As it’s the lovely summer weeks I thought I would do a little book review for my blog this week. I do read quite a lot throughout the year but there have been a few I’ve recently read or started reading that I wanted to draw people’s attention to.
The first one is a follow on from the incredibly popular A-Z of therapeutic parenting book by Sarah Naish. The first book – The A-Z of Therapeutic Parenting Strategies and Solutions has been out since 2018 and I probably recommend this book the most on any courses I run with parents. It is amazing for explaining what therapeutic parenting is, how it works and the underlying principles. It then goes on to tackle most every area of concern you might come across. It talks about before, during and after and gives strategies for all stages. It is amazing and I highly recommend it.
The book I want to focus more on though is her latest book (2022) The A-Z of Survival Strategies for Therapeutic Parents (From chaos to cake). I love this. Again, something I talk about probably in every course with adoptive parents and any other kind of challenging parenting – the need to look after ourselves. You can know everything there is to know about being therapeutic but without being in a good enough place yourself you just cannot find the strength you need to carry it out.
This book has a shorter introduction and then straight in with the A-Z. It gives some descriptions of the thing you might want to know about for example the first one is acceptance. It talks about accepting the things we can’t change whilst also pointing to strategies to help in this area, things like allowing natural consequences, one step at a time and picking your battles. It is a reference book for things you might think you are alone in, to things you maybe didn’t know you really felt!
Sometimes I just pick it up and have a flick through when I’m feeling a bit down about where I am with my kids. I invariably find a page that says what I’m feeling and helps me to realign myself with my kids and where they are at.
I highly recommend getting this book as a go to for your own feelings and finding ways to make sure you are in a good enough place to be able to be the therapeutic parents your children need you to be.
The second book I’d like to mention is along a similar vain. This is again by one of my favourite authors in adoption/therapeutic parenting – Sally Donovan. Her new book – The Unofficial Guide to Therapeutic Parenting for childhood aggression and violence is newly released 2023 and I am just working my way through my copy. I have been training on managing anger and defiance for some time with Adoption UK but there isn’t a lot out there written specifically for this and it is so common for us. Sally has teamed up with a Psychotherapist in writing this book and it doesn’t lose Sally’s humour and down to earth approach to writing. I am so looking forward to this read and I’d encourage others to get a copy.
Her other books have also been amazing – all the Unofficial guides are available and I’ve found great value in them all.
The third book I want to talk about is a smaller book but is also about managing those more difficult aspects for our families – Connective Parenting is written by Sarah Fisher a fellow adopter, coach, writer and trainer and this looks at the principles of NVR (non violent resistance) but coupled with therapeutic parenting. I went on her course recently with work and I really can see how this approach from the beginning of placement can help to reduce the higher end of violent behaviours in the home. Well worth a read and a look at her website/resources.
The final book is again a small book called Improving Sensory Processing in Traumatized Children by Sarah Lloyd. Again, an area that probably affects most adopted children or those with additional needs. It’s not something I’ve looked at much for my children in the past but in my work now I can see how valuable it is and that small changes can help a child feel more regulated and in turn help them to settle more. Education is such a challenge for many of our families, and more people understanding sensory issues and how we can help in different ways is essential.
If you are someone who works closely with adopted children, or children who have experienced early trauma I would really recommend these four books – they will give you such a grounding and help to support the children and families you are serving.
For adoptive parents – maybe we can get fatigued with all the new approaches and reading that comes out, so I’d say pick one that you think you need for right now and get into that. For me looking after ourselves is the most important of all – as everything else comes from that. Then when I feel I am in a steady (ish) place I can then look out and see what can enhance what I already know about how to support my children, whatever stage they may be at in their journey.
I hope you enjoy these books and I’d love to hear any comments.