Parenting Through Stories

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Interactive Children's stories (Bartley's Books) to support young children's emotional and relational development. Also available is an accompanying Parenting Handbook. Written by Dr Sarah Mundy, Consultant Clinical Psychologist.

Parenting Through Stories was created by Dr Sarah Mundy, Consultant Clinical Psychologist. Through over 20 years of experience working with families, she has realised how important it is for children to have help in making sense of their world, and for adults to support them with this. Storytelling is so important for both children and adults and provides a platform for children to understand and manage everyday experiences. Many of the resources already available focus on adults managing children's behaviour, or stories about other characters. Sarah felt that it was important for children to have their own voices and experiences heard and understood. When children understand what they are feeling and can work with adults to cope with and manage their behaviour their world often feels safer and more enjoyable. Sarah therefore developed Bartley's Books to help young children's emotional, relational and behavioural wellbeing. Bartley's Books are a series of interactive stories in which the child follows the adventures of Bartley Bear. The stories feature Bartley Bear learning to navigate the challenges of growing up. With the help of Nudge, a curious squirrel who asks questions both about Bartley’s experiences but also about the child’s, parents can help children explore tricky feelings in a safe, engaging and fun way. Rachel Millson-Hill, illustrator, has bought the characters to life just beautifully. The books have been developed to help children express their feelings, master new skills, feel closer to important adults in their lives, and cope with everyday challenges together. They focus on six areas that both parents and young children can find difficult to manage including separation anxiety, tricky behaviour, healthy eating, bedtime routines, potty training and the arrival of a new sibling. The Parenting Handbook explains the psychological theory behind Bartley's Books, primarily attachment theory. It includes practical suggestions of how parents/other important adults can support their children’s emotional and behavioural development. There are a number of "Top Tips" for adults to feel more confident managing situations as they arise. Parenting Through Stories is a resource for parents, early years settings and other family support services. The stories are written for 2-4 year olds. The early years are such a key time to support children with their emotional wellbeing and these books will be invaluable to all those settings invested in prioritising this. The engaging illustrations by Rachel Millson-Hill are wonderfully engaging, bringing the characters to life. The reviews have all been 5 star with great feedback. Currently only the first book, Please Stay Here - I Want You Near (which considers separation anxiety) and the Parenting Handbook are available. The next books in the series are out in 2021, with Stop That Now - I Don't Know How (considering tricky behaviour) and Time for Bed - Rest Your Head (about bedtime routines) available in May.

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