As parents, we are always concerned about our child’s growth and development. The likely way of mitigating the stumbling blocks encountered on the way to raising a happy child can be through ‘books’. Bibliotherapy for children will require curating a list of books catering to the specific behavioral and psychological needs of your children and reading these books with them.
Identifying the Problem Areas
The young minds are constantly developing and changing with newer emotions that the child begins to feel at the turn of each developmental milestone. However, with becoming more independent, the little ones also encounter anger issues, defiance, sadness, and frustration.
Young children are often at loss in expressing their feelings and struggle with surging strong emotions. There may be insecurities with a new sibling snatching away the whole-hearted attention of the parents or trouble in adjusting to the newer surroundings like new school or neighborhood.
Sometimes, it becomes extremely difficult managing an angry child; they may be crying and yelling, being frustrated at not getting what they seek. As parents, we are often at loss, unable to find a solution.
There are ways of handling these difficult situations amicably that will have a long-term positive impression on the child’s mind. The coping skills that you provide to the children are going to have an everlasting effect on your child’s personality.
Books with Experience Sharing Episodes
Reading books with your child strengthens your bond and this one activity has an immense therapeutic effect. Often the way we explain things to the children, they cannot see the tangible outcome of it. A book on the other hand puts the child in the exact spot and it thrills the child to lead the problem-solving path for a fictional character.
The goals of ‘Bibliotherapy’ are to help children identify and validate their feelings, to help them realize that other children have problems similar to their own, and to help them discover possible coping skills and solutions.
It is important to focus on creating a fruitful discussion centered on the chosen book. Let the child decide the behavourial problems displayed by the characters in a story, ask the child to come up with his/ her version of the solution. A healthy discussion around the problem area will help you and your child to plan on a constructive course of action.
I am listing a few books that I feel little ones will love and it will also help in understanding their strong emotions and developing coping skills.
- When Sophie Gets Angry by Molly Bang
Sophie’s temper outburst happens as her little sister demands a turn to play with a favourite stuffed toy, a gorilla. When Sophie’s mother takes her sister’s side, matters turn for the worst.
‘She kicks, she screams. She wants to smash the world to smithereens.’
The book articulates how Sophie overcomes her rage in a healthy way and becomes calm and relaxed in the given situation. For children, it’s fun to identify with Sophie as the book compares her anger to that of an exploding volcano. In the end, it is all nice and happy as Sophie feels the whole wide world is there to comfort her.
2. When Miles Got Mad by Abbie Schiller and Samantha Kurtzman-Counter
‘When Miles Got Mad’ is about little Miles getting angry and seeing a monster in the mirror as his reflection. While busying playing with his puzzles, Mile’s young brother accidentally breaks his favourite toy plane. Miles is very angry and yells at his younger brother. But, anger only brings the monster in him on the outside and literally!
This book helps children to recognize, express and move through the feeling of anger with patience and practice.
3. I Hate Everything by Sue Graves
In this book, everything around Sam made him angry, be it his little brother Charlie’s crying or the carrots served to him for lunch or his Dad’s inability to take time out to play soccer with him.
It’s hard for children to accept not getting their way through and that is not just at home. When Sam loses his place in musical chairs at his friend’s birthday party, he cries, “I hate everything!” With the help of his aunt, Sam learns new ways to deal with his anger, and feel better.
4. Many Coloured Days by Dr.Seuss
Many Coloured Days by Dr. Seuss was published in 1973 and like all his other books, this remains as pertinent as ever.
“Some days are yellow, Some days are blue, On different days, I am different too.”
This is a wonderful book that associates each emotion with a colour. The poetic flow from a bright red horse kicking its heels to a cool and quiet green fish to an angry howling black wolf is simply captivating.
A spectrum of vibrant colors and a menagerie of animals combine a child’s emotions. Each day is different just like colours and similarly, every emotion. Sometimes all emotions come together jumbled down on a single day. It is fine to feel a certain way or be a mixed bag of emotions. This is such an amazing book for parents and even teachers to talk with children about their feelings.
5. Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
Gerald is a tall Giraffe, very good at standing and munching shoots off trees but he cannot dance. When the great jungle dance day arrives, Gerald feels sad watching other animals prance around in style. But, with crooked knees and thin legs, Gerald feels too awkward to dance. This book tells children that it is just a matter of finding the right tune for Gerald to dance. Gerald’s tale to embrace dance despite the awkwardness inspires children to find their way of expression.
This is such a fun book with the warthogs waltz, the chimps cha-cha, and the lions tango at the jungle dance. And, surely, Gerald’s awkwardness evokes empathy and his dance in the end fills inspiration inside little minds.
Hope you liked the post; you can catch up with my previous posts on ‘Bibliotherapy’ on the links below:
April 2020: Exploring Ten Bookish Things for Bibliotherapy
March 2020: Books to make you ‘Happy’: Bibliotherapy
February 2020: Bibliotherapy: Reading is Therapeutic
This post is a part of Blogchatter’s ‘Blogging with a Purpose’ #CauseAChatter.