The Adult Version of I Can Handle It!

This month we’re talking about Susan’s children’s book, I Can Handle It! The stories in the book feature different problems that kids might come across, from frustration to guilt to embarrassment and more. The book is meant for kids under eight, but there are lessons in it that we can all learn from.

The format of the stories in the book are simple: on the left-side page is the problem (Timmy lost his stuffed bear, Emily did something to make her feel bad) and on the right-side is how each child learns how to handle their problem.

If only it were so easy to handle our grown-up problems that way! Well, maybe it can be. For example, Helen hates getting ready for school in the morning—all the rushing and hurrying. I’m sure there are many of us no longer in school who can relate. Helen’s answer to her problem is to get her things and clothes ready for school the night before. That’s a pretty good solution for people of any age.

Then there is Gerry’s story. Gerry gets angry and throws a tantrum, but his mother ignores him and he feels silly for getting so upset. When did you last lose your temper? When that driver cut you off in traffic? When the salesperson was ringing up customers too slowly? When you have to stay on hold for an hour when you are calling customer service? Temper tantrums are not only for little kids. Gerry resolves his problem by trying not to get so angry and to talk about things with his mom. All of us can learn from Gerry’s solution.

As Susan wrote in the introduction to I Can Handle It!, “You are never too young or too old to believe in yourself…to know that you can act lovingly and powerfully in any situation that ever confronts you.”