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Nurturing emotionally literate and socially adept children: The Journey of the ‘My Behaviour Matters’ Workshops

In April and May 2024, my team and I will run eight workshops titled “My Behaviour Matters.” These are a series of 60-minute psycho-educational sessions designed to support children in their emotional and social skills development, enabling them to navigate their feelings and interactions with others in a positive and constructive way—skills that can benefit them across different areas of life. Caregivers will be provided with a takeaway guide to assist them in nurturing their children’s newly acquired knowledge beyond the workshop setting and into everyday life.

On February 17th and 24th, we successfully ran one of these workshops in collaboration with the local library, receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback. The events sold out in less than 48 hours, with an impressive waiting list, clearly indicating a strong need for such workshops.

Throughout my professional career, my services primarily catered to the adult population. So, why was I so keen to develop these workshops for children? Looking back, I realize it was inevitable!

In 2005, during a placement with the Autism and Related Disorders team at the Michael Rutter Centre at Maudsley Hospital, as a trainee clinical psychologist, I observed the need for more personalized support among parents of ASD children attending a 3-day autism course. I suggested an additional half-day for their ‘Learning about Autism’ program to focus on the specific daily challenges parents face. This session was designed to offer targeted behaviour management advice and resources enabling parents to apply what they learned immediately. Subsequent research indicated a significant reduction in parental stress, alongside improved confidence, and parenting skills within three months. I later heard that the success of this initiative led to its permanent incorporation into the program, marking a proud achievement in my early career.

Years later, after becoming a mother, I volunteered at my son’s nursery to share insights on managing emotions. I put together a developmentally suitable mini-session, starting with a mindfulness ‘Rainstorm’ exercise for focus. I read ‘Croc on the Rock’ by Marion Clark and then focused on the story’s character to discuss how to recognise anger and sadness. Next, I introduced another mindfulness exercise called ‘Get your grumps out’ to teach them how to release negative emotions and prevent tantrums. At the end, I emphasized the importance of friendliness, which was related to the book’s theme, set it as their daily intention, and reinforced it with a personalized reminder sticker. Although preparing and simplifying the session for a young audience took hours, this 20-minute teaching moment stayed in my heart as it was so rewarding to introduce these key concepts to my young audience.

Now, as a mother and professional, I am fascinated by the diversity of children’s books and spend hours exploring and selecting them to address various anticipated experiences with my children. I aim to be prepared! At night, I read to my little ones, observing their reactions, questions, and the impact of the books on them. Among many, the ‘Behaviour Matters’ series by Sue Graves and Trevor Dunton stands out for its effective teaching on social and emotional learning. Each book focuses on specific behaviours or emotions, offering relatable scenarios and practical advice with colourful illustrations and simple narratives easy for young children to understand. I absolutely l o v e these books! When I first discovered them, I immediately bought the entire collection and eagerly pre-ordered all upcoming titles.

Over the years, I have often found myself reflecting on my proposal for a half-day autism course, the mini-session at the nursery, and the ‘Behaviour Matters’ children’s books I discovered. Eventually, all three blended nicely in my thoughts. Although life circumstances initially held me back, one day I sat at my laptop, and the content for my behaviour workshops poured out, crystallizing these reflections into a coherent vision. This is how the ‘My Behaviour Matters’ workshops were born!

The rest is history. My Behaviour Matters workshops are an adventure in emotional development and social skills learning. But don’t take my word for it. Join us and find out for yourself!

Let’s nurture a generation of emotionally literate and socially adept children!

For more details and to sign up, email me at


Dr Patapia Tzotzoli

Dr. Patapia Tzotzoli founded My Psychology Clinic, which has since become a reputable and well-established clinic dedicated to helping people live well. The clinic offers comprehensive services, including personal development products and private therapy sessions, catering to an exclusive clientele and providing a VIP experience. In her commitment to serve a broader audience, Dr. Tzotzoli offers a complimentary, personalized triage service. This ensures a meticulous assessment of clients’ individual needs and preferences, promptly connecting them with the most suitable mental health professional from her vast and trusted UK network. Experience the convenience and effectiveness of My Psychology Clinic’s services. We eagerly anticipate assisting you on your mental health journey.



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