Thursday, April 15, 2010

Book Review: The Power of Your Child's Imagination

I recently had the opportunity to read a copy of The Power of Your Child's Imagination: How to Transform Stress and Anxiety into Joy and Success by Dr. Charlotte Reznick.When I first saw the title of the book, I thought, "what does imagination have to do with overcoming stress?" Upon reading the first few pages of the book, however, the connection became clear. Much of the reason why children (and adults for that matter) find certain things stressful is because of the way we think about events. How you perceive something relates to what emotions you have about it. So if you can figure out how to think about a situation differently, your emotions about it may change as well. Much research supports this idea and this is the approach Dr. Reznick takes in helping kids cope with stress. In the book, she focuses on helping kids from the inside out. That is, showing parents how to help their child learn tools to cope with stress and anxiety so that any behavioral or physical health issues they may be having will improve also. Here is one quote that I really like and I think captures the focus of the book,

"For a child to thrive in the world, he must thrive inside. We spend so much time on the externals--how children behave, how they handle their bodies and interact with others--that we rarely address the inside places where personality and imagination, mind and heart, reside."

Before reading this book, I hadn't really considered the stresses that children face in everyday life. Much like adults, children experience stress and anxiety over things like interaction with peers, family turmoil, or death of a loved one. Unlike adults, however, children do not have the life experience and emotional maturity to cope with it as well. In some cases, the stress may even exhibit itself in physical ways. Dr. Reznick cites that up to 30-40% of children experience pain at least once a week. This is largely issues such as stomachaches and headaches which are often stress-related. In the book, Dr. Reznick outlines 9 tools of imagination that parents can help children learn in order to cope better with stress, including:

- The Balloon Breath
- Discovering Your Special Place
- Meeting a Wise Animal Friend
- Encountering a Personal Wizard
- Receiving Gifts from Inner Guides
- Checking in with Heart and Belly
- Talking to Toes and Other Body Parts
- Using Color for Healing
- Tapping into Energy

These sound intriguing, right? Dr. Reznick describes each tool and offers concrete explains of how parents can help their child learn to use each strategy. One of the best aspects of the book is that Dr. Reznick provides examples from her own clinical experience of how children have used these tools to deal with a variety of stressful situations. She describes very hands-on examples of how parents can guide their children through these tools and offers troubleshooting tips if challenges arise.

After reading this book, I really felt like these were tools that both children and parents would find useful for dealing with stress. Parenting is stressful enough as it is, so we all need tools to help ourselves and our children cope with the challenges of life. Please check out this book and see for yourself. Here is more information about Dr. Reznick and her book:

Dr. Charlotte Reznick has dedicated her life to helping children, adolescents, parents, and professionals. She is a nationally recognized child and educational Psychologist and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology at UCLA. Upon earning her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Southern California, she was honored with "Dissertation of the Year" for her work on the effects of parental divorce on adolescents.

The Power of Your Child’s Imagination is a heart-felt guide that shows parents and professionals how to empower children with easy, effective, and creative skills for surviving – and thriving – in our stressful world. It’s an indispensable guide that provides nine simple tools to help kids access their natural strengths and resources. There’s a mini-primer for each Tool—a sample script, troubleshooting tips, and real-life examples of how it is used. The Tools are adaptable to all ages (even adults can use them), and their benefits accumulate over time.

For more information, or to purchase a copy of The Power of Your Child's Imagination, please visit
http://www.imageryforkids.com/

To download a free e-book with more information on The Power of Your Child's Imagination: How to Transform Stress and Anxiety into Joy and Success and Dr Reznick , visit http://bookpromotionservices.com/reznick/. For a limited time Dr Reznick is offering a very special gift to each person who purchases a copy of her book, including over 80 free gifts, please visithttp://www.imageryforkids.com/book/ for all details.

Stay tuned tomorrow for some great resources (articles, interviews, etc.) from Dr. Reznick!
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