Books and Behavior
Books can be a constructive way to introduce topics that deal with childhood behavior and be a springboard for discussing a child’s feelings about the topic. It can be comforting to some kids to read about characters dealing with the same challenges. Watching how characters overcome their problems can help families brainstorm their own solutions. This process of relating books to real life issues is called bibliotherapy.
The sites below have frequently updated lists of books that can help kids deal with different challenges. Most of the titles mentioned are available at the library.
Books That Heal Kids is a blog written by an elementary school counselor. She reviews recently published books and then adds how she shares each title with her students. The books mostly handle topics such as bullying, getting along with others, sportsmanship. There are also many books on recognizing and expressing emotions such as anger and disappointment. Back posts are arranged by date or topic and each review recommends other similar titles on that topic.
The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh website has a section for parents that includes booklists by topics ranging from learning manners and getting used to the babysitter to more serious issues such as illness, and divorce. Each topic has an easily printed list of titles and a little brief summary of each book.
Children's Book Guide includes reviews on titles for a variety of subjects from new award winners to classic authors. The subjects on the right side include picture books to help with specific behaviors such as sharing or toilet training. There are also more general positive book lists that model subjects like love.
For more information on how to read about issues with children, try Healing Stories: Picture Books for the Big and Small Changes in a Child’s Life by Jaqueline Golding, a child psychologist. She lists 500 books on 34 different topics that many kids have to deal with, from making friends to illness. She also provides tips about how these titles can be used to start discussions and finding solutions.
- Miss Emily