How do you try to reason with your child when they are having a meltdown over dinner? Having a healthy dinner is important and learning how to navigate a child during a tantrum can be very challenging. Sometimes having a reference to “someone else” can be a very helpful strategy.
Taylor the Toucan
Taylor the Toucan, a relatable character for many children dealing with everyday challenges, is the star of the book series filled with positive parenting tips. Each story focuses on familiar family issues, and incorporates educational tips, parenting techniques, and simple-yet-effective strategies along the way. The storyline allows kids to feel connected to an everyday dilemma while simultaneously allowing parents to better understand and support their child.
The author, Deb Lightman, is a pediatric occupational therapist and owner of Kids First Pediatric Therapy in Burnaby BC. Her practice focuses on helping parents understand their child’s development, behavioural tendencies, and sensory quirks from a functional perspective. She uses a holistic, educational approach to empower parents, and loves connecting with each family. Her clinical experience and passion for education has resulted in this unique book series, in the hopes of helping kids and parents understand their ‘why’ behind their behaviours and actions, all while making helpful strategies more accessible to the public.
Deb’s biggest fan and parenting advice sponge is the illustrator, Cara Lightman who also happens to be Deb’s sister in law. Cara is a mother to two young boys – Henry (6, loves dinosaurs), and Peter (3, loves taunting his big brother). She runs her own digital art, illustration and graphic design business, Bright Cloud Designs, from home in Victoria BC. Her work (and the book series) can be found in the community at various markets throughout Vancouver Island. As a parent who has used the strategies presented in the stories to help manage the daily challenges in her own household, she hopes the books can be shared with many other families.
Taylor helps avert meltdowns
As for Taylor, she’s a character that kids connect with and root for, as she represents a lot of school-aged kids who are just doing their best. She entertains the reader with her big feelings and imagination, and helps the reader begin to recognize that all behaviour is a form of communication. Sometimes it’s the small, in-between moments that kids struggle with the most, and Taylor lets kids know they aren’t alone. Taylor and her parents learn how to ask the right questions, become more aware of their own triggers and preferences, and problem-solve together. Each book creates a starting point for families to include kids in the conversation and take small steps forward, together.
The series currently includes:
- Taylor Doesn’t want to go to School which brings awareness to potential reasons behind school refusal, overstimulation and meltdowns at school.
- Taylor and the Dreaded Dinner Table, a tale for the picky eaters that has already helped several young children incorporate more rainbow foods into their diet.
- Taylor and the Video Game Vortex where kids watch Taylor struggle with transitions and meltdowns, and parents pick up a few tips to make these moments easier.
- More titles to come! (Including Taylor and the Terrifying Toilet)
Deb and Cara both enjoy connecting with and learning from kids and adults of all ages and stages. Combining their skills together has allowed them to do something they love with and for the people they love, while also being able to share it with others, one family at a time!