Today’s guest is Dr. Peggy Kruger Tietz, author of the children’s book, Yell and Shout, Cry and Pout: A Kid’s Guide to Feelings. Dr. Tietz is a licensed psychologist and maintains a private practice in Austin, Texas. She sees a wide range of children with normal developmental problems as well as children who have experienced trauma. Her Ph.D is in developmental psychology from Bryn Mawr College. Before entering private practice Dr. Tietz treated children in multiple settings, such as family service agencies and foster care. Dr. Tietz, trained at the Family Institute of Philadelphia, and then taught there. She specializes in seeing children individually, as well as, with their families. She has advanced training in Play Therapy as well as being a certified practitioner of EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, for children and adults). She has conducted workshops on parenting, sibling relationships, and emotional literacy.
Dorothy Thompson: I’m always interested in how authors come up with ideas to write their books. How did you come up with the idea to write Yell and Shout Cry and Pout: A Kid’s Guide to Feelings?
Peggy Kruger Tietz: I realized there was a gap in the literature about books on emotions for young kids. There were books about single emotions and books about all the emotions one might encounter in a single day, but none that lists our primary emotions or describe their purpose and why we need them.
D.T.: What draws you to helping kids with their emotions?
P.K.T.: I’ve seen so many kids in my private practice that have learned to hide their emotions and suffer because of it. They end up being stressed and acting out in lieu of expressing their feelings and being heard. When kids feelings are acknowledged behavior almost always improves. I thought writing a book that explained emotions could aid that process by helping kids link their behavior with how they’re feeling.
D.T.: How was the process of writing it for you? Did you hit bumps along the way or did it pretty well go the way you wanted?
P.K.T.: Initially, I found it hard to find the right way to conceptualize the book. There were lots of early drafts that got thrown away. It was a struggle to take complex ideas and translate them into simple language that young kids could understand. I also ended up doing more research than I thought in order to accurately identify our primary emotions. I was thrilled to learn that Peter Docter, the artistic director of Pixar’s movie Inside Out, consulted with the same researcher I used for my book. Great confirmation that I had chosen the right primary emotions.
D.T.: Are you involved in any social media and, if so, what are your favorites?
P.K.T.: I’m a fan of YouTube. I think the breath of what’s available is amazing. I can watch a tutorial on making ailoi; Brian Green on quantum physics; a TedTalk by Kristin Neff on self compassion or a silly cat video.
D.T.: If you could give one publishing tip to aspiring authors, what would that be?
P.K.T.: I think the thing that sustained me throughout the writing was the fact that I really believed what I was doing would be useful. So, I think you have to write about something you’re committed to and that commitment will sustain you and keep you focused.
D.T.: What’s next for you?
P.K.T.: I’m working on a “how to” book that gives adults clear guidelines for how to help kids express and manage their emotions. Yell and Shout, Cry and Pout was a guide for identifying emotions and explaining their purpose. This next book will provide ways to appropriately express emotions once they’re identified.
D.T.: Where can we find you on the web?
P.K.T.: You can visit my website and blog or follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Goodreads.