Monday, February 14, 2011

REPAIR for Toddlers: A Children’s Program for Recovery from Incest and Childhood Sexual Abuse

Reviewed by Carol Hoyer, PhD, for Reader Views

Marjorie McKinnon has done an excellent job developing an activity book for children ages 2-6 who have been a victim of incest or other sexual abuse. The book has bright, colorful pictures, explains feelings and gives prevention tips on what to do if someone tries to touch you and you don't like it.

This recovery book is intended for adults working with children. It gives children an opportunity to build their self-esteem and realize that it is not their fault that something like this happened. It is very easy to read and understand and has easy to follow activities.

The author starts out with defining what repair means; she then starts with each letter of the word repair and gives the parent (caregiver or therapist) and the child the opportunity to talk about the pictures and words. Along the way she provides children the opportunity to tell what they like or what they are good at. Too many times in a child's life there are "secrets" and this is discussed. There is an opportunity to draw pictures and I find that this is one of the best ways to get children to express their feelings.

One of the things I liked about this book is that McKinnon discusses and defines what the private areas are in a kid-friendly way.

After I read "REPAIR for Toddlers," I sat down with my six-year-old granddaughter and asked her to read it and tell me what she thought. She did respond to the activities and said she was glad the author described the real terms for the body parts. She also said she wanted to share this book with her school counselor.

This book and program can be used over and over, even a little at a time depending on the child. There was also an unwritten message for the parent(s) or guardian- maybe they felt guilty about what happened, but this book will help them too.

As a Psychologist, I think the program in "REPAIR for Toddlers" can be used in other areas of abuse, like physical, verbal or emotional.

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