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Do I Have To? What if I don't want to...
Reach And Teach says:
We're always on the lookout for books that can help transform the way children and parents communicate and work together. We especially love it when someone we know through our work comes into the shop and says "I'm working on a wonderful book that I think will fit in so well wtih what you do." Laurel Mousseau happened to be one of those people and when she brought in a finished copy of this book we were absolutely enthralled. Looking at situations that happen every day the book provides new ways of responding that can lead to much more cooperation, more peace, and growth. We especially love the combination of the picture book style showing the situations and the little books within the book that provide guidance to parents on how to handle those situations. Really a nice combination!
It is fabulous and unique! We highly recommend it.
About the Book:
This communication book, illustrated and written for children, presents children with essential self-awareness skills and actions that support healthy emotional expression. The book includes a removable grown-up guide that provides models and rationale about how parents, care providers and educators might listen and respond to children in a way that supports emotional release and restores a child s cooperative, creative thinking. The awareness and listening skills presented in this unique and child-friendly format help bridge the gap between children and grown-ups in challenging situations. The intent of the book is two-fold: that children may find they have a few more options when their feelings get strong, and grown-ups may find that a certain kind of listening actually supports a child s efficient return to their natural state of harmony and cooperation.
From the Introduction:
Children often don't have say about their day - whether it's when to get up, what to do, what to eat, or when to go to bed. Sometimes they express their frustration by saying "I don't want to!" And that doesn't usually go over very well. From a grownup's perspective, it really is bedtime because it's been a busy day or it really is time for a healthy meal because ice cream was the afternoon snack. The limits we set often lead to a "melt down," followed quickly, perhaps, by own own. It's a mess.
So how can this book help you? At first, it may seem to be about what happens when a child tries to get what she wants. It may seem all too familiar - and not in a "good" way. But keep reading! How to listen and respond to children in a way that allows them to release emotional tension, which leads to a closer connection with tou and a more flexible behavior. It's an alternative option to tranditional discipline, which often seeks to coerce a child into good behavior through a series of rewards, threats, guilt - whatever it takes.
The spirit of this approach is "Welcome, come as you are." Nothing helps to restore cooperative, creative thinking faster than an emotional release, supoorted by love and understanding. We don't have to figure anything out to make it all better. We just have to listen and "get it." The message we want the child to receive is "I understand it is hard for you right now. I know you will figure this out and I'm here to support you finding your way." These are the kind of caring responses that help children regain the best of themselves.
This may sound simple and easy to understand, yet we know that in practice it is sometimes difficult to implement. So, be patient with yourself. This is a new style of listening, not often modeled by our own parents or even in our own culture. It may take a while to get the hang of it and, at times, it may not seem to be "working."
Guiding children back to cooperative behavior and a happy disposition can be challenging, but keep listening. Keep affirming. Keep trying. Something will shift. When children know you are listening, they feel understood, valued, loved, and connected to you. They know you care and that they can bring the best and even theworst of themselves and it won't shake your love. And that helps them grow with confidence, a sense of safety, and the firm belief that all is well.
About the Team:
Jamie Anderson - Car conversations often produce the most unexpected insight; one afternoon, while taking the back roads home from a trail run with my teenage son, I was appreciating how lucky we are to live in the San Francisco Bay Area with the incredible mix of urban and open space. My son was quiet for a second then said, Yeah, we re lucky. But I m really lucky because I got you for a mom and you are so good at helping me feel better when things are hard. I was both touched and amazed. His comment reminded me that children need us to figure out how to tune into them, not how to program them. That means we need to understand and appreciate the challenges they face, the feelings they feel and what is important to them. We need to reflect their goodness, help keep them on-track and respect their blossoming capacity to learn and grow up well that is why I am here and that is what I hope to help grownups remember.
Beth O Connor - Part of my practice as a Gestalt Awareness Practitioner is working with adults who are dedicated to understanding their own habits to assure better parenting for their children. I was invited to bring what I know about the importance of being able to express feelings and thoughts without fear of repercussion or consequence to this project. It s risky business for children to be able to just say out loud what they know their parents really don t want to hear. I hope this book helps grownups understand the importance of listening, allowing and receiving a child s expression of difficult feelings and layers of truth ; discovering along the way that I don t want to doesn t necessarily mean I m not going to.
Christinia Cheung - Offering a bilingual education within a Montessori environment has now been a living dream of mine for over two decades. Every day I am reminded of what makes this endeavor so precious: it is what children learn to cultivate at the school. Self-awareness and collaborative communication enables them to understand themselves better and connect meaningfully with those in their lives their peers, parents, teachers and caregivers. This connection constitutes the foundation for authentic self-expression and helps the children realize their true selves. This true self is my goal and inspiration it is the light that guides me. My hope is that this book will act as a prism through which adults see and hear children anew, and through which children, in turn, may acquire the skills and confidence to communicate as authentically as possible.
Special Thanks to Laurel Mousseau - We would like to thank Laurel Mousseau for being the bridge that connected the contributors of this book. As a student in Jamie s parenting groups, a participant in Beth s Gestalt Awareness Practice groups, and a parent with a daughter attending Christinia s Pacific Rim International School, Laurel has experienced how small adjustments in parenting style and listening skills make a profound contribution to her daughter s well-being. This kind of nurturing influences children s health and produces the kind of emotional intelligence that creates resilient, vibrant and mindful children.
- Hardcover: 31 pages
- Full Color Illustrations Throughout
- Size 9.7 x 8.5 x 0.5 inches
- Publisher: Institute for Collaborative Communication (September 10, 2012)
- ISBN-13: 978-0615346373