Recently, I received two non-fiction children’s books written by Leanne Matlow – a counselor and workshop facilitator based in Toronto. Her two books are: Thinking About Thoughts and Tell Me!
Tell Me!, illustrated by Tamar Tal-El, focuses on the worry, anxiety and concern that sometimes consumes children and teens.
In this short colourful book, a pre-teen is worried about her twin sister, Kim. Kim is dealing with an anxiety disorder and the book cleverly and clearly illustrates how one family member’s health concerns can radiate out to affect family and friends. Kim’s sister is frustrated because although she can see that Kim is suffering and her personality has changed, no one explains what’s going on. She herself feels anxious and alone.
After speaking with her parents, our protagonist understands that Kim is having a difficult time. She begins to see a “coach” named Dr. Simon who later explains to her whole family what’s happening with Kim and how they too can help her out. “Finally, the truth!” says our protagonist.
Dr. Simon goes on to outline the four “superheroes” whom Kim uses to help stay calm and focused. They are:
1) Do-It Guy who tells us it’s best not to avoid; just give it a try.
2) Distraction Dude helps us focus on something else instead of our anxious thoughts.
3) Whoa! Man reminds us how to stop unreal, unwanted or unhelpful thoughts.
4) The Reflector assists us by reminding us of our past successes.
If your child is dealing with anxiety you may want to pick up Tell Me! and use it as a tool for meaningful discussion. Let me know if you do.
Leanne Matlow is a Professional Colleague of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and an Associate member of the Association for Behavior and Cognitive Therapies. Leanne’s blog for parents can be found at http://lmatlow.blogspot.ca.
Posted in Books, Conferences, Experts, Facts, Study, Uncategorized
Tagged anxiety, books, coach, counselor, depression, family, matlow, siblings, tell me, toronto
Yeesh. If I’m going to stick to my promise of posting at least one blog post a week then I’d better post this puppy in the next few hours.
I’ve been watching a new show called America’s Supernanny on Slice.ca. You may be familiar with the original Supernanny, Jo Frost, whose “UK nanny teaches parents to parent” TV show prompted much talk around the ol’ water cooler (virtual and otherwise).
I’m not supermom by any stretch but watching the first few episodes of America’s Supernanny has made me sweat and cringe on more than one occasion: There have been horrible bouts of swearing, hitting, threatening, punching, soda-drinking, sugar imbibing, and head-butting… and that’s often just sibling to sibling.
Today “Miss Deborah” was pointing out to one set of parents with four young boys that they were, in fact, clueless. And, indeed, they did seem pretty clueless. They had a beautiful large home, lovely furniture and toys and it was obvious that the boys were loved. But, when it came to discipline, there was none. They (almost literally) let their kids get away with murder because, as the father pointed out, he “didn’t want to be the bad guy.”
Um, really? That’s how you see it, mister? You’re their parent for ____ ‘s sake. Parent your children. Letting them get away with murder isn’t doing you or them any favours. It’s astounding to me that some parents don’t get (or choose not to see) that setting limits actually makes things easier for kids and the family. Drinking a Coke at 10 pm and then swinging from the rafters may be a fun night out in university but it sure ain’t appropriate for a seven-year-old. I think Miss Deborah is right on target with her no-nonsense approach to good parenting.
Have you seen the show? What do you think?