Posts tagged ‘psychology’

READY, SET, GO!

Potty Training: Simple Training Plan to Potty Train Your Child in 3 Days and Zero Hassle

Written by Nicky Forbes

The author views potty training as a practical necessity that is dreaded by many parents. She takes a pragmatic approach. The introduction lists the reasons for training before a child reaches kindergarten. She talks about its importance in the social environment, a child’s self-esteem, and impact on the environment. After stressing the need for discussing hygiene with the child and choosing the right potty, the parents are ready to begin training.

Stage One involves telling the child what to do, Stage Two proceeds to show the child what to do. Once that is accomplished, the period of practicing by establishing routines, rewards and dealing with a child’s fears is set in motion. Forbes insists that there is no right time for every child, and the possibility of setbacks and delays is a real one. Nevertheless, she insists that patience, praise, and rewards will make success inevitable. She believes that this can be accomplished with most children using this program within three days.

This guide is a good choice for new parents who do not have a clue on how to approach toilet training. It is practical and easy to follow. Personally, I used common sense in training my own children and did not feel the need to consult the experts, but parents who experienced a negative experience themselves or who fear their children might be reluctant will certainly find this no-nonsense guide useful.

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COLOR MY WORLD

Lolli & The Lollipop: Meditation Adventures for Kids

Written by Elena Paige

An interesting book that teaches children how to use meditation to relax. In this first book, Lolli transports her readers to the Land of Color in three separate stories. These stories can be used as bedtime stories or as a teaching guide to meditation for kids. In the first story, Lolli introduces herself; she brings her readers to a crystal cave where they discover a shiny magic gem. Children who are sad, confused or lonely can find solace in the “land of polka dot undies.” Lolli guides her readers back to her own house in the land of color in the final story, which allows children to create in their minds their unique vision of a comfortable home. The illustrations enhance a child’s ability to imagine the setting.

The author targets the audience as ages four through eleven. Some younger children may succeed, but I believe most children in the eight to eleven age range will be more successful with this approach. Parents and teachers could use this book at bedtime or as a group meditation tool.

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POIGNANT AND POWERFUL

Ever the Patriot: Recollections of Vincent J. Riccio World War II Veteran and POW

Edited by Candace Riccio Salem

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This book is told in first person based on the experiences of Vincent J. Riccio and edited by his daughter. It begins with the attack on Pearl Harbor and Riccio’s subsequent draft a few months later. Riccio began his service as an aviation mechanic in Mississippi. The first part of the book focuses on his hi jinks and pranks with his buddies as a young soldier. But Riccio wanted to fly; he eventually manages to get training as an aviator. After being sent to Horhem in England, Riccio flew combat missions over Germany. On the Luduigshafen mission, his plane was shot down. Riccio parachuted to safety, but eventually was taken prisoner by the Germans.

The second part of the story focuses on his imprisonment in POW camps and resourcefulness in surviving the Black Hunger March. As the war came closer to its end, Riccio uses his ingenuity to obtain weapons, food and German prisoners. Down to 84 pounds when he was freed from captivity, Riccio warms the reader’s heart when he relates his elation at seeing the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor upon his return to America. I think the gist of the book is best summarized in his own words, “You learn about people, you learn about human nature. You learn what the human body can take. The ones that couldn’t take it, didn’t make it.”

This story contains the gamut of human emotions; Riccio is at once the boy next door and a war hero. He does not judge, but simply tells it like it is. Recommended for teens and adults interested in history and human behavior.

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KANSAS KIN

Butter in the Well: A Scandinavian Woman’s Tale of Life on the Prairie

Written by Linda K. Hubalek

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Dedicated to Maja Kajsa Svensson Runneberg, the homesteader who settled the Kansas farm on which the author grew up, this work of historical fiction is written in first person as if the journal of Kajsa, the protagonist. The author carefully researched her life in the late 1800’s in the Smoky Valley of Kansas. Many Swedes emigrated because famine, crop failure and social structure prevented Sweden’s farmers from earning a living. Large numbers of families sold their possessions to buy passage to America; many wound up in Kansas after the Homestead Act of 1862 offered free land to those willing to settle there.

Kajsa and her husband Carl arrived with their infant daughter in 1868. They did not know the language, brought little money, and had no roof over their heads. Brutal winters, hot summers, crop failures, insect plagues, windstorms, and disease claimed many of the settlers’ lives. Kajsa’s story traces her journey, living underground in a sod house, making friends with neighboring Swedes, the arrival and death of family members. As they alternately take steps forward and face calamities, Kajsa enjoys the heights of joy and falls to the depths of despair when Carl is struck and killed by lightning. Time passes slowly, but within the next twenty years, the Smoky Valley will see the rise of churches, schools, towns, and even railroads.

The reader wants to cheer and cry while following Kajsa’s journey. Hubalek says the book is appropriate for ages nine through ninety-nine. Those who have an interest in history, memoirs, or psychology will enjoy the book. Though the plethora of details provided sometimes become tedious, the photographs, maps, and recipes are a pleasant addition. Teachers interested in giving students a unique perspective on Westward expansion will find this book useful.

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BABYSITTER BASICS

How To Baby-sit (Survival Skills)

Written by Joy Berry

Illustrated by Bartholomew

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Joy Berry has written many books on behavior; this one does exactly what the title says. The manual includes everything a parent, child or prospective babysitter needs to know. Berry covers how to mentally prepare, search for a position, set up the home, deal with misbehavior and practice consideration for the child and family for which you are providing babysitting services.

There are six steps anyone needs to ponder if thinking about a babysitting job. A prospective applicant needs to do the following: 1) get permission from his parents to babysit for other people’s children, 2) learn everything possible about child care and first aid, 3) get first-hand experience and on-the-job training before beginning, 4) decide how much to charge for services, 5) find parents who might need a baby-sitter and let them know that you are available, and 6) gather items for a “Babysitter Survival Kit.” These include supplies for an emergency in the home, pen and paper, playing cards, crayons, stickers, books, a ball, an old sheet for pretend play, and paper stacking cups. All these supplies need to be age appropriate for the child.

Preparation does not end here. Once a job is accepted the baby sitter must prepare by visiting the family and child ahead of time, taking notes, and building a rapport with the child. The sitter must know how to deal with misbehavior and comfort a child, practice safety for self and the child while in the home, and inspect toys to make sure that they are safe. Berry’s cardinal rule is to treat the child the way you would like to be treated. She gives detailed instructions exactly how to do everything that has been outlined above.

I cannot think of anything that has not been covered in this guide. It is a must for any child contemplating babysitting as well as the parents of the sitter and prospective employers. While much of this book is common sense, Berry’s ability to pull things together concisely and clearly is unparalleled. The cartoon illustrations are well done adding to the appeal and effectiveness of the book. Highly recommended and appropriate for children age eight and above. Book is available in hard cover, paperback and kindle formats.

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THE POWER OF LOVE

Lou and Jigger:True Love is Inseparable

Written by Geryn Childress
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This short story packs a powerful punch in a kindle book of approximately twenty-five pages. The characters are well developed, the plot carefully laid out, and the historical background deftly woven into the story. Childress skillfully portrays the beautiful love shared by Lou and Jigger as well as the ugly prejudice, family tensions, and hardship of living in a poor family down South in the 1900’s.

Luella’s parents move the family from Michigan to Shreveport because her mother believes her children will have a better life in the rural South, but Shreveport in the 80’s was still segregated and blacks found it difficult to make a living. Lou’s father made a living by “junkin”, finding garbage and fixing things to sell as useful items. He also built wells. Both parents worked long hours so the children spent most of their time with Mama Rosie on her small farm. Mama was a grandmother figure who had many interesting friends. Jimmy the wino came to buy her moonshine; Squala, a Native American squatter periodically came to sleep in the abandoned Chevelle on the property. Even though he could not speak English; Squala and Lou communicated by hand gestures and became best friends.

Lou falls in love with a boy named Jigger, but her grandfather Ebe hated him. Jigger and Lou eventually run off to Missouri. When they return, Lou’s father continues the feud and has Jigger framed for a crime. The story traces their lives into their nineties when members of the family succeed in placing Lou and Jigger in separate nursing homes. When descendants Ruby and Sonny decide to move to the area and take over Lou and Jigger’s now abandoned house, the story takes a most interesting turn.

Childress provides the reader with wonderful photographs of his characters which adds to the authentic flavor of the historical romance. This book is very different from modern romances. I would recommend it for ages twelve and up. Classroom teachers might find it a useful addition to teaching about the period. This well written short story will appeal to readers interested in history, romance, psychology and memoirs.

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FIGHT OR FLEE?

The Color of Freedom

Written by Michelle Isenhoff

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I was greatly impressed with this work of historical fiction intended for children and adults age ten and up. While I had not previously read any of this author’s works, I found the language to be crisp and refreshing and the pace just right. The physical descriptions allow the reader to visualize these colorful characters living in Massachusetts, 1774, poised on the brink of rebellion. “ A dray rumbled by. The shoes of the heavy workhorses clomped on the cobbles. Somewhere very close, church bells pealed out the hour. In a moment, the sound was echoed from churches in every quarter. There could be no mistaking the hour in Boston.”

But do not think this is a novel about the war events themselves, the stress in the book is on how these events affected the minds of the characters who were manipulated by them. Here is a brief summary. At the outset, the reader meets fourteen year old Meadow Wynn, an indentured servant in Lord Dennison’s home. Meadow hates the British because she and her Irish tenant farmer father were thrown off their lands and forced to indenture themselves to gain passage to America. Once they arrived, Meadow and her father Amos were separated. All she knows is that he is somewhere in Boston. Her miserable life becomes worse when her master tries to assault her. She knocks him out with an iron griddle and hides in the barn. Her friend, Daniel disguises her as a boy and devises an escape plan. So begins a journey of adventures! As Meadow frantically searches for her father, she finds the British redcoats everywhere and the Patriots scrambling to uncover their plans. Many surprises await her. The knowledge of horses provided to her by Daniel allows her to link up with a traveling merchant named Salizar and later accrue a job in the British army’s stable. Meadow does eventually locate her father. To her dismay he is working for a member of the Sons of Liberty. The reader is drawn into all the intrigues and subterfuges of battle on both sides and the psychological and physical torment it leaves on the women and children of their families.

As the battle unfolds, everything in Meadow’s life seems to fall apart; she is in danger of being captured as a traitor by both sides, her friends’ lives are in shambles, and she learns that each side has its faults-nothing is black and white. Much like the life of tweens and teens today, Meadow is questioning who she is and how can she fit in to the crazy events happening around her. She has no other choice but to work hard and make difficult choices; otherwise she will die. There are many twists and turns to the plot, and some real surprises as well.

I read the kindle version which also included a free link to download the author’s first book in a Civil War trilogy, Divided Decade Trilogy, by the name of The Candle Star. Looking forward to reading that one as well. The trailer for the book (also linked) presented the story superbly. Some readers may be aware of the fact that Michelle Isenhoff has also written young adult fantasy novels with colorful characters and settings as well. They are available online. If you enjoy fantasy and adventure, check them out.

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