[New Book Released]

Clash of the Mind and Heart – Parents’ Playbook for Helping Youths Succeed

Publisher World Scientific Promotional Video

New book release comes in a bundle here! The bundle includes learning videos and a complimentary copy of a book on everything you need to know about youth and the law in Singapore.

Clash of the Mind and Heart –
Parents’ Playbook

Author’s Bio

Nicholas Gabriel Lim was recently appointed by the President of Singapore to be one of the Youth Court Panel of Advisers.

He co-founded the Youth Work Association (Singapore) and was amongst the first few practitioners recognized in Singapore as an expert and a veteran in youth work.

Nicholas was appointed by Singapore Social Service SkillsFuture Tripartite Taskforce (STT) Youth Work Sub Team, as a youth work mentor and supervisor to practitioners in the field to serve as role models to guide and inspire younger youth workers.

By training and profession, Nicholas is an adolescent psychologist. His mental health practice is informed by neuroscience, complemented by developmental, behavioral and positive youth development theories.

Nicholas’ career as a mental health and youth work practitioner spans across the people, public and private sectors.

With his experiences and expertise, Nicholas was recommended by the National Youth Council to serve on two Government advisory councils to advise the government on:

(1) appropriate policy responses to the evolving world of media, technology, and consumer participation impacting youths, and

(2) social concerns involving youths related to problems arising from gambling.

[1] Parents’ Playbook for Helping Youths Succeed (softcover)

This is the sequel to the ebook Clash of the Mind and Heart – Understanding Adolescents. This book is NOT just for parents! This is for ANYONE working or wanting to work with youths.

The understanding-divide between adolescents and adults seems to be getting wider. Concretely on a day-to-day basis, adolescents and parents are clashing with each other over mind and heart issues; and no one seemed to be able to “get” the other. Even if one “got it”, it would not take long before one would challenge the other about it.

This book will not only inform you about what you really need to understand about youths, but it also proposes the framework and strategies to guide the adults to help youths succeed.

The book includes some stories of professional youth work, where effective youth engagement strategies are highlighted by youths themselves in retrospect.

[2] YouthHack Series Learning Videos by 7 Youth Work Veterans & Experts

This is a specially curated course presented by 7 veteran youth work practitioners, specializing in different areas of youth work – school-based, community-based, in residential rehabilitation, gaming, humanitarian outreach, counseling and coaching,

Their wealth of experiences and insights will enrich any parents, caregivers and persons working with youths, and enhance your ability to understand and work with youths.

Each youth work veteran have recorded a number of videos for you. There are a total of 65 videos. You are free to watch the presentations at your own time, and even in the comfort of your own home.

After you have watched the videos, you are encouraged to give it some thought and reflect how best you may modify your strategies with youths, if necessary, what to do better, and what you should continue doing.

The following are the youth work veterans and experts:

[3] Youth and the Law Book (complimentary; while stocks last)

What Singapore youths know about the law is based on what they watch on TV. This book, “Youth & the Law” provides adults, and especially youths, with the basic principles of legal protection and helps them understand the real life consequences and penalties of breaking the law. It also provides sources of additional information such as websites on the issues faced by youths in today’s context and where they can turn to for counselling solutions.

This edition covers the 2020 amendments to the Children and Young Persons Act to:

  • Protect youths who face abuse or neglect.
  • Help youths to start anew, by giving them a second chance.
  • Guide families in parenting, with community support.
  • Strengthen partnerships with the community to care for vulnerable youths.


Lim Hui Min started her legal career in private practice, doing mainly commercial litigation. She subsequently joined the Subordinate Courts as a Magistrate and was later appointed as a District Judge. She spent the bulk of her time with the Family and Juvenile Court, where she presided over both family and juvenile court cases. After this, she was seconded to the then Ministry of Community Development Youth and Sports where she worked as a policy officer, helping to design programmes to help low-income families. Thereafter, she joined the Legal Aid Bureau, where she gave legal help to the less privileged. She is currently Director of the Legal Services Unit at the Ministry of Social and Family Development. She has authored and co-authored numerous publications in the areas of civil procedure, family and juvenile law.


Clash of the Mind and Heart – Parents’ Playbook for Helping Youths Succeed

“Nicholas has written this book in a clear and concise manner, translating complex issues and some core research findings on youths into simple terms that many will find it relatable and easy to understand. The chapters in the book cover a relatively wide range of issues and evidence relevant to understanding youths, with a useful summary at the end of each chapter to reiterate the key points. Collectively, the chapters will provide a useful and accessible resource for the general public, with little technical jargon, that will enable readers to have a basic framework to think about issues relevant to youth development.”

David Chan
Professor of Psychology, Singapore Management University

“The book by Nicholas is very poignant at this stage because youths are facing tremendous social psychological and ecological changes, which are likely to have impacts on their families and in their pursuits for meaningful lives. I must state that this a rather comprehensive local piece of youth work which will be most relevant for parents, teachers, youth workers, counsellors and those involved in the care sector. The various chapters of the publication are indeed illustrious and carry psycho-neurological analyses of the mind and body, and other key developmental changes facing youths. It is also interesting that factors contributing to adolescent difficulties are discussed well and with good case presentations. Nicholas, with his grassroots experiences, is able to give insights as to how one can work effectively with youths and those who are vulnerable. One should not miss this interesting local perspective on youths and in the process acquire some skills to engage them to be valued human beings.”

Emeritus Professor S Vasoo
Department of Social Work, National University of Singapore

“Parenthood is hard work. Despite all the education that we have gone through, nothing prepares a parent for parenthood. And parenting an adolescent? I know first-hand how difficult that can be, and I find myself rolling with the punches. Most times, I think I just end up proverbially punched. So thank you Nicholas, for this invaluable book, which I will take time to digest, so that I can be a better parent for my kids (and my sanity).

I have had the privilege of working alongside Nicholas in his capacity as a Psychologist in the Family Justice Courts over a variety of difficult cases, and he has been stellar in his professionalism and ability to capture the essence of any dispute. Nicholas has a gentleness that encourages tough teens and adults to talk, coupled with nerves of steel when faced with difficult, angry persons.

With simplicity and honesty, this book tackles the difficult areas of parental reactions that exacerbates difficult adolescent behaviour. His real life-examples strike a familiar chord with most parents, and his solutions are practical and non-judgemental. I appreciate too, the summaries at the end of each chapter to ensure the take-aways for busy parents. This book reminds me that I am part of a community of parents, all feeling the exact same emotions and the same helplessness. And then somehow, we don’t seem so alone anymore.

‘Start children off on the way they should go: when they grow old, they will not depart from it.’ Proverbs 22:6. May we all learn something from Nicholas’ book to start our children off on the way that they should go.”

Lim Choi Ming
Family Justice Courts, Singapore

“This book is a must-read for all parents, educators, social workers, counselors and anyone who work with youths or desire for the next generation to have the best chance of success in life. From his years of study of how youths are wired, and direct experience working with youths and parents, the author Nicholas has produced a book that is not only fully backed up by Science, but also filled with Stories and tips for immediate application. If you are one of the many who are still seeking answers to parenting or helping a teen, look no further. I encourage you to read this book for yourself, and after that, share this resource with as many as possible.”

Jason Wong
Founder, Dads for Life & Yellow Ribbon Project

“This book opened up the door to have a better insights of adolescent. Many parents have many issues connecting and understand them. This equips us with all the tools we can use so that we can better engage the teenagers. This is a Must read book for every parents. Ultimately, with a better understanding and handling cases, this will help to reduce family violence and create mutual understand between parent and the adolescent.”

Raymond Chua
Chairman for Dads@CatholicHigh, Catholic High School
Chairman for Parents’ Support Group (PROED) Hwa Chong Institution

“Nicholas sheds light on the inner workings of a youth’s development, and how we can be a catalyst for their positive development. In a world where growing expectations increasingly weigh heavy on a young person’s mental health, this book is an invaluable guide on how we serve as a youth’s psychological and emotional safe space, all while explaining why that role is key in their journey towards adulthood. Having supported and served alongside youths for more than 16 years, I am confident to say that this book should be a staple for parents and anyone who wants to be a change-maker for the next generation!”

Nicholas Lee
Executive Director Resilience Collective
Former Chief Executive Trybe Limited, Managing Agent of Singapore Boys’ Hostel

“This is a book I greatly recommend to all parents, educators, youth workers, youth mentors or anyone who works with youths. Nicholas is able to marry both the SCIENCE as well as the heART in connecting and working with youths. And he is able to capture the interest of the reader. I guarantee you will not find it boring. I have personally been very blessed and impacted by this book.”

Iris Lin
Deputy Director, Fei Yue Community Services

“Nicholas, drawing on his years of experience and practice wisdom, imparts very practical advice and tips for anyone interested in impacting teens and adolescents. While the book seems an easy-read, the principles and strategies it espouses may be challenging, considering that the subject matter focuses on adolescents. That’s why it is great that the book provides a useful framework to guide and facilitate progress while applying the concepts. As a fellow practitioner of positive youth development, I wholeheartedly recommend anyone desiring to connect with adolescents to pick up a copy.”

Dr John K E Tan
Founding President, Youth Work Association (Singapore)

“I have had the privilege of working with Nicholas during my professional work at Family Life Society.

Through my experience working with Nicholas, I have known him to be passionate about engaging youth as well as parents. He is very well-trained and a highly qualified psychologist. I have run numerous parenting workshops conducted by him, and it was always full house! He is so popular and a very sought-after speaker, especially after he launched his eBook on Clash of the Mind and Heart: Understanding Adolescents. He loves to help youth succeed.

Nicholas is also very selfless in sharing his time and resources to help parents overcome challenges they encounter with their adolescent children. He has delivered great value to parents; families have benefitted it and improved their relationship with their kids. Nicholas is also very generous and would not hesitate to help parents who encounter challenges with their teens after workshops he conducts for parents and teens.

I deeply appreciate his commitments. He is very knowledgeable in youth work. In this book, he shares them generously and provides real ground experiences. He has developed many of his own materials and this is just another good piece he is adding to his repertoire for anyone working with youths. Many of the parents we served at Family Life Society benefitted greatly from Nicholas’ trainings and sharing. Parents often appreciate deeply the real help and handles provided by Nicholas. This book consolidates all these and more!

Nicholas is also a loving family man who practices what he preaches. Volunteerism is what is always on his mind when he helps the community. He never expects anything in returns. This book bares his continued gifting and the ultimate secrets of understanding and connecting with adolescent children, students, and or clients. I know the clients I previously served have all benefitted from his professional work, I am certain readers of this book will benefit greatly from him here as well.”

Paul Long
Former Executive Director, Family Life Society

“Kudos to Nicholas for collating some of the neuro-scientific evidences and theories that may help us guide youths through the challenging years of growing up. Reading this book makes us realise how much work a parent or formator has to do — may we be the first to improve! With the help of Nicholas’ experience and research we can try to make inroads into the psyche of young people, to discover, understand, enjoy and even admire what goes on in that developing mind. His balanced approach combines the best of a prudential use of freedom with the close accompaniment and guidance that parents should give. With this book, we learn how to capitalise on the positive aspects of the limbic system and create the ambience needed for the pre-frontal cortex to develop its far-reaching potential.”

Dr Alvin Wong, MD
The Bigger Picture program, Ravenahl Study Centre

“Each teen develops differently, therefore, there are no hard and fast rules to be applied as each teen is a unique individual with different culture, family background and support. In trying to understand the challenges faced by adolescents and how parents can be guided to find out more, understanding the developmental stages of the youths’ brains shared in this book are good reference points for a start.

Understanding that a youth’s action is basically controlled by the growth of his brain in stages can help parents to have a deeper insight into their teenager’s apparently discordant behaviour. Nicholas sliced the brain apart to explain how different parts of it affect the teenagers’ development. He further explains how the gulf between parents and adolescents can be bridged by understanding that adolescents are keen to have fun and excitement, as opposed to doing mundane things like finishing the homework first before playing games. Teenagers who feel supported and understood can then confide in their parents when they encounter issues. I hope that readers will find some solutions to the problems that they face when dealing with adolescents from this useful guide.”

Ellen Lee, JP, PBM
President, Silver Ribbon (Singapore)

“Nicholas has brought years of experience in working with parents and youths along into this book. The insightful perspectives will be refreshing for many out there who is handling and working with our young people today. Keep learning and growing as we empower more young people today!”

Joe Chan
Head of Youth Service, REACH Community Services

“A wonderful piece of review and contribution in the area of youth work and other specializations. Nicholas has presented a comprehensive literature and content from his years of experiences and a great content for the professionals and many who want to explore in working with clients with a specific concern.”

Dr Roland Yeow
Executive Director, Boys’ Town

“Nicholas, has a deep understanding of teenagers and their ‘dance’ with the adults around them, which is evident throughout the chapters in his book.”

Dr Carol Balhetchet
Clinical Psychologist & Psychotherapist, Dr Carol & Associates
Former Senior Director and Clinical Psychologist of Youth Services, Singapore Children’s Society

“I first meet Nicholas when I co founded The Young Entrepreneur Mastery (TYEM) academy. He was helping out-of-school youth-clients to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, which I was advocating and teaching!

Years on, we are still in the youth work scene together. His passion for working with youths has not dwindled, and he is able to articulate it with much crisp now. This is clearly reflected in his book. It is evident that neuroscience informs his practice, and he shares it with conviction. There is so much depth to it. Yet, it is not technical. It is readable and relatable. He provides you with a good understanding of why adolescents are the way they are, and why adults are also the way they are, and there is no way both can see eye-to-eye. Therein lies the clash. This is not an impasses. It is an opportunity for personal and relational growth. There is hope!

Therefore, wherever you are in your relationship with your teens, it is never too late to learn how to (re)engage them. Nicholas has something to offer. The best is yet to come! Take Action today!”

Elim Chew
Former Youth Ambassador in Singapore. Mentor to many youths and aspiring entrepreneurs/social entrepreneurs. Advisory Board Member, Comeback World – a gaming dependence support agency. Chairman I’m KIM Korean BBQ and Goro Goro Steamboat, One Sushi Group of Restaurants. Chair and Co-chair of several public service, youth and community groups. The recipient of the Singapore Public Service Medal (PBM) 2011. Founder of 77th Street – a youth fashion and lifestyle retail. Forbes Asia Hero of Philanthropy 2010