Thursday, April 15, 2010

Charlotte Reznick speaks about The Power of Your Child's Imagination

Is your child's Learning Style suited to the Tools of Imagination?

Q1. In your book, The Power of Your Child’s Imaginationyou share with us the importance of accessing a child’s imagination to help them handle everyday problems. Dr. Reznick, why is it important to access your child’s imagination to handle their problems?

Dr. CR: Parents come to me with all sorts of concerns. Like not sleeping at night, having all sorts of fears and worries, not doing well at school or sports, not being able to manage their anger and frustration, not getting along with their brothers and sisters, being devastated when their parents fight or divorce, having stress headaches and stomach-aches, and sometimes just feeling awful about themselves. Yet kids have many of the answers they need to solve their everyday problems right inside. With a little guidance to help them tap into their own imagination and develop their intuition, I’ve seen thousands of kids figure out what works for them. Like nine-year-old Alex who imagined a magical white dragon around his bed to keep him safe at night. Or six-year-old Sara who received a Gift of a crystal star from her Wizard to remember to love herself no matter what.

Basically, Moms and Dads are good at handling their kids’ problems, but sometimes we don’t always know which tool to apply when. This book assists you in choosing what’s best when. It’s as if it puts nine of my secret ingredients into your pantry and helps you choose what’s right for your child right now. There are Nine Imagination Tools that you can teach your child to use with most of the problems they face each day. The book teaches you what these tools are, and which ones work best for which problem. It gives scripts for the Nine Tools and guided journeys you can use immediately. You can mix and match the Tools to suit what works best for your child in each particular situation. There is also support for you as a Parent, on how to nurture yourself while raising your kids, and will lead to less stress for you, and more relaxed parenting.

Q2: You say that sleep issues are a major concern for kids today. How can parents use imagination to help their children fall asleep quickly and easily?

Dr. CR.: Parents ask me all the time about sleep problems. No matter how old a child is, trouble falling asleep is the most common complaint, followed by trouble staying asleep. 30 to 70 percent of kids have a sleep problem at some point. Let me tell you about Sophie. You might recognize some of her issues in your child. Eight-year-old Sophie was exhausted. She tossed and turned for hours. She was short-tempered all day from her lack of sleep. Her parents were exhausted and exasperated. When I met her, Sophie told me exactly what her problem was. She said, “I can’t turn off my brain. Stuff keeps spilling out.” She drew a picture of her life – dark, rainy, with no love. But, when I asked her if she could imagine what her life would be like when she could turn off her brain and sleep easily, she transformed that picture. She imagined a land of Love with the sun shining and flowers growing. She said her crabbiness would be gone and she’d feel really happy and proud of herself.

This simple spark of her imagination was the first step toward change. It’s important that she acknowledged where she was, and could imagine where she wanted to go. Then we took the steps to get there. The Imagination Tools that worked best for Sophie were… one, the “Balloon Breath,” breathing deeply into her tummy to calm herself. Second, imagining a “Special Place” to fall asleep. She loved to imagine falling asleep peacefully while floating on a fluffy white cloud or in her favorite vacation place. She was lucky enough to go Hawaii the year before and she loved swinging on the hammock in front of the room. And third, meeting a wise “Wizard” who gave her “Gifts.” Sophie imagined a Harry Potter type teenage wizard who dressed in a cool violet skirt and a hot pink blouse with a gold crown, who gave her magic berries that helped her body relax deeply and fall asleep. And her Wizard’s wise advice to her was, “If you believe you’re already sleeping, you’ll be asleep in a minute,” Of course that’s clearly coming from Sophie herself. Which is the point – you child has the wisdom and answers inside. All you have to do is choose which Nine Tools work best.

Dr. Charlotte Reznick has dedicated her life to helping children, adolescents, parents, and professionals. She is a nationally recognized child and educational Psychologist and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology at UCLA. Upon earning her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Southern California, she was honored with "Dissertation of the Year" for her work on the effects of parental divorce on adolescents.

The Power of Your Child’s Imagination is a heart-felt guide that shows parents and professionals how to empower children with easy, effective, and creative skills for surviving – and thriving – in our stressful world. It’s an indispensable guide that provides nine simple tools to help kids access their natural strengths and resources. There’s a mini-primer for each Tool—a sample script, troubleshooting tips, and real-life examples of how it is used. The Tools are adaptable to all ages (even adults can use them), and their benefits accumulate over time.

For more information, or to purchase a copy of The Power of Your Child's Imagination, please visit

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