Yes, you’ll want to know that the book does not contain inappropriate language and behaviors, but it is important that the child likes the book. Some children will dive into mysteries, some into science fiction or dog or horse stories. Sometimes a child will even pick up a biography that holds him. More important than finishing a book is to find one they like.
Don’t let it bother you if the book is below their reading level. My mother, who taught elementary school for years, always said, “Easy reading makes reading easy.” You might put a reward on finishing a book. Again, praise helps.
If a child has trouble finishing projects at school in the wintertime, summer is a good time to work side by side with him, make the job fun and praise him for finishing it with you.
If getting along with others is a problem, summer can be used to role-play behaviors and then invite a child or two over so your child can practice on them.
As a parent you could browse through a catalog such as the Boys Town Press, picking out a game or book that addresses your child’s behavior problem and then working with it. For instance one book offered by this group is called “Who’s Raising Your Child? – Battling the Marketers for Your Child’s Heart and Soul” by Laura J. Buddenberg and Kathleen M. McGee. Here is the description given: “Marketers are relentlessly pursuing our children. And the evidence shows that they are succeeding – kids are spending or influencing their parents to spend hundreds of billions of dollars each year, most of it in a quest to be ‘cool.’ This book explores today’s hyper-commercialized society and the damage it is doing to our children as they grow from toddlers to teens. Also endangering kids is a pop culture where violence, profanity, and sex permeate the entertainment media and advertising. Parents feel increasingly alone and overwhelmed in trying to shield children from this toxic environment.” Those looking for help will find it here. The authors offer timely advice to parents on how to mitigate the effects of a materialistic, poisonous culture, and to raise kids who care less about things and more about people. To order call 1-800-282-6657.
There are other books called Changing Children’s Behavior, Boundaries, No Room for Bullies, Little Sisters, Listen Up, Skills for Families, Skills for Life, Manners Can Be Fun, Words Are Not for Hurting, Hands Are Not for Hitting101 Ways to Teach children Social Skills, Flirting or Hurting, etc. Boys Town Press is probably my favorite catalog. Items seem reasonably priced.
Other catalogs are Courage To Change, www.CourageToChange.com or call 1-800-440-4003, Character Education, www.didax.com or 1.800.458.0024, At-Risk Resources, www.At-Risk.com or phone 1.800.99-YOUTH, Childswork ChildsPlay at www.Childswork.com or call 1-800-962-1141, Free Spirit Publishing Inc., www.freespirit.com or call 1-800-735-7323. There are many others. These just happen to be the ones I was looking at. I wish I had known about the existence of these materials when I was rearing my family.
Summer is a great time to work on special issues as long as you mix the effort with fun and lots of praise.