Having earned my MED in Education and having taught for 14 years, I’ve always been interested in children’s research. So when I was asked to review Marie-Nathalie Beaudoin’s new book, The Skill-ionaire in Every Child, I quickly accepted the opportunity.
Marie-Nathalie Beaudoin, Ph.D. is an accomplished psychologist and the author of two other great books; Responding to the Culture of Bullying and Disrespect: New Perspectives on Collaboration, Compassion, and Responsibility and Creating a Positive School Culture: How Principals and Teachers Can Solve Problems Together. She is also a mom and because of her personal experience raising her son, diagnosed with Celiac disease and suffering from heightened anxiety before his diagnosis, she was motivated to use the ideas from narrative therapy, apply her knowledge with brain research and interpersonal neurobiology, and create a transformative conversational model she named “Skill Boosting Conversations” or SBC.
As a teacher and a mother, I’ve witnessed young people struggle when dealing with social issues that create fears, low self-esteem, and anger. Bullying in school has increased to such a degree that many schools have incorporated a “no tolerance for bullying” agenda and integrated character education (the topic of my theses) into their curriculum.
Beaudoin is aware of the social and emotional pressures that adolescents and children face today and knows it can develop into clinical depression or another health related problem. The old approach has always been to focus on the problem itself, in order to solve the problem.
In Skill-ionaire, Beaudoin teaches adults how to engage young people in conversations that will promote problem-solving strategies. Instead of dwelling on the problem, she believes it’s best to cultivate socio-emotional skills through positive experiences which create positive emotions.The focus is on their successful problem solving and the goal is to associate an awareness of helpful thoughts and actions which leads to a happier and more meaningful life.
In her new book, she shares what she has learned from recent brain research and how to use her cutting-edge method, SBC, to help kids heighten their socio-emotional intelligence.
These conversations helped her son and she has seen these conversations lead to profound transformations for other children. In eight chapters, she writes with clarity and helps the adult improve his or her understanding of how to “boost” the child’s social skills. Answers and strategies are provided to parents, teachers, and therapists working with kids suffering from fear, insecurities, peer pressure, bullying, trauma, body image problems, anger, anxiety, or depression.
In Beaudoin’s own words, “This book is written for adults wishing to make a difference in children’s and adolescents’ lives.” SBC is rooted in neuroscience and her book provides tools and valuable information that helps the adult help his/her child. She gives problem scenarios and offers different methods to engage in SBC. She includes transcripts of conversations to clearly explain the “how to” of her program so the adult will find success in using SBC.
The Skill-ionaire in Every Child is fascinating and the unique problem solving strategies the child learns will enrich his social and emotional life. I think of the book as a “Social Fitness” program that will create a healthier life for children. With today’s bullying culture, it’s essential reading for parents and educators.