What is death? And how can we help children understand it? – Marian Carter

bereavementIn this extract from Helping Children and Adolescents Think about Death, Dying and Bereavement, Marian Carter draws upon her experience as a chaplain who has worked in hospital and hospice settings to suggest ways that we can help children come to terms with death. She questions ‘What is death?’ and goes on to describe the different experiences that children have with it, and how we can reflect upon these experiences to improve our emotional support. The book, which looks at how children comprehend the death of a loved one, pet, or even their own death, places a particular emphasis on the importance of listening to the child or adolescent, and adapting your approach based on their responses.

>>Click here to download the extract<<

Read an extract from A Practical Introduction to Restorative Practice in Schools

Hansberry_Practical-Intro_978-1-84905-707-3_colourjpg-printIn this extract, Bill Hansberry draws upon real stories from school life to give a strong sense of what restorative justice is and how it works. He begins with the story of two boys, Tristan and Jason, whose intractable conflict was seemingly spiralling out of control. Admitting that restorative justice is at times not for the faint-hearted, he nonetheless asserts that its constructive approach to conflict resolution ‘improves behaviour by improving relationships between people in schools’.

>>Click here to download the extract<<

Suitable for education settings from preschool to college, A Practical Introduction to Restorative Practice in Schools explains what restorative justice is, how it can be used in schools, what it looks like in the classroom and how it can be implemented.  Featuring case studies that illuminate the underlying restorative principles and practices,  the book covers a wide range of topics from the basics of restorative justice, through to school-wide processes for embedding the approach in policy and practice.

Drawing on the expertise of educators and consultants, this is a must-have resource for any school or centre that is serious about reducing bad behaviour and developing safer learning communities.

Restorative schools are kinder schools – Bill Hansberry

Hansberry_Practical-Intro_978-1-84905-707-3_colourjpg-printIn this article, Bill Hansberry reflects upon his new book to discuss the importance of restorative justice as a constructive approach to conflict resolution in schools compared to traditional punitive methods. Suitable for education settings from preschool to school, A Practical Introduction to Restorative Practice in Schools explains what restorative justice is, how it can be used in schools, what it looks like in the classroom and how it can be implemented. It is an essential resource for any school or centre that is serious about reducing bad behaviour and developing safer learning communities.

Restorative Practices are not for the faint-hearted. They demand that our work in schools be less political and more human. This demands that, when things go wrong in schools, we empathise with students (and those who love them) and move into emotional spaces with them that we may not have occupied previously. Restorative practices are not a discipline from a distance. They are up close, personal and at times confronting, which is at odds with the direction that many schools are taking their disciplinary systems. As communities become increasingly disconnected and fearful of one another, responses to conflict, harm and wrongdoing that bring people and their difficult emotions face to face can seem too risky for many, yet schools who have bravely embraced restorative practices have found that this is a risk well worth taking.  Continue reading

A Q&A with Gary Mitchell, author of Doll Therapy in Dementia Care

Mitchell_Doll-Therapy-in_978-1-84905-570-3_colourjpg-print

We caught up with Gary Mitchell on the publication of his important new resource for dementia care professionals – Doll Therapy in Dementia Care.

What motivated you to write the book – Doll Therapy in Dementia Care?

I qualified as a nurse in 2010 and my first post was in a dementia care unit in Northern Ireland.  When I began working on the unit I quickly saw the benefits of person-centred care and non-pharmacological interventions.  One particular intervention that was regularly taking place on the unit was ‘doll therapy’.  Initially it was an intervention that I wholeheartedly rejected because I felt it perpetuated stigma that can be associated with dementia.  I felt like playing with dolls would undermine the person-hood of the individuals living with dementia I was nursing.  After some time I began to see some very positive outcomes in some of our residents’ quality of life who engaged with doll therapy.  On reviewing the evidence in 2010, I found that there wasn’t really that much out there.  Over the past number of years I have closely studied doll therapy in dementia care through my practice and academia.  My opinions on doll therapy, informed by evidence and practice, are starkly different.  In short, doll therapy can enhance the quality of life for some people who live with dementia.  This was the sole reason for writing this book – to share the evidence and practice about doll therapy so as people living with dementia who will benefit from it can be enabled to do so. Continue reading

Read an extract from Jane Evans’ new children’s book Cyril Squirrel Finds Out About Love

Evans-Bean_Cyril-Squirrel_978-1-78592-080-6_colourjpg-printCyril Squirrel asks lots of questions, but there’s one thing that really puzzles Cyril…

“What is love? Can I find it? Keep it? Do I need it?”

With a notebook and a map, Cyril embarks on a quest to find out about love.

“Gone away to find out what love is. Back soon.”

Helping children to learn about the ways that love can look, sound or feel, this heart-warming picture book shows some of the many different forms love, friendship and kindness take. Suitable for all children aged 2-6, especially those who may have confused ideas about love, Cyril’s adventure includes guidance for adults on how the book can be read with children.

>>Click here to download the extract<<

What is love and how can we explain it to children? – Jane Evans

Evans-Bean_Cyril-Squirrel_978-1-78592-080-6_colourjpg-printIn this article, Jane Evans reflects upon her new book Cyril Squirrel Finds Out About Love to discuss how we can help children to learn about the ways that love can look, sound or feel in this increasingly complicated world. Suitable for all children aged 2-6, especially those who may have confused ideas about love, Cyril’s adventure includes guidance for adults on how to explore questions about love, friendship and kindness with children. Continue reading

Creative, Successful, Dyslexic book launch

Rooke_Creative-Succes_978-1-84905-653-3_colourjpg-printThe launch of Margaret Rooke’s Creative, Successful, Dyslexic in paperback at Newham bookshop last Thursday was a celebration of the determination, creativity and outlook that dyslexia brings with it.

Involving a panel of experts in dyslexia as well as a special guest appearance from You Magazine’s ‘Agony Aunt’ Zelda West-Meads, the launch saw some inspirational talks.

“The most important thing,” Zelda revealed, “is for a child with dyslexia to know it’s nothing to do with intelligence, just something that gets in the way of their learning.  They should use it to be determined to be successful!” Continue reading

Read an extract from Sophie Ashton’s The Secrets of Successful Adoptive Parenting

Ashton_Secrets-of-Succ_978-1-78592-078-3_colourjpg-printIn this extract from The Secrets of Successful Adoptive Parenting, Sophie Ashton discusses how it is perfectly normal to feel emotionally overwhelmed soon after your child moves in, how the process of successfully integrating them into your family does not simply happen overnight, but that in the long term adopting can be a wholly rewarding experience that brings joy, hope and fulfillment. An honest and reassuring account of what it can really be like to be an adoptive parent, The Secrets of Successful Adoptive Parenting is a practical hands-on guide that will help you prepare for the highs and lows of being an adoptive parent. It discusses preparing for the journey ahead, parenting with empathy, facilitating your child’s attachment, helping your child feel listened to, and providing structure and consistency in order to successfully integrate your child into your family life.

>>Click here to download the extract<<

The emotional and behavioural challenges of adoptive parenting – Sophie Ashton

Ashton_Secrets-of-Succ_978-1-78592-078-3_colourjpg-printIn this article Sophie Ashton, author of The Secrets of Successful Adoptive Parenting, talks reassuringly about the emotional challenges of adopting a child. She discusses how it is perfectly normal to feel emotionally overwhelmed soon after your child moves in, how the process of successfully integrating them into your family does not simply happen overnight, but that in the long term adopting can be a wholly rewarding experience that brings ‘joy, hope and fulfillment’.  The Secrets of Successful Adoptive Parenting is an honest and reassuring account of what it can really be like to be an adoptive parent.  It prepares you for the highs and lows of being an adoptive parent and provides practical advice to give your child and your family the best chance to flourish.

It is quite common for adopters to feel emotionally overwhelmed soon after their child moves in

In the early weeks post-placement many adopters feel a mix of emotions in response to their child.  For some adoptive parents the challenging and negative emotions seem more prevalent than the positive ones, and can on occasion lead to them starting to question their reasons for wanting to adopt.  Sometimes these challenging emotions can put the adoption placement at risk of breaking down.  I know this – because it almost happened to us.

After four years in the adoption process we were very ready for the arrival of our daughter. Although emotionally exhausting, the eight-day introduction period went well.  We warmed to her – she warmed to us; she and our birth son seemed to get on well.  We were all beyond excited when she moved in – we adored her.  Happy days!  Our dream of a perfect family was coming true!  Continue reading

Read an extract from Margaret Rooke’s Creative, Successful, Dyslexic – out now in paperback

Rooke_Creative-Succes_978-1-84905-653-3_colourjpg-printEntertainer, actor and singer Brian Conley reveals the difficulties that dyslexia presented him with at school growing up, and how he channelled his dyslexia to work out what he was good at. Harnessing the ‘visual’ way of thinking that comes with it, he now looks on his dyslexia ‘as a total gift’.

>>Click here to download the extract<<

Creative, Successful, Dyslexic is a collection of first-person stories from 23 very well-known people with dyslexia from the arts, sport, and business worlds. All reveal the enormous difficulties they faced, the strength required to overcome them, the crucial importance of adult support, and how ‘the different way the brain is wired’ in dyslexia has enabled them to see something different in the world and to use their creativity in an exceptional way. They talk about ‘thinking sideways’, and the ability to look at a bigger picture, the often strong visual strength, and the ability to listen, and to grasp simplicity where other people see only complexity. They also talk about how dyslexia continues to challenge them, and the ways they have found to work around this.

Darcey Bussell CBE, Eddie Izzard, Sir Richard Branson, Meg Mathews, Zoe Wanamaker CBE, Richard Rogers, Benjamin Zephaniah, Steven Naismith, Lynda La Plante CBE, Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, Sophie Conran and others share their stories, and their advice. A percentage of profit from the book is donated to Dyslexia Action.

>>Click here to find out more about the book<<