Can picture books meet the crisis in children’s mental health? Article by Ferguson, D (2018) on The Guardian Australia website

Issues covered:

  • children’s heads are full of fears, and those fears don’t go away by just ignoring them. They go away by talking about them, externalising them and dealing with them
  • Childhood is not always a carefree time and lots of children face challenges they have to overcome
  • parents need to be mindful of picking the time to talk to children about how they are going – this is not always straight after school, but after telling a story at bedtime
  • Dealing with big problems can also be wrapped up in embarrassment for a child
  • Teachers are often exhausted and overworked and they may just see naughty children acting up/out, while behind the scenes there’s often something really difficult going on – the aim is always to find out the function of a child’s behaviour
  • reassuring the anxious child – while understandable – does not help the anxious child develop coping strategies and resilience
  • Imagination is the flipside of anxiety. Obviously if you’re anxious, you’re imagining stuff all the time. You need to fill that imaginative space with positive, fun, nourishing stuff and books can give you that

accessed via FB – full article available here from The Guardian Australia @


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