What to Do When You’re Not Sure What to Do
Hilary Jean Tapper
32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
Remember a time when you have had to attend a function or a meeting and everyone else seems to know someone, but you know no one? Or you’ve built up the courage to do something new and different but you don’t know where or how to start?
Imagine what that might be like for our little ones as they navigate the big and not-so-big situations that they encounter for the first time as they have so little previous experience to draw on.
This is the companion to the highly-recommended What to Say When You Don’t Know What to Say and it is just as gentle, encouraging and positive as its predecessor. Whether it’s stepping on to an escalator for the first time or into the waves at the beach, these situations can be confronting but the constant message is to have a go, even if it means finding a “you-shaped space” to catch your breath and then reflect on your bravery.
As with the first, the cover of the book depicts the idyllic freedom of childhood that we all imagine for our children, but the front endpage is more realistic. Getting on to a bus and there is only one seat left and that’s next to a stranger, but then, the back endpage shows that a simple act of kindness can go a long way to making things feel safe and welcome. And so it is with the rest of the book, whether it is the child in the new circumstance or the one reaching out to make another feel safe.
Preparing our little ones with strategies for what they might encounter in a particular situation is essential if we are to help them build resilience and empathy, and have the courage to tackle the world beyond the family with confidence and this book goes a long way to help us as the adults as well as the children to do and be the best we can.