Must Have Social and Emotional Children’s Books

Children books are magical. No matter your age, they have a way of speaking to our hearts and teaching us deep lessons. As a school counselor I use books as the perfect companion to our social and emotional curriculum. Lessons on perseverance, creativity, mindfulness, self-regulation tools, and social skills are powerful when they come through story. As a result, Children Books are one of my top resources I use as a School Counselor. 

Social and Emotional Children Books

Here are a list of  children books that are a must for when I am teaching social and emotional lessons that I use both at home and at school.

Must have children’s books for at home and in the classroom 

Children Books
Beautiful Oops Book by Barney Saltzberg and Activity

Beautiful Oops  by Barney Saltzberg- This might be my most favorite children’s book of all time. I  even dressed up as a “Beautiful Oops” for halloween! The bright colors and fun pages show how are mistakes can turn into something beautiful.  While the message is simple, it makes a powerful impact. 

Anywhere Artist  by Nikki Slade Robinson- This is a book about creativity. I love the way it challenges us to see art beyond paper, markers, and crayons – art is everywhere. 

Everyone Feels Angry Sometimes by Dr. Daniela Owen –This is a great book to teach naming emotions and learning self-regulation by finding a coping strategy. This books does a great job taking the reader through the process. 

The Color Monster: A story about emotions by Anna Llenas – I love this bright and beautiful pop-up book. There are a lot of fun companion support materials on teacher pay teachers that I use to teach feelings. This is a great one for littles to build their emotional vocabulary, a foundational step to self-regulation.  Plus, it is on sale right now for $8.99. 

Giraffe’s Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae – My grandmother bought me this book when my son was first diagnosed with hearing loss. She knows me well because I don’t think there was a better gift for me in that moment. 

After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) by Dan Santat – This story is a continuation of the classic Humpty Dumpty  story.  It shows how we can get back up after a fall, face our fears and do what we always dreamed of doing. 

The Dot by Peter H. Reynold – Sometimes getting started is the hardest part. Never starting or not knowing how can be a barrier for kids when trying something new.  I love reading this book at the beginning of the year. 

It’s Not a Box by Antoinette Portis – This is a book about thinking “outside the box.” Using a cardboard box, the bunny needs to use creativity, a growth mindset, and flexible thinking to turn the box into something new on each page. 

Perfect Square by Matt Hall-  Looking for a book for the perfectionist in your family or classroom? I love using this book to teach flexible thinking and going with the flow. 

Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev – This is a great book to use when teaching problem solving, friendships, and how to handle a situation when you feel “left out.” Inclusion and discrimination themes can be related as well. 

While the books that I love are endless, these ten children books are ones that I read with my students every year. I use them in lunch groups, 1:1 sessions, and large group lessons. 

The Staying Sane Guide to Keeping Hearing Aids In Your Baby and Toddler

The Staying Sane Guide to Keeping Hearing Aids In
How do you keep your child’s hearing aids in? I get this question all the time. But if you are anything like me, you know you’re really asking, how do I stay sane and keep my kids hearing aids in? Because we all know that keeping hearing aids in a baby and toddler can drive anybody out of their mind. So, if there is anything that you take away from this post, please let it be this – you are not alone. And if you are looking for honest insight from a fellow momma in the trenches, read on.  
Staying sane and keeping hearing aids in
I spy two hearing aids hiding in a that foosball table.

Before we move on, I’d like to take a moment to reveal the crazy places that my children have hidden or lost a hearing aid.  Both of my kids have hidden their hearing aids, torn them apart, or threw them somewhere. I have found hearing aids under the mattress, dug into the dirt of a plant, outside on a hosta leaf, the grass, a pant pocket, and the toy bin to name a few. What is my daughter’s favorite place to hide her hearing aid you ask? The garbage. The number of times I have shifted through nasty banana peels, and coffee grounds in search of a lost hearing aid makes me want to break out in hives just remembering.

Staying sane and keeping Hearing Aids In
Yes, there is a hearing aid in there.

Mom Guilt

On top of my children loving to hide or throw their hearing aids in random places, my daughter hated to wear them for pretty much the first 2 years of her life. I felt so much guilt over the fact that I could not keep Sayge’s hearing aids in all the time.  Pilot Hats were by far the best solution for Sayge Pilot Hat. But even that stopped working when she could reach in and grab the hearing aids out. Well-meaning therapists and audiologists will have tips and tricks, but I am here to offer the staying sane guide to keeping hearing aids in baby’s and toddlers. Because, let’s be honest, there are days when NOTHING will work.

My Staying Sane Guide to Keeping Hearing Aids In

This guide really just what ended up working for us as a family.  This simple process helped me feel like I was doing my job as a mom while staying sane and not losing my mind. Now I understanding that some kiddos don’t have this issues and keep their hearing aids in. However, my kiddos did not fall into that category. For me to survive I had to admit I was trying to live up to unrealistic expectation. I wanted my children’s hearing aids in from morning to night. I wanted them to love them and not pull on them or rip them apart. Is that too much to ask? Well, yes, while it was a great dream, it wasn’t realistic. If I was going to stay sane, I had to modify my expectations.  So here is what I did…

The Guide 

    • Step 1 – I made it a goal to attempt to put my children’s hearing aids in every single day. 
    • Step 2 – If she takes them out, I offer to put them back in (I never force). Sometimes she wanted them out; sometimes I think they just flipped off.  So there were times when she let me put them back in, while other times she refused. 
    • Step 3 – If she refuses, let that be okay for the moment and try again at another time. 
    • Step 4 – Remind yourself it will get better. Your child will wear them eventually. It might not be today, or even tomorrow. But there will be a day when it clicks. It may be sudden, or it might be subtle, but it will happen. 

Some days she had them in for most the day, some days it was 10 minutes. In the meantime, we learned some sign language to help bridge our communication gap. I used strategies like signing songs, distraction, or having someone else put them in besides myself. Sometimes that worked and sometimes that didn’t. There was never one full proof answer. I had to be flexible and flow with her. 

I know it is hard. It’s a kind of hard that only another Momma with children with hearing loss can truly grasp.  Give yourself grace. Give your children grace. What is right for other kids might not be right for your kid. You are their mom, and you know best. Do what works for your family. 




How Coffee, Couches, and Great Mom Friends Make a Difference

When I woke up today, I came across “The 20 Best Parenting MeMes of 2017” made by Good Housekeeping.  As any parent can imagine, I was laughing out loud, in bed, by myself. Immediately, I knew I needed to share this moment with my “Mom’s Group.”  If there was a group of ladies that had to see this, could relate to every one of these meme’s – it was them. 

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Christmas Book Countdown On A Budget

Christmas was magical for me growing up. I still want to fall asleep to the glowing lights on the decorated tree. Making special holiday moments is exciting for me as a parent. However, with three kiddos, I am finding my time and money tight. I wanted to do fun and exciting traditions, that don’t break my bank and highlight my favorite parts of Christmas. 

As much as Christmas is magical to me, so are books. So, this year I was inspired to do a Christmas count down using books. The idea came from another momma blogger – The Sweeter Side of Motherhood. However, I did not have the budget to buy 25 new brand new books! Instead, I decided to head to a few local thrift stores and see what I could find regarding Christmas books. To my surprise, there were tons and many of the places I visited even set aside the Christmas books making it super easy to skim through to pick out what I wanted.

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The Incedible Power of a Growth Mindset


“This is Hard. This is fun.”  – Carol Dweck

This weekend, the boys and I created our own robot. I am talking electrical engineering kind of robot building. We included batteries and used red and black wires. We even added electrical tape. It was hard. And it was exhilarating. Together, we constructed a mini bot that had an on/off switch, a 3-volt motor, and moved in a circle.

With this awesome invention in mind, I should make a few confessions. First,  I have always put myself in the category as “not the science girl.” It wasn’t my thing  growing up. Second, I not only put myself in a category of not being a science person, but I had a belief that intellegence was fixed. Therefore, I believed, you could try hard and do the best you could with what you were given, but your smarts were never going to change. 

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Play’s Magical Role in Innovation and Creativity

“Play is the highest form of research.” – Albert Einstein

It’s 4:00. My children have been at school all day. As they walk down our driveway, their legs are heavy. I wonder if they will even make it inside. They toss their backpacks on the floor, tear their shoes off, and run into our playroom. I am shocked. While my annoyance that they didn’t put their backpacks on the hook and now their stinky shoes are thrown in four different directions, my curiosity causes me to pause. I watch. Both my sons, do not want to eat, they do not want to watch shows, they wanted to play.

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Hearing Loss Advice I Wish I Had Known

If I could, I would go back to tell myself a few
 pieces of hearing loss advice.  In the aftermath of finding out about our child’s hearing loss, we were a world wind of emotion.  Here we were loving our growing family and holding our sweet newborn, and yet on the other hand, I felt lost in grief, finding myself in an abyss of fear and shame. The fear felt heavy and the shame felt debilitating. Continue reading “Hearing Loss Advice I Wish I Had Known”

Hearing Aid Basics: What Does a Hearing Aid Do?

My family gets asked often: What is that in their ears, and what does a hearing aid do?

We love when people ask us this question. It gives us the opportunity to share with others about hearing aids, hearing loss, and how they work. Specifically, we get the chance to educate, model, and advocate. We get that people are curious – adults included. Hearing aids are incredible pieces of technology, who wouldn’t want to know more?
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