Today’s world can be a scary place. Sometimes things happen that are just beyond words, even for us adults. Events, especially those beyond our control, can be terrifying and incomprehensible. For children it can be even more confusing and traumatic.
Family therapist Christy Monson and artist and abuse survivor Lori Nawyn have teamed up to create a simple and beautiful children’s book to help children communicate their feelings and connect with their emotions in adversity’s wake. Inspired by the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, this book validates those feelings and helps children to see that there are many good and safe options for them to express their fears, their pain and their confusion. Not only does it show them that it is ok to openly express pain, anger and frustration but it also gives them positive ideas for overcoming that hurt.
And most importantly, it ends with a reminder that turning to those they love and to continuing loving is the best way to overcome hate and darkness and bad things.
As a parent, teacher and youth leader, I have many times over the years needed to sit with a child (or teen), both my own children and other children I work with to help them work through an event that has frightened them, has hurt them or has left them with painful questions. From the death of a loved one to news headlines to tragedies in our own community, my conversations have covered the spectrum of adversities that I wish I could have sheltered them from. It’s never an easy process and I have often found myself at a loss for words (Yes, it’s true. Sometime I have no idea what to say.). This book would have helped me through many of those conversations. While it doesn’t give me the words to say, it is a door to connect children with those feelings and to help them know they aren’t the only ones who feel that way. It also gives them a way to say, “This is how I feel,” when they may not be able to easily express it themselves.
For every parent, every teacher or every person who loves and works with children, this should be an addition to your collection to help you help the children in your life.
An electronic copy of this book was provided to me for review and my opinions are always just mine.