Books for parents & caregivers

The following is a list of recommended books and resources for parents and caregivers. The Location(s) available column shows where these books are available, eg, from your local Christchurch City Library (CCL) and/or from the Mental Health Education and Resource Centre (MHERC).

Books can be reserved online and checked out by visiting CCL or MHERC. If a book is not available, a librarian may be able to suggest another book or place a hold on a book. To borrow or place a hold on a book, you must be a member of the library. MHERC can post books and other resources out to its users, including those living in rural areas, and will include a post-paid bag for returning books. Once read, books need to be returned to the library.

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CoverTitle & AuthorDescriptionYearLocation(s) available
Parenting from the Inside Out

By Daniel Seigel & Mary Hartzell

Subject: Parenting, parent and child

In Parenting from the Inside Out, child psychiatrist Daniel J. Siegel and early-childhood expert Mary Hartzell explore how our childhood experiences shape the way we parent. Drawing on stunning new findings in neurobiology and attachment research, they explain how interpersonal relationships affect the development of the brain, and offer a step-by-step approach to forming a deeper understanding of our life stories, which will help us raise compassionate and resilient children. Combining Siegel's cutting-edge neuroscience research with Hartzell's 30 years of experience as a child-development specialist and parent educator, Parenting from the Inside Out guides us through creating the necessary foundations for secure and loving relationships with our children.

Adolescent Drug & Alcohol Abuse : How to spot it, stop it and get help for your family

By Nikki Babbit
Subject: Parenting support

Adolescents are aware of potential dangers when they use drugs or binge on alcohol, but they think they are invincible and will escape the dangers. The average age when teens start drinking is 13; for marijuana experimentation it is 14.Parents are often the last to know about their children's involvement with alcohol or drugs. Chemical abusers do whatever they can to conceal their use. Families can rationalize the behaviors, particularly in adolescence, as being caused by something other than chemicals. Is the defiance part of a normal separation from parents? Due to a breakup with a girlfriend? Just adolescent hormones kicking in? Adolescent Drug & Alcohol Abuse offers parents clear information, support, and guidance.
Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents: 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous and Independent Children

By Reid Wilson & Lynn Lyons

Subject: Parenting

With anxiety at epidemic levels among our children, Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents offers a contrarian yet effective approach to help children and teens push through their fears, worries, and phobias to ultimately become more resilient, independent, and happy. How do you manage a child who gets stomachaches every school morning, who refuses after-school activities, or who is trapped in the bathroom with compulsive washing? Children like these put a palpable strain on frustrated, helpless parents and teachers. And there is no escaping the problem: One in every five kids suffers from a diagnosable anxiety disorder. Unfortunately, when parents or professionals offer help in traditional ways, they unknowingly reinforce a child's worry and avoidance. From their success with hundreds of organisations, schools, and families, Reid Wilson, PhD, and Lynn Lyons, LICSW, share their unconventional approach of stepping into uncertainty in a way that is currently unfamiliar but infinitely successful. Using current research and contemporary examples, the book exposes the most common anxiety-enhancing patterns including reassurance, accommodation, avoidance, and poor problem solving and offers a concrete plan with 7 key principles that foster change. And, since new research reveals how anxious parents typically make for anxious children, the book offers exercises and techniques to change both the children's and the parental patterns of thinking and behaving. This book challenges our basic instincts about how to help fearful kids and will serve as the antidote for an anxious nation of kids and their parents.
Helping Your Anxious Child

By Ronald Rapee
Subject: Helping child/youth

A step by step program for managing your child's anxiety. This book teaches you to understand your child's anxiety and the options for dealing with it - without a therapist's help. Learn how to respond to your child's needs for reassurance, avoid common pitfalls and help your child improve social interaction skills.

Generation Stressed

By Michele Kambolis
Subject: Helping child/youth

Anxiety is rampant in society in general and among children in particular. Written by Registered Clinical Counselor and national parenting columnist Michele Kambolis, "Generation Stressed" explains the causes and effects of anxiety in children and equips concerned parents with an array of highly effective play-based tools with which to help their anxious child. Packed with clinically sound advice based on cognitive behavioral therapy widely accepted as the most effective method of treatment of anxiety this easy-to-use handbook offers original, engaging, and effective exercises that parents can use at home, on the road, and in social settings to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety in their children, bolstered by the power of parent-child attachment. Kambolis blends sound theory, practical intervention techniques, and clinical expertise with a warm, encouraging, and conversational tone that parents will find instantly relatable.
Depression and your child: a guide for parents and caregivers

By Deborah Serani
Subject: Child, Personal journey

Provides a uniquely textured understanding of paediatric depression and its treatments. Serani weaves her own personal experiences of being a depressed child along with her clinical experiences as a psychologist treating depressed children. Readers will find a wealth of specific tips, recommendations, and case examples sure to make parenting a depressed child less challenging.

When Our Children Come Out: how to support gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered young people

By Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli
Subject: Youth

For many young people, the process of 'coming out' to their families, schools and communities can be very traumatic. Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered young people wrestle - all too often in isolation - with the difficulties of being 'different'. They need families, schools and communities to 'come out' with them; to provide support, understanding and affirmation; and to be their allies against homophobia. This valuable guide features the experiences of young people, parents, teachers and youth workers from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.

Mindfulness for Children

By Tracy Daniel

Subject: Children

These simple activities will help you and your child get ready for bedtime, calm down after a stressful situation, discuss your feelings in a safe environment, and more. For example, for energetic children, try a short walk or do some easy, calming yoga poses to sharpen focus. With over 150 meditations for different situations, there’s a strategy in Mindfulness for Children fit for every moment and every family.

Freeing Your Child From Anxiety: practical strategies to overcome fears, worries, and phobias and to be prepared for life – from toddlers to teens

By Tamar E Chansky
Subject: Children

In Freeing Your Child From Anxiety, a childhood anxiety disorder specialist examines all manifestations of childhood fears, including social anxiety, Tourette's Syndrome, hair-pulling, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and guides you through a proven program to help your child back to emotional safety. No child is immune from the effects of stress in today's media-saturated society. Fortunately, anxiety disorders are treatable. By following these simple solutions, parents can prevent their children from needlessly suffering today and tomorrow.

Stop family anxiety: a guide for anxiety disorders in parents, grandparents, teenagers and children of all ages

By Joan Zawatzky
Subject: Families

This book provides families with three major ways of overcoming anxiety: 1. Stopping the cycle of anxiety spreading in families. Anxiety is like a virus. When one person suffers from anxiety, it can spread to other family members without anyone realising it is happening. Home life can begin to deteriorate and break down. 2. Ways in which a family can unite to support an anxious loved one, and how individual members can help each other to recover. 3. Information about how to cope with all common anxiety disorders, including generalised anxiety disorder, panic attacks, agoraphobia, social anxiety, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and separation anxiety.

Big Red and the Little Bitty Wolf: A Story About Bullying

By J F Ransom
Subject: Bullying

Big Red Riding Hood has been bullying Little Bitty Wolf since she moved into the neighbourhood and his parents' advice does not help, but their school counselor, Mr. Know-It-Owl, makes a comment that just might set things right.

ACE - A Horsey Tail of Courage

By K Cook
Subject: Bullying

A cute wee horse called Ace has bucket-loads of talent and big dreams. He also has a big problem. Well, three problems, actually – the three horses at Clip-Clop School who bully Ace every day. But help is at hand, or hoof, in the shape of Holly from the Crusaders Bayleys Horses. She's Ace's hero and she knows exactly what to do to make the bullying stop. And so, just as with every great story with a powerful message, Ace: a horsey tail of courage has a happy ending. Bayleys, together with Bullying-Free NZ, have created a charming children's storybook that reminds us that every child matters, and that the first step to change for good is to talk about it.

Made by Raffi

By C Pomranz
Subject: Bullying, anxiety and resiliency

Raffi is a shy boy who doesn't like noisy games and is often teased at school. But when he gets the idea of making a scarf for his dad's birthday he is full of enthusiasm, even though the other children think it is girly to knit. Then the day draws near for the school pageant, and there is one big problem no costume for the prince. And that's when Raffi has his most brilliant idea of all to make a prince's cape. On the day of the pageant, Raffi's cape is the star of the show.

Our Boys: Raising Strong, Happy Sons from Boyhood to Manhood

By R Aston & R Kerr

Subject: Parenting boys

Our Boys is a positive, practical, down-to-earth guide that outlines what makes boys tick, describes their development from babyhood to childhood to manhood, and is full of great ideas and suggestions. Each chapter focuses on a different age group - the first four years, 4 to 7, 8 to 11, 12 to 17, and 18-plus - detailing how boys grow physically, emotionally and developmentally throughout these stages. Ruth Kerr and Richard Aston have been working with boys for 13 years, matching fatherless boys with male mentors and running a highly successful programme called Big Buddy that helps boys grow and develop into fine young men. They have distilled the wisdom they've gained from working with hundreds of Big Buddy boys and men, as well as from parenting their own children and grandchildren.

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