TOP TIPS FOR USING A ‘BOOK THAT HELPS’ WITH A CHILD:
- Read the book alone before sharing it with a child. This will give you time to process the themes and ensure you are prepared to use the story therapeutically. Also, only you will know if these books are suitable to share with your child.
- Pick a moment that feels right and get comfortable. Try to be as relaxed as possible, like you would during any story.
- Show you are interested by making positive comments about what the child sees and hears, and to keep the conversation going. “I see it too!” “And then?” “She does look sad.”
- Reflect and use emotional labelling; “You seem worried/ anxious/ upset…” “This feels important to you.”
- Encourage your child’s independence and problem-solving skills by responding to their questions with open-ended questions. For example, “That’s a good question.” “Why do you think the child is crying?” How, which, what, where and who questions are good, also.
- Always comment positively and value a child’s responses, even if you don’t necessarily agree. This validates their feelings and will encourage them to share other things with you.
- Be led by the child, at their own pace and time, so that they have the control. If they aren’t particularly talkative, don’t push it. If they don’t want to talk, just enjoy the story.
- Not every reader resonates with every book. Hopefully the reviews on the #BooksThatHelps site will help get the right books into the right readers’ hands.
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