This month, we were all very lucky to review three books from Loving Healing Press Inc.
The first book, I reviewed was, “Got an Angry Kid? We have a Solution. Parenting Spike : A Seriously Difficult Child” by Andrew D. Gibson, Ph.D. A seemingly picture perfect family of four, depicts a different view, when “Spike” grows more and more angry, hating everyone in the family. He only seems to love/value his dog, “Ruff”, who is a bulldog, filled with unconditional love for his human carers. His sister aggravates the situation by portraying herself as a studious, well-liked and well-mannered girl. His parents are at their wits’ end trying to keep “Spike” under their control and growing apart in their marriage as well. They go through a P.A.C.T (Parents with Angry Children and Teens) program, and find they have to work as individuals, and as a team, to establish good habits and get rid of all their old ones.
This book does not mince its’ words. If you are a parent who’s child has gone off tangent, that is to say, not exactly following your ideals of how he/she should grow up to be, and it’s frustrating you, then this is the book for you. I must say, this is not about the child anymore. It’s about you, the parent. It’s not an easy book to follow, I had to re-read it more than once, just to see how it made sense, but in the end, it did.
There are no easy parenting answers here. It’s one of those “Wake Up and Smell the Coffee, Folks…and it ain’t Arabica Coffee”. It is a no-nonsense, “will-help-your-kid-if-you-change-yourself” book. The road to perfect parenting does not exist. Instead, this road leads us through self-doubt, insecurity and worries. This book, coupled with therapy aims to re-pave this road, and make it a smoother ride. But, there is always a lot of work and self-restraint, especially when it comes to our very own bad behaviour.
It also has a worksheet for both parents and child, on how they performed with their goals. Parents have 28 goals while the child has 9 goals. It really seems impossible to get rid of bad habits, but for the love of the child, we must.
If at the end of this long, tumultuous journey, you find your child, a happier and contented one, then this journey is definitely worth it. The key is to be proactive and respond accordingly. React, and you’re back to square one.
Here are a number of parents who have taken the brave plunge in reviewing this book, and what they have to say :
5 Vinez Monkeys : I’m not saying that this book will work miracles. You can’t buy a book to fix a flat tire and expect it to change the tire on your truck for you. You have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. This book is the same way. It’s not going to be easy. There are going to be fights, and you are going to fail. But if you give up, you’ll never have a successful relationship with your child.
Sasha’s Bla Bla Bla :The 28 goals mentioned in this book may seem too hard to achieve especially the first 2 goals. No shouting and no showing of anger. Tell me how many parent of a 3 yr old can do it? But as you read on, you will know that you CAN actually do it.
Jo Jo’s Place : Got An Angry Kid? has really given us some parenting tips and techniques that are working great for our family. Our “Spike” (the angry kid from the book) is no longer unhappy. And we have regained control of the once uncontrollable child.
Makiko’s : Ironically, although it focuses more on what a parent must NOT do, it is practically pulsating of positivity -which is the main reason why I developed immediate affinity to it. It asserts that we all have taught (and are still teaching) our kids on how to treat us and how they should treat others.
Mommy Goggles : We have tried everything from changing his diet (which, in my opinion is a complete waste of time and money), down to reading books, researching pediatric specialists and even medication. It all comes down to taking control back in your home, setting boundaries and working together. Why scream? Why yell? We do time out’s but even those don’t help, unless you get to the root of the problem. Why is he angry? This book did teach us so much!
The second book, I reviewed was “Billy had to Move” by Theresa Ann Fraser, CYW, B.A. I’ve never been in “Billy’s” shoes before, but I think it would be extremely terrifying for any child to be left alone/abandoned. As it is, when my kids lose sight of me in the mall for just 5 seconds, I can see how terrified they get. That feeling of abandonment was one I’ve felt before, when my dad accidentally left me alone in a hotel lobby.
“Billy’s” mom had disappeared and he was brought to his grandma’s home to live. But, with old age, the grandmother passes away and now, “Billy” is scared because he doesn’t know who will take care of him now. He even worries of his grandma’s cat, and wonders who will take care of it. This book is a good start for people who are thinking about being foster carers. To put themselves in “Billy’s” shoes. To understand, that for him to feel a sense of belongingness, it would take quite a fair bit of patience, love and good counselling/therapy. It’s never easy for the child or the foster carer in finding a way to make their puzzles match, but with effort from both ends, the end results can be very fulfilling.
Here are other parents who have reviewed this book, and what they have to say :
Connie’s View : Billy Had To Move, is helpful for children who are going into foster care for the first time or moving to a new foster home. It can also help a child who has experienced death of a loved one.
One House School Room Reviews : This book is a wonderful resource for children, written in a language that is very easy to understand, yet it fully describes the emotional struggle of this young boy. Written from his perspective, it delves deeply into the pain and uncertainty he is faced with as such a young age.
PNR Reviews : It is a compassionate book that honors the many complex, conflicting, and confusing emotions Billy experiences, while also ending with a spirit of hope.
The last book I reviewed was, “Annabelle’s Secret” by Amy Barth. The character, “Annabelle” was sexually abused by an older ‘friend’, when she was only 7. This 13 year old boy “Joel” tells Annabelle that she could join his special club, but she must not tell anyone what goes on there. As she is repeatedly sexually abused, she becomes more withdrawn. And refuses to play outside just to avoid ‘bumping’ into Joel. The character finally tells her mother, and her mother takes the appropriate actions.
This book conveys an important message to all parents, regardless of whether your child has been sexually abused or not. The creation of awareness of what’s appropriate and what’s not, and by whom, is very crucial for children to understand what it means to be sexually abused.
Being ashamed for something that has been done to you, and living in shame and guilt, is carried into our adult lives. It’s hard to function as a normal human being, if we don’t share what has happened to us. I strongly believe, that we should all teach our children to share any negative experiences they may have had, even if it is with a ‘loved‘ one.
Here’s one of our parents’ views on this book :
Maria’s Space : Recently I was offered an opportunity through Parent Reviewers to read a book by Amy Barth called Annabelle’s Secret. This is a book I wish was around to read when I was a child. As a child of sexual abuse there were no books that confirmed what I needed to know; that the abuse was not my fault!!