Thursday, June 10, 2010

Review: Uplift Press Books Liking Myself and The Mouse, The Monster and Me

My 8 year old daughter loves reading. In fact, that is one of the first things I noticed that was different between her and her teenage brother-as a kid, he hated reading, and even when I read to him as a young child he could never sit still and never seemed to want to pay any attention. Of course, we didn't know then that he had ADHD.

Deja loved it when I read to her as a young child, and she loves to read on her own now. When I was younger, I also loved to read, so I am thinking that she takes after her mom in that respect. ;)

Deja has a problem with expressing her feelings sometimes, and in meetings with her teacher this past year, it was discussed that she has somewhat low self esteem. She seems to think that she "can't" do something, and while we both encourage her to put her best effort forward and TRY, she really hinders her own ability to do so just by thinking that she can't. It's that type of thinking we want to nip in the bud, because to be honest, you never really know until you try-so to give up completely beforehand is really unacceptable. Besides, sometimes you have to give it a try more than once to get it right :)

My daughter is all too quiet sometimes, and tends to have her feelings hurt easily. In this day and age, feelings can get hurt a lot. It can be from friends, siblings, even parents-or anonymously, through cyber bullying via social networks or even a simple text message to your cell phone. Because Deja is so quiet, I tend to worry. I encourage her to express her feelings in a way she feels comfortable. And I let her know it's okay to have feelings as well, since that is part of what makes us human.

Through Parent Reviewers, Deja and I had the chance to review a couple of books from Uplift Press. We received The Mouse, The Monster, and Me and Liking Myself. Deja was pretty excited that she'd gotten a couple of new books and immediately began reading Liking Myself. She seemed impressed by the activities that promoted self esteem in the book, and was happily drawing her responses to them within a few minutes.

The reading went quickly, but combined with the activities in the book she is still entertained, going back to certain sections and doing things at her own pace. She's a perfectionist, and wanted her drawings and words to reflect just what she felt. I think that this book deals very well with feelings, and helps children to express themselves in positive ways. This is a book that would be great to give to a child entering school, since it helps them deal with social issues and lets them know that having emotions is okay, since no one is completely happy 100% of the time. It encourages a positive way to deal with these emotions, rather than hurting others in the process. Kids can sometimes be very cruel, as we've witnessed ourselves in our own lives. Sometimes, the sadness from such cruel words and behaviors can be overwhelming-and our children find a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Teaching your children early on to be open about their feelings through books such as this is definitely a positive step in the right direction.

The next book we reviewed, The Mouse, The Monster and Me was great in the fact that while it was written to help children be more assertive, it also deals with them being TOO assertive, to the point of bullying. This book is designed to help them achieve a nice balance between the two, so that your child will know when to speak up (when it is appropriate) and when to take a deep breath and sit back and listen. It deals with boundaries, respect and having your own personal space as well. My daughter has glanced at this book, and seemed very interested in the contents. There are activities and scenarios as well in this book, where the child is given an example of a situation-and asked to describe the difference about what a mouse (timid child), a monster (bully child) and what an assertive you (child who has taken the time to think the situation through and respond correctly) would do in each situation.

This book also deals with positive and negative choices, and tells the child they need to have a sense of responsibility for the outcome of their actions in life. This is a great book for my 8 year old, because now that she is getting older she is faced with more decision making and needs to learn from her actions. Unlike her brother in the past, I hope the choices she makes will be the right ones. She is bringing this book on the plane with her to work on during our trip next week-it will make a long layover and plane trip all that more enjoyable.

As a parent, I recommmend these books wholeheartedly. In our busy lives, sometimes we don't always get the chance to sit down and talk with our children as much as we'd like to. These books are informative, interesting, and can be a helpful tool in helping our children grow up and define who they are as a person. Thank you to Parent Reviewers and Uplift Press for the books we were sent to review.

DISCLAIMER: I was sent two books to review through Parent Reviewers for Uplift Press. My daughter and I were able to read and review these books and we both enjoyed them. I did not receive any other compensation, and the opinions above are mine and my daughters.

No comments: