It's Worth a Try by Nicola Goodland

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It's Worth a Try by Nicola Goodland

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Category: Home and Family
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Goodman's manual provides a template for grandparents, aunts, uncles and godparents to check in with children as they grow. Every child needs a space in which they can talk about the good and bad things happening in their lives, and It's Worth a Try provides an excellent guide to creating one.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 44 Date: August 2017
Publisher: AuthorHouseUK
ISBN: 978-1546281399

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This is how Nicola Goodland introduces her book, It's Worth a Try:

I wanted to write this kind of book because when I was a young woman, ladies and gents told me that they suffered from abuse of some kind as children and only found the courage to talk about it as adults. Maybe this book can deter children from becoming future abusers and stop abuse so it goes away for good.

The intention is for any adult who knows a child - whether family friend, godparent or relative - to create a relationship that is open, has trust, and creates a space for children to able to share both the good and bad things that are currently going on in their lives, with confidence. Goodland structures it by imagining a one-on-one conversation with a child for each year of its life up until the age of eighteen. She suggestions age-appropriate questions - What's your favourite thing in the whole world? Do you ever worry about anything? What would you change if you could? What makes you cross? What makes you happiest? - and continually reinforces how important it is to praise a child and create a sense of self worth.

Each year also has a place to write down the child's responses and include a photo. I liked this - it will make a record to look back over, for both child and adult, in later years. Thinking about it now, ancient as I am at fifty-something, I wish someone had taken the time to write down my thoughts and opinions as I grew and matured. It would be something to treasure.

The whole thing is nicely laid out in a clear fashion. The questions use a sensible and age-appropriate vocabulary, and the emphasis is always on positive ways to make connections and build trust.

I am lucky. I was lucky as a child. I had nice parents, with whom I fell out occasionally because I was busy testing boundaries. I also had a large and supportive extended family. So when I did fall out with my parents, I had people - grandmothers, aunts, uncles, older cousins - to rage at about the injustice of it all. I also had people to confide in, if there was something going on in my life that I wasn't quite yet ready to share with my parents. Every child should have this sort of safety net - even if their parents are lovely, as mine were. I think It's Worth a Try provides a really good template for adults who find themselves in a position of trust with a young person, as a godparent, relative, or just a friend. It's clear and accessible. It introduces topics of conversation that aren't too intrusive but will create positive routes of communication. And it shows how to adapt conversations as a child grows from baby to toddler to adolescent.

It's Worth a Try is coming from a great place and it will be a helpful confidence builder for any adult who wants to be the best helper that they can to the children in their lives. It would make a great gift for a new godparent or aunt or uncle.

Parents hoping to bring up healthy, happy children whilst also retaining their sanity might enjoy The Aargh to Zzzz of Parenting: An Alternative Guide by Joanna Simmons and Jay Curtis.

Buy It's Worth a Try by Nicola Goodland at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy It's Worth a Try by Nicola Goodland at

Buy It's Worth a Try by Nicola Goodland at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy It's Worth a Try by Nicola Goodland at


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