The Bottom Line
By Adolph Moser; 55 pages. Subtitle: The Children's Self-Esteem Book
Not a parenting book so much as a book for parents to read with their children, “Don’t Feed the Monster” helps kids understand negative self-talk by picturing a nasty green monster who lives in your head and says mean things. With colorful cartoons and kid-friendly language, the book offers explanations for those bad feelings and ways to overcome them.
- Colorful illustrations make book appear non-threatening.
- Simple language explains hard concepts in a friendly way.
- Practical suggestions help kids take charge of their problems.
- Visualizing the problem as something external can keep kids from blaming themselves.
- Anything that gets kids and parents talking is good.
- Child whose particular self-esteem issue isn't mentioned may not be able to generalize.
- Parents will need to follow-up with help and discussion.
- Deep-rooted problems may need more than self-help and conversation.
- Older kids may feel this is too babyish for them.
- There aren't enough days in the week to handle all our kids' issues.
- No chapters, just straight, picture-heavy children's book text.
- Author introduces self to kids with letter talking about his own self-esteem. (1 page)
- Starts by describing all sorts of self-esteem problems people have. (12 pages)
- Introduces concept of a green monster in your head to represent negative self-talk. (8 pages)
- Discusses self-esteem, with examples of good and bad self-esteem. (10 pages)
- Suggests taking one day a week to be positive, not negative, with ideas on how to do it. (17 pages)
- Suggests extending that to every day of the week. (3 pages)
Guide Review - Book Review: Don't Feed the Monster on Tuesdays!
Plenty of parenting books recommend talking to your child about anxiety, stress, self-esteem, anger, but leave the words to you. The words, of course, are the hardest part. How do you explain to a child, especially a learning-disabled or language-challenged one, that the way he or she is thinking is wrong, without lecturing, confusing, or criticizing? It’s so easy to add to bad feelings while you’re trying to relieve them.
That’s why Arnold Moser’s books are such a helpful tool to add to your parenting toolkit. Written for kids, with simple language and colorful pictures, they’re like a junior version of a good parenting book -- explaining the problem, and offering practical suggestions for solving it. There’s a “Don’t” book for every day of the week; in addition to “Don’t Feed the Monster,” parents can help their kids with:
• Don't Pop Your Cork on Mondays! (stress management)
• Don't Rant & Rave on Wednesdays! (anger management)
• Don't Despair on Thursdays! (grief management)
• Don't Tell a Whopper on Fridays! (lying)
• Don't Fall Apart on Saturdays! (divorce survival)
• Don't Be a Menace on Sundays! (anti-violence)
Just reading these books with your child won’t solve the problem, but if you help him or her carry out the strategies mentioned they can be the start of an ongoing process of handling strong emotions in positive and productive ways. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had someone to support us like that after we read parenting books?