Some Great Resources… for Helping Your Unhappy-in-School Child.
You, Your Child, and School – Latest book for parents by former headteacher Sir Ken Robinson, whose renowned TED Talk “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” has been viewed 50+ million times. Co-authored with Lou Aronica, this book specifically advises parents on “how to support your children through the current education system, or outside of it if you choose.” If you don’t know where to start, start here.
How to Talk so Kids Will Listen, And Listen So Kids Will Talk – The classic by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. Bestseller of over 5 million copies. Warm, funny and very practical. With this book you can start improving your communication with your child today. Also available in a Teen version.
Breakthrough – The true story of teen inventor Jack Andraka, who struggled in school but eventually turned it around and invented a way to test for pancreatic cancer at age 14. An inspiring read for any teen or pre-teen not enjoying school. My favourite part is when Jack’s biology teacher storms over to tell him off for reading a research paper under the desk in class.
The Out-of-Sync-Child – Many children struggle in school due to sensory processing differences. Carol Stock-Kranowitz has written the key text helping parents and teachers understand how sensory processing affects a child’s responses and capabilities in school, and what we can do about it. A brilliant book full of surprising insights.
The Highly Sensitive Child – Elaine Aron’s bestselling text on “Helping Our Children Thrive When the World Overwhelms Them”. Especially useful for parents who are struggling to understand their sensitive, reactive, or introverted child.
Not Fine in School – Website with excellent resources for parents and professionals. UK-based. Has a public Facebook group and a very active closed group for parents.
MindBE Education – Thriving Kids – Mindfulness community for parents and teachers. Organised the excellent Mindfulness Education Summit with dozens of interviews with world-class authors and educators.
Plum Village App – iPhone app by the Plum Village community, with guided meditations for children and adults. Useful for restoring peace, thoughtfulness and compassion in the home. A short bedtime meditation can help an agitated child get to sleep. Also available on YouTube are recorded talks for educators by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.
Take your Understanding to a Deeper Level:
The Child, the Family, and the Outside World – Essential reading on the basics of child psychology by Donald Winnicott, a children’s GP who turned to psychotherapy in his later years. Written as a series of radio talks for parents, it’s one of the most readable and enjoyable child psychology books I know.
Center for Adolescent Studies – Blog and courses for working with adolescents using mindfulness. Excellent approach and resources. Specifically looks at how to work with traumatised youth (including young people who have had a difficult time in school.)
Children Who Fail at School but Succeed in Life / On Playing a Poor Hand Well – Two excellent and very readable books by Dr Mark Katz, looking at how people overcome adversities and go on to thrive despite the odds being against them. Evidence-based research, that “will enable disadvantaged individuals and their families to validate the pain they’ve endured and to celebrate their resilience.”
NICABM – For taking your understanding to a deeper level, great resources and short courses for therapists and counsellors, created by a group of 25+ leading therapists led by Dr Ruth Buczynski. Free, high quality video talks, interviews, articles and downloadable infographics on various topics (e.g. anxiety, anger, depression, shame), organised by topic.
The Body Keeps the Score – By trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk, on “how children and adults adapt to traumatic experiences … [using] emerging findings from neuroscience and attachment research”. Essential reading. Also look for his talks online.
http://www.pete-walker.com – Website of the author of the excellent book “Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving”, provides many articles and FAQs on Complex PTSD, the Inner Critic, Abandonment Depression etc.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study – Information on the ground-breaking study on childhood trauma and its consequences.
How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across the Lifetime – TED Talk by paediatrician Nadine Burke Harris, with over 4 million views. Important, because repeated “toxic stress” from school anxiety can build up into complex trauma.