Understanding Children & Teens by Judy Bartkowiak
Packed with so many exercises and techniques for having a better understanding of how your individual children learn, how to help them express their fears, and how to release negative feelings, you cannot fail to find sections of this book that really resonate with your own personal family relationships, tensions and frustrations. Some techniques are quite involved and would better suit a therapist or special needs professional, who would already have a background in certain theories (the book has the sub-heading ‘A Practical Guide for Parents, Teachers and Coaches’ so this is already acknowledged), but there is always something to take away from each section, even as a parent with a very limited knowledge of teaching or coaching practice. I was initially sceptical about the ‘tapping’ technique; as just tapping on the body and repeating certain phrases seemed to me to be unlikely to change much, but having tried it on myself I very quickly moved an uncomfortable memory from being ‘I did something stupid’ to ‘I did something silly’ to ‘I made a mistake, but I learnt from it’. The chapter on ‘Escaping the Drama Triangle’ should probably be essential reading for most families and makes a really strong case for giving your children age-appropriate responsibilities to help build their self esteem. I have made certain changes straight away after reading that chapter, and am trying very hard not to rush in quite so quickly to ‘rescue/help’!
This is a reference book that you can return to again and again in order to remind yourself of how to be listened to by your children, how to talk to your children, how to help them with their learning and how to gradually let them grown up with a positive mindset and no residual negative feelings. Well worth a read.
Published by Free Association Books
Available to buy online.