Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Books to address behavior issues in kids

Today I want to talk about the books of two authors who target problem behaviors in children. The first is Dawn Huebner and the second is Joy Berry.

I have personally used 2 of Huebner's books for my son after a counselor suggested them and have 1 more I am waiting to try. They are:

1) What to Do When You Worry Too Much. This more than anything else has helped my son understand his anxieties (and helped me understand my own too!) This book, aimed at kids 6 to 12 (we started when he was 6), turns worries into a tangible enemy almost. It gave my son words to describe the feeling and tools to isolate it, fight against it and ultimately banish it. Since he is all about super strength and super heroes, fighting against his worries seemed to make sense to him.

What To Do When You Worry Too Much

2) What to Do When Your Temper Flares. We're halfway through this book. Again, it gives a name to the feeling of anger and it likens controlling your life to controlling a car. Sometimes the road is smooth and the weather great. Sometimes it's stormy and rainy and windy and it's hard to keep the car on the road. The examples she gives are very easy for kids to understand. We're now working on the tools to "douse" the flames of anger when they appear. So far he's enjoying it.

What to do When Your Temper Flares

3) We have yet to read this one but it targets OCD type behavior and is called What to Do When Your Brain Gets Stuck.

These workbooks are written FOR the kids, though read alongside the parent. The words are simple and engaging and there are places for the child to draw something related to the topic. This helps make it tangible, I think.

The Joy Berry books are good for younger kids, although we still use the one on Patience (in fact, if he is being impatient, all I need to do is tell him he can either be patient or spend 10 minutes in his room reading the patience book). Others tackle Bossiness, Lying, Tantrums, Interrupting, Disobeying, Complaining, Whining, etc. They discuss these problem behaviors in a way kids can understand, describing just how they might feel and using a fictional child in the book to display the inappropriate behavior. Books work for my son. He's always loved stories and it allows us to talk about this problematic behavior in a safe way, THROUGH the book when we are both calm.

Let's Talk About Being Patient

In my opinion, these are wonderful teaching tools for kids. I'd also like to recommend these two books for kids going through divorce: Two Homes and It's Not Your Fault Koko Bear.

Two Homes
It's Not Your Fault Koko Bear

These definitely helped Brady, again in a sort of detached, safe way that he could apply to his own situation. We even used books on moving when we moved from South Carolina to Florida when he was 3 years old.

These books are also helpful even when you're not reading them. We can be out somewhere and if he begins worrying, all I have to do is remind him of the book and it is like a trigger to help him get control. I hope some of these can be of help to you too!

Note: I linked to Amazon.com but I'm guessing at least some of these can be found at your locally library. 

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