Earlier this week, someone posed a really interesting question to us: "How can I help my child deal with anger?"
Emotional development is extremely important, particularly between the ages of 2-7. As children learn about the world around them, (as well as their brain development), their feelings grow. In fact, around 2-3 years old, they start to discover that they have feelings at all - this is what is often referred to as the "Terrible twos" or "Terrible threes" - simply because children have so many feelings, but don't quite know what to do with them yet. Children's emotional life grows leaps and bounds during these years, just like their bodies and brains.
So how do you compensate? How do you help your little person realize that feelings are okay? In short, children's story books.
The world of children's books is a vast and highly evolved field. There are books depicting almost anything: manners, loneliness, fear, humility, embracing the uniqueness of self, the importance of saying "I'm sorry". If there is a lesson or a feeling you want to teach your child, there is a book that can help you do it.
Here are a few book recommendations to help with a variety of emotional and social issues:
1. Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse & Tom Lichtenheld is a fun, clever book about an exclamation mark in a world of periods, who tries desperately to fit in, but just can't seem to make it work. However, he learns to embrace himself and "leave his mark" - a wonderful book to help your child embrace their own unique strangeness.
2. Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear & Isabelle Arsenault is a beautifully illustrated book based on the real-life sisters Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf, this book imagines the sisters as children, though Virginia wakes up "feeling wolfish" and she doesn't want to play; she yells at Vanessa to leave her alone! But Vanessa has a few tricks up her sleeve to help her sister feel better. A unique and beautiful book about the power of sibling relationships and that sometimes feeling "wolfish" is perfectly natural.
3. Love is Real by Janet Lawler & Anna Brown is an awesomely cute book about unconditional love, and the small, every day ways in which love can show itself. The last lines of the book say: "Love is real the whole day through. It's always there - from me to you."
4. How Do Dinosaurs Say I'm Mad? by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague, this book is part of a book series by Yolen & Teague where giant dinosaurs act, perhaps, like kids might in various situations. However the book is told not in story form, but by the asking of questions - a wonderful tool in which to engage your child about behaviour and feelings, and how one can inform the other. Instead of destroying houses or yelling loudly, the dinosaurs learn to count to ten, or have a time out in order to feel the feelings safely and calmly. Other books in this serious include: How Does a Dinosaur Say Goodnight, How Does a Dinosaur Eat Their Food, and How Does a Dinosaur Say I Love You.
Check out these, and many other wonderful children's books at the Saddletowne Library. You can also use NoveList K-8 Plus to look up books similar to these titles through our E-Library!