Sunday, September 25, 2016

Books To Help Young People Cope

Adults are always trying to make sense of the death of a loved one. This is especially true of a child. We know how hard it is for us, so it must be just as hard for children to understand and accept a sibling’s death or a grandparent or parent. Young children will most likely have questions about why death happens and what happens to the people they love after they are gone.

There are a number of books written to provide children with a sense of comfort and to help them understand their feelings of sadness and grief. It is an education all children should have in their life, so that when they are confronted with death of a sibling, parent, or grandparent, their reactions are normal. Here are a few of the books, aimed at 4 years and older.

Muddles, Puddles and Sunshine by Diana Crossley, is an activity book designed to help children ages four and older deal with their feelings after losing a loved one. The activities range from arts and crafts to journaling and allow the child to make sense of the concept of death.

Ladder to the Moon by Maya Soetoro-Ng is a story about a young girl who wants to connect with her late grandmother whom she has never met. When a ladder appears at the girl’s bedroom window, she is able to take a magical journey with her grandmother. The author, who is also President Obama’s sister, was inspired by her own daughter’s questions about her grandmother, who passed away before she was born.

When Dinosaurs Die by Laurie and Marc Brown, offers is a straightforward explanation for young readers about the meaning death, funerals and other concepts dealing with loss. The answers to the questions are designed to spark conversations between children and their parents about feelings.

God Gave Us Heaven by Lisa Bergren and Laura Bryant, who can give younger readers who have questions about what happens to their loved ones after death, a sense of comfort. In the book, a little cub’s father describes Heaven as a beautiful, happy place where loved ones go after they have died.

I Miss You: A First Look At Death by Pat Thomas, explains death to young children in gentle, basic terms that they can understand without subscribing to any particular religious belief. The book explains that death is a natural part of life and that grief is a normal feeling when a loved one is lost. 

Missing Mummy by Rebecca Carr, is a moving story about a little boy who’s mother has died. The story is told from the boy’s perspective, and gives the reader a closer look at all of the emotions a child can experience after losing a parent.

If you are part of a family who has recently experienced loss, perhaps one of these books can help. Allow a child the time they may need to process their grief . Don’t hesitate to seek professional help, if needed.

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