping kids learn from play, manage strong emotions constructively, learn to forgive and empathize, build assertiveness, and accept difference in themselves and others.”

-Publishers Weekly

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Praise for The Happy Kid Handbook

“With an attitude that “happiness is a choice we make” and the belief that what parents ultimately want for their children is for them to be happy, child psychotherapist Hurley’s debut urges careful observation of children’s personalities in order to meet their needs and support their growth as individuals.” (Read the whole review on Publishers Weekly.)

-Publishers Weekly

“In a fun-to-read, conversational style, Katie Hurley brings her experience as a child psychotherapist and parent to bear in helping parents think clearly and calmly about their relationship with their child.  The focus is right where it should be–on happiness.  Children differ greatly from one to another; the parent’s task is to get to know the child and help the child be happy as the person that he or she is.  Katie Hurley shows us how.”

-Peter Gray, Research Professor of Psychology at Boston College and author of Free to Learn:  Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life.


“A clear and thoughtful approach to parenting your individual child. In a world full of stresses on parents and children, what a relief to read parenting strategies that focus on my unique child…On raising an empathetic, happy, and confident person.

A book I would highly recommend…for all the individual parents and their one of a kind kids!”

-Idina Menzel, Tony Award-winning Actress and Singer


The Happy Kid Handbook is a must read for parents who want joyful households without all the stress of ‘perfect’ parenting.”

-Soleil Moon Frye, author of Happy Chaos and Let’s Get This Party Started


Any mother of big kids will tell you that the exhausting days of infancy were a breeze! I love Katie’s real-life approach to surviving our children’s childhood, and being the best parents we can for them. Here’s to happy kids… and sane parents!

-Jill Smokler, New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of a Scary Mommy


We’ve all heard the popular saying, “To know you is to love you,” but these words have never come to life quite the way they do in The Happy Kid Handbook. Katie Hurley has a profound understanding of how to tap into children’s individual strengths, personality traits, and interests to better connect, communicate, and empower them. Using practical strategies and relatable language, Katie shows parents how to guide their children to their fullest potential without sacrificing their inner peace and inherent joy. Not only will our children be more content as a result of reading The Happy Kid Handbook, but so will we.

-Rachel Macy Stafford, New York Times bestselling author of Hands Free Mama


“Compassionate, smart, and practical advice for raising your unique child. Big ideas–backed by clinical wisdom and research–and step by step guidance on how to apply them.”

-Heather Turgeon, co-author of The Happy Sleeper


“With an emphasis on taking back childhood and reducing stress for the whole family, The Happy Kid Handbook helps parents empower their kids to take control of their own happiness. Written in a conversational tone, Katie provides parents with easy, actionable steps to help them understand what makes their kids tick and how to help their kids carve their own paths and cope with obstacles along the way.”

-Amy McCready, Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and author of The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic – A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Capable, Grateful Kids in an Over-Entitled World


“Looking at parenting from the child’s point of view changes the game and helps parents to become learning partners with their children rather than engineers of their future.

When you read The Happy Kid Handbook, you realize you are hearing from a professional who knows and understands children, parents, families …and generally what it means to be human.

Studded with thought provoking tales and profound insights like the floats in a Macy’s day parade the book is a seemingly endless stream of activities, gimmicks and language adults can use to build constructive relationships with their children. Her chapter on “The Power of Play” alone is worthy of a book of its own.

The parent-child partnership did not improve when parent became a verb. In the last generation the proliferation of books teaching how “to parent” has increasingly made parents feel lost rather than found. Katie Hurley’s The Happy Kid Handbook helps to point us back to simply being parents by looking at the challenges of raising children from the point of view of the child.

Happy kids make better learners.”

-Rick Ackerly, author of The Genius In Every Child: Encouraging Character, Curiosity and Creativity in Children