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Child Psychology and Development - Highest-Rated Books

Nowadays it's so important to learn more about child psychology and development to help your child grow better. Explore the highest-rated books in Child Psychology and Child Development in 2021.

The Self Growth Journal

Research has proven that journaling about stressful events strengthens the immune system.

The benefits of journaling include a noticeable stress reduction, a boost in working memory, it helps achieve goals and improves overall well-being. Research has even shown that writing expressively reduces activity in the Amygdala, the part of the brain responsible of the intensity of emotions.

Journaling is very effective in helping heal grief and trauma. The Self Growth Journal is divided into chapters. Each one supports a different aspect of self development.

The first part is focused on prompts that work on increasing self awareness and knowledge. Awareness is always the first step to heal.

The second part works on developing gratitude. Gratitude journaling is a technique that involves writing down things that you grateful for every day. Regularly practicing gratitude can help ease symptoms of anxiety and depression. Many researches have proved that practicing gratitude has long term effects on the brain. Over time, practicing gratitude can actually change the structure of the brain, making us more disposed to appreciate the positive aspects of life.

When we express gratitude our brain releases dopamine and serotonin, the two crucial neurotransmitters responsible for making us happier. So by consciously practicing gratitude every day, we can help these neural pathways to strengthen themselves in the brain. The third part of the journal works on developing mindfulness.

Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present. Not in the past and not in the future. It’s a busy world, and sometimes if we do not intentionally focus on the present moment. We will find ourselves either thinking of the past or worrying about the future. Mindfulness practices have proved outstanding results in the treatment of a number of problems, including: depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It has a positive impact on mental health. By spending time practicing mindfulness we create a calm haven to restore equilibrium to our mental functioning, making us more resilient.

The fourth and last part of the journal, works on examining our thought patterns to detect the source of our suffering and to help us develop healthier patterns of thinking.

Our emotions affect our thoughts vice versa. As a matter of fact, our thoughts create our reality. So as the previous chapters worked on increasing self awareness and creating more positive emotions. This part, if full of scientifically proven exercises that help us re-structure our thoughts to create more positive reality. These are life changing exercises that can help us break out of negative thoughts and attitudes that might have caused us suffering for years.

Journaling is the most effective self-care practice that can improve our quality of life. Journaling daily from 5 to 10 minutes in the morning or in the evening results in creating a more positive attitude to life and helps release the emotions that might have caused emotional blockage over time.

I Choose To Be Positive

I choose to be positive is a book that helps children to develop a growth mindset. The concept that some people have a growth mindset and others have a fixed mindset was developed by Dr. Carol Dweck. It means that people who believe that their talents can be developed through daily efforts, hard work and good strategies have a growth mindset. Unlike the people who have fixed mindsets, those who believe that their talents are innate gifts. Therefore, according to Dr. Carol Dweck, children who are raised or educated in ways that develop a growth mindset, grow to be more resilient and successful.  And they usually achieve more.

“I chose to be positive” was written to provide a model of self talk to children in order to develop a growth mindset. It is always said that the way we speak to children becomes their inner voice. And the repeated exposure to certain thoughts will shape their own thoughts. Research in neuroscience has proven that the brain is far more malleable than we ever thought. This concept is called Neuroplasticity. Basically, with practice, neural networks grow new connections, strengthen existing ones based on repeated experiences. 

By reading (or being read to) “I choose to be positive”, the child gets to see the various occasions daily in which he/she can consciously choose a more constructive way of thinking and seize learning opportunities. It helps build healthier beliefs about daily activities to grow a healthier mindset. That’s a lifelong gift that we can offer to our children. So not only we can promote evidence-based parenting practices through books, we can help kids develop skills and tools that can help them as adults.

Table Manners

Parents complain tremendously that no matter how many times they tell their children how to eat properly and decently, all the instructions are useless. If we ever put ourselves in our children’s shoes, we would not tolerate the amount of instructions that we are given. And when it comes to criticism, it is even harder. Psychologists assume that in order to save a child’s self esteem from criticism, a child should receive at least 3 compliments for each time they are criticized. But are there ways to teach children about manners, without giving instructions or criticizing? Arts and literature can do this for us. Think of the endless times children imitate what they watch on media but would hardly listen to us. The information they receive through reading or media, in their perspective belongs to their world. Not the world of adults that is constantly trying to fix them.

Children nowadays need new approaches to manners that resonate with them. Fun and entertaining with beautiful illustrations, this book will teach kids about how to behave around the table. “Table Manners” is a book in which children are given the chance to learn from another child, Adam who is a dinosaur lover and many kids would identify with him. As kids explore the world of dinosaurs, they are given a chance to learn about etiquette and table manners.

Therefore, books are incredible tools to help us teach our core values and culture to our children. Good table manners are about being respectful and considerate to others. These are values than people need throughout all their lives. 

Sarah’s Secret

Sarah tells her friend a secret, and her friend promises her not to tell anyone. But will her friend be able to keep her promise?

Being a good friend is a life skill that we all require to develop a healthy social life. Sarah’s Secret, is a book that teaches young children about the values of honesty, integrity in friendships, respecting the feelings of others and the importance of keeping a secret when we are told one. These values can never be taught through orders or instructions. Some things are only taught through interpersonal relations. But because literature is one of the best ways to help kids understand something without necessarily having to experience it for themselves.

This book takes children into a step by step process to see how secrets can slip, and how this can affects friendships. The book is written in a very simple way that children can relate to. In few pages, children will learn the true cost of betraying a friend and not keeping our promises. Behaviors like gossiping and talking about someone behind their backs, are harmful on the personal level and eliminating such traits can help make a society more peaceful. Integrity is a value that needs to be taught in the childhood years.

If They Were Egyptians

This book is purely imagination taking a playful approach to help raise art lovers. What is life without art? This book was created to help kids gain knowledge about international artists and their styles. It also exhibits pride for being Egyptian. It is a true example of what thinking outside the box means because it is truly unconventional to imagine how would an art piece look like by the brush of someone else. It’s like take a trip inside the artist’s mind imagining how they would see the reality around them if they were Egyptians.

The book is fun; it provokes thinking and imagination and introduces the art styles of some of history’s most celebrated artists. Seeing other people’s perspective is a good exercise to develop empathy.  Empathy is usually defined as ability to understand other people’s feelings and experiences. It is a skill that, when developed helps people become less judgmental and more tolerant.

  • Mustafa Youssef
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