How to Help Your Child Clean Up Their Mental Mess

A Guide to Building Resilience and Managing Mental Health

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Every Parent's Guide to Supporting a Child's Mental Health

Is your child struggling with toxic thoughts or mental health challenges brought on by stress, breaks in routine, isolation from friends, bullying, or social pressure? If left unaddressed, these mental messes can follow your child into their teens and adulthood, causing mental, emotional, relational, and physical problems that will steal their peace and joy in life.

If you're seeing the signs of a mental mess, there's hope. With deep understanding and compassion, bestselling author Dr. Caroline Leaf teaches you how to help your child

· recognize negative feelings and respond in a healthy way
· navigate a world that can feel scary and overwhelming
· manage uncomfortable or challenging situations
· replace toxic thoughts with brain-building practices that produce better outcomes
· develop resilience and emotional strength

Backed by clinical research, easy-to-understand mind-management skills, and practical application for the problems kids are facing today, How to Help Your Child Clean Up Their Mental Mess provides a clear and effective five-step plan to teach your child how to manage their mind so they can live a life with greater resilience, health, and happiness.


"It is essential we teach children how to navigate the highs and lows of life in order for them to be emotionally healthy. Dr. Caroline Leaf accomplishes this through her revolutionary wisdom. In How to Help Your Child Clean Up Their Mental Mess, she gives the foundation for how to create a safe environment for a child's developing brain. The tools and practices in this book will change the outcome of future generations. This is a must-read for anyone who is seeking to be a cycle breaker!"

Dr. Nicole LePera, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller How to Do the Work

"Raising kids in this world is harder than it has ever been. That's why a book like this is invaluable. Dr. Leaf, a great leader in this field, helps make sure you do the best you can at the sacred duty of parenting."

Dave Asprey, father of Biohacking, founder of Bulletproof, and four-time New York Times bestselling author

"Two reasons why I love Dr. Leaf: (1) She's a fellow South African! and (2) She has such a deep care to help kids thrive. Her new book is full of practical questions and approaches for parents and caregivers to raise healthy children--children who can be a force for good in this world!"

Demi-Leigh Tebow, Miss Universe 2017 and Miss South Africa 2017, motivational speaker, social influencer, philanthropist, and entrepreneur

"How to Help Your Child Clean Up Their Mental Mess is an urgent playbook for well-being, delivered with grace and optimism, that equips the next generation with the life skills and empowerment we all need but rarely receive. It gives clarity to the challenges of being human and concrete hope for navigating the present so young people can experience a brighter future."

Alyson Stoner, actor, child advocate, and founder of Movement Genius

"Caroline has a gift for translating complex science and evidence-based findings into simple and actionable steps in How to Help Your Child Clean Up Their Mental Mess. A must-read for those wanting to learn how to navigate the current mental health crisis and give the gift of mind-management to their family."

Lewis Howes, New York Times bestselling author of The School of Greatness

"There are so many things to wonder and worry about as it relates to our children as their teachers, parents, and caregivers. How to Help Your Child Clean Up Their Mental Mess gives the tools to ensure amazing mental health for your child. You may end up correcting some of your mental mess too!"

Michelle Williams, speaker, author, and singer

"Dr. Leaf's newest book is an essential guide for anyone who wants to teach their children how to improve their cognitive functioning, emotional resilience, and mental strength. When we teach our kids to master their minds, we teach them how to become the master of their lives, and this book will show you how to do this!"

Jim Kwik, leading brain coach and New York Times bestselling author of Limitless

"Dr. Leaf's Neurocycle offers a revolutionary 5-step approach to navigating big feelings--and it's as helpful for the parent as it is for the child."

Melissa Urban, New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Boundaries

"These days, it's a must to raise emotionally strong and resilient kids. This book is a must-read for any parent, teacher, guardian--anyone who wants to help children navigate mental health struggles and give them the tools to deal with the ups and downs of life without feeling defeated."

Jordan Harbinger, creator of The Jordan Harbinger Show

"Dr. Leaf demonstrates deep empathy and compassion alongside an excellent grasp of the scientific significance of what we know about the developing brain. Her insights and thoughtfulness are displayed throughout this excellent resource. It should be essential reading not only for parents struggling to know what they can do to help their distressed child but also for all professionals tasked with helping children to grow healthily in what can, at times, be a toxic and challenging culture to survive."

Dr. Sami Timimi, visiting professor of child psychiatry at the University of Lincoln, UK, and author

"It's not helpful for ourselves or our children to think of depression and anxiety as brain diseases, nor is it evidence-based. It's more hopeful and helpful to think of these as emotional reactions to life circumstances and events. In this book, Dr. Leaf proposes simple, accessible, evidence-based mental health strategies you can teach children to help them process life events and deal with mental health struggles. The advice in this book will help children to better navigate the challenges of growing up."

Dr. Joanna Moncrieff, psychiatrist, author, and professor at University College London

"Dr. Leaf has again synthesized for us a wealth of wisdom and experience to produce a 'scientific, evidence-based first step in dealing with the crisis in children's mental health through mind-management.' She does this through building a thorough foundation and instills hope by offering parents simply profound tools for daily use, which, implemented in a steady, step-by-step process, will help instill better and better self-regulation in our children, allowing them to grow and mature in natural, God-given ways. Coming alongside our children to guide them with these tools to build healthy relationships and demonstrate active listening, we will experience the fruit of more mental health and elimination of mental ill-health."

Robert P. Turner, MD, MSCR, QEEGD, BCN, associate professor of clinical pediatrics, Medical University of South Carolina

"Dr. Caroline Leaf's new book is a timely and critically important guide for families everywhere to keep marching forward toward the inner peace, emotional and mental well-being, and fulfilling life we all want. The intense silent suffering at the hands of our own thoughts can be overcome once and for all with the powerful, practical tools Dr. Leaf so aptly lays out. What better gift to give your family and children than the gift of peace?"

Kimberly Snyder, New York Times bestselling author of You Are More Than You Think You Are

"There are two things the education system fails to teach us: how to truly operate and thrive in our body, and how to truly operate and thrive in our mind. And this book is that recipe for teaching our children how to thrive in their minds and bodies. This should be an essential part of our global education system."

Vishen Lakhiani, founder and CEO of Mindvalley and bestselling author

"As parents, this topic is close to our hearts. It is comforting to receive a message of hope and to be shown how we can help our children learn to manage their mental health. In this book, Dr. Leaf gives parents and guardians a science-based system to help them teach their kids to go through the challenges of life and define their own unique story. We strongly recommend this book."

Colleen and Jason Wachob, cofounders and co-CEOs of mindbodygreen

"I love the practical advice in this book and wish I'd had it when my own three kids were younger. It's a must-read if your kids are managing anxiety, depression, bullying, or really any mental health struggle. Dr. Leaf gives you real-life strategies so you can help your children not only deal with whatever life throws at them but feel successful in everything they do."

Mel Robbins, New York Times bestselling author and award-winning podcast host

"Dr. Leaf has a wealth of knowledge that is useful for parents and children. This is an excellent guide to help kids learn how to not let the challenges they face stop them from living their best lives and achieving their dreams."

Nedra Glover Tawwab, LCSW, therapist, New York Times bestselling author, and relationship expert

"These days, our ability to remain resilient and fully functional in the face of the ever-increasing challenges of our world is threatened like never before. Gratefully, Dr. Leaf gifts us important tools to regain our composure and remain centered as we encounter life's obstacles. This is a book that will help so many."

David Perlmutter, MD, FACN, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"I see firsthand the negative effects trauma and stress have on a person's health--both mental and physical. But what if we could do more to foster resilience and good mental health from a young age? Dr. Leaf answers that question with science-backed research and tips for raising mentally strong children who are capable of managing and processing their emotions. Instead of repeating the cycle, we can help facilitate the change for the next generation using the much-needed tools Leaf gives us."

Dr. Will Cole, leading functional medicine expert and New York Times bestselling author of Intuitive Fasting and Gut Feelings

"Wow, what a brilliant support for all parents of today. I love how Dr. Leaf uses science and personality to make the best mind-management tools so simple to use!"

Poppy Jamie, bestselling author, founder of Happy Not Perfect, host of Not Perfect Podcast

"A must-read for any parent or guardian who wants to prepare their child to succeed in this world emotionally, mentally, and physically. This book will help you give your child the tools they need to manage mental challenges and live their best life!"

Ed Mylett, global entrepreneur, bestselling author, and top podcast host

"A must-read book on how to raise resilient and mentally strong children! Dr. Leaf has a wonderful way of making the science of mental health practical and applicable. This book will help so many parents!"

Kate Walsh, actress, conservationist, and founder of Boyfriend Perfume

The Author

  1. Dr. Caroline Leaf
    Jay Leaf-Clark

    Dr. Caroline Leaf

    Dr. Caroline Leaf is a communication pathologist and clinical neuroscientist specializing in psychoneurobiology. Her passion is to help people see the power of the mind to change the brain, control chaotic thinking, and find mental peace. She is the author of...

    Continue reading about Dr. Caroline Leaf