We live in difficult and stressful times. Never in our history have so many people struggled with fear, depression and anxiety and unfortunately it was impossible to completely shield children from the effects. However, we have learned more than ever the value of family time, the importance of communication and of addressing our emotional health.
It’s not always easy to get children to talk about their feelings or to approach certain topics with them. Often when we want to talk to them about social or emotional topics it’s hard to get their full attention and when we want to address topics on good character, like respect, honesty and patience, we may even get some very intense eye rolls from them.
So how can we get their attention, help them to share some of their emotions and fears with us, and help build their character to better prepare them for the challenges they will face in the future? After years working as an educator, I figured out an easy way to do it and want to share it with you.
Children love listening to stories and being absorbed in the journey of the characters. During my over 14 years as an elementary school teacher, I realized that storytelling was one of the most effective and enjoyable ways to reach children, so I began incorporating more of it into my teaching day, including occasionally sharing some of my own personal stories with them. It proved to be one of the best ways to reach them and spark the greatest conversations with them, especially about topics that otherwise might be more challenging to talk about.
The difficulty I faced when trying to approach these topics, was finding books on some of the issues I wanted to address and also having the time to track them down. That’s when I decided to create one book with an entire collection of stories that parents could use to facilitate these conversations. The Light Giver & Other Stories to Raise Emotionally Healthy Children, includes 22 stories that address topics like fear, disappointment, guilt, envy, forgiveness, kindness, honesty, respect, patience and a lot more. The Light Giver Stories Workbook, offers supplemental activities, lessons and discussions that further support these topics.
You don’t need to have a degree in education to use these books; I intentionally designed them to be easy enough for anyone to use. In fact, to streamline the process, I included a directory in the back of the first book with a brief summary and a list of issues each story addresses. The workbook activities can be read verbatim and only a few lessons need a minimum amount of preparation. The directions are so simple, it’s like I am holding your hand throughout the entire process.
However, I know that some parents wish they had an experienced teacher around to help them with the lessons or to give them some helpful advice on how to better communicate with their young children. I have also been trained in Social Emotional Learning and Character Development at Rutgers University which has given me some additional insight on addressing children’s needs even further. So, I am offer coaching sessions which can be live or virtual for children or parents who need help. These sessions can include:
Readings and follow up discussions of the stories from The Light Giver & Other Stories to Raise Emotionally Healthy Children. Stories can be chosen based on the topic or issue that you would like me to specifically target with your child.
Lessons from The Light Giver Stories Workbook addressing the specific issues your child may be facing or struggling with.
Useful strategies and tips for parents to help develop their child’s coping skills, self-esteem, empathy as well as additional ways to strengthen their character.
Beneficial tips to improve communication skills between parents and children.
A brief overview of the benefits children experience when exposed to lessons on Social Emotional Learning and Character Development both in the short term and long term.
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