20 August 2018

5 Books That Can Help Children Understand Emotionally Sensitive Topics

When I became a mom a decade ago, just like most new parents, I did my best to learn the basics of raising a child. Having the opportunity to take care of all my nephews though, let's just say I'm in the advanced level. I have already mastered bathing rambunctious boys, feeding picky eaters, and playing with kids that by the time I had to do those to my own daughter, I didn't have a problem. It is only when Sophia started asking whys and hows that I realized parenting is such a tough job.

You see, whatever seed of life we plant in the hearts of our children, it will grow with them. These seeds will become their thoughts, which will turn into emotions and eventually into actions. This is why my husband and I are intentionally raising our daughters with the teachings of the Bible, what we have personally experienced and learned in life, and as for I who dream to have a book published under my name someday, I also get help from books.

And what a gift the universe has for my homeschooling newbie – Scholastic Asia sent these Big Hug Books! As Sophia browsed each book, I saw her actually getting into reading one from cover to cover. "Aww, I feel so touched, 'Nay! I can read it over and over again", she said. I have to agree. When we read it together, I noticed that Shona Innes, the writer of the Big Hug Books, specifically wrote it for children to understand complex and emotionally sensitive topics easily. She used practical words that adults use to converse with kids in everyday living. These are recommended by child experts and educators for kids aged 4 and above. According to Scholastic Asia –
"The Big Hug Books are a series of picture books designed to gently talk about topics that many find emotional. Each of the stories has grown from psychological sessions with children (and sometimes with grown ups) to help them understand and talk about complex emotional situations in simple and gentle ways. Each book includes some notes for parents or teachers that can be used to guide the ways they assist their children and students. Psychologists and students of psychology will recognize the evidence-based strategies the Big Hug Books promote."
Below are the synopsis of each book as provided by Scholastic Asia. 

The internet can be an amazing tool and a fun place to be. But the internet can be a bit like a great big puddle. Some puddles look shallow on top, but they are actually really deep underneath. We need to make sure we play safely in the internet puddle.
Friendship is a little bit like a seesaw. When a seesaw is even on both sides, it is balanced. But sometimes you might feel up in the air when your friend feels low. Other times, you might feel low when your friend is up. So how is it possible to get a balanced friendship?
The Playground is like the Jungle was written with a view to opening young minds to the rich variety of human personalities that exist in their world. Readers are encouraged to take time to observe the behaviours and moods of others and to make wise and safer choices about play mates. The strategies promoted encourage tolerance and acceptance of interpersonal different and wise choices with respect to interpersonal safety.
Love is a special and growing thing. It’s a little bit like a tree – a special magical tree – that you can climb up into, nest comfortably in its big branches, and safely watch the world go by. Love can come in different shapes and sizes. Like a tree, love can grow and grow. 
Life is like the Wind focuses on the complexities around death, loss and grief. It acknowledges the range of feelings associated with losing a loved one whether human or non-human. This book aims to help children not to be frightened of their reactions, but to explore their beliefs, acknowledge that others may have different ideas and then work out the ways they want to acknowledge their loss and their feelings. 
I hope these books reach more schools and homes as it can help the younger generation become more attuned with their feelings, which is a rarity nowadays. If these Big Hug books have helped my daughter grasped the concept of the aforementioned difficult issues, I believe that it can do the same to your little ones. Scholastic Asia has not distributed these to the local market yet but we can help them make it possible by sharing this post on your social media accounts. Do not forget to tag me and Scholastic Asia! Here's a virtual big hug to all of you. x

For more information, please visit the Scholastic Asia website. Like them on Facebook, too for promos and updates. 

Disclosure: We received these books from Scholastic Asia but all thoughts and opinions are my own unless stated.

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