There is no right way to parent. It’s a topic that has been cause for a variety of different classes, books, and essays, all of which can be praised or scrutinized for different reasons. The fact of the matter is that there are going to be difficult lessons that your kids will need to learn, and teaching them these lessons can be incredibly difficult. Luckily, there are a number of different books out there that can be used to teach kids these lessons.
These books can cover topics such as the democratic process, divorce, and bereavement. Some are good for very young kids whilst some are more appropriate for the likes of tweens. Regardless, they will make it much easier for you to talk to your kids about difficult subjects.
Mum and Dad Glue
Mum and Dad Glue is a book by Kes Gray that is a rhyming story that follows a young boy who comes to terms with his parent’s divorce. The whole book is moving, comforting, and reassuring in a way that will allow young children to come to terms with separation if their parents are going through a tough time.
The story follows a little boy who manages to find a pot of parent glue and uses it to try and stick his mum and dad back together as they have managed to come undone in their marriage. He even tries to reattach smiles on their faces but with no luck. The whole book ends with him realizing that even though his parents relationship has unfortunately ended, the love that they have for him is still very much there, and nothing will ever change that.
The Copper Tree
The Copper Tree was written by Hilary Robinson and is a very moving and beautifully written book that teaches kids how to deal with death and loss. In the story, Olivia’s teacher, Miss Evans, dies. The children of her class are encouraged to think of everything that reminds them of their teacher. It is really moving and allows kids to appreciate that even though someone may not be there anymore, that doesn’t mean that we can’t still remember them.
The Adventures on Minwood Lane
The Adventures on Minwood Lane is a beautiful book that was put together by Kamilla Woodburn. The fact is, at some point in a child’s life, they are going to have grandparents or other relatives who get too old to look after themselves and, as a result, have to move to a care facility such as Belmont Village Senior Living. This book points out the fact that memory begins to fade as people get older and is a heart-warming way to introduce children to these potential issues.
If You’re So Smart, How Come You Can’t Spell Mississippi?
Barbara Esham is responsible for putting together If You’re So Smart, How Come You Can’t Spell Mississippi? A heart-warming story that follows Katie’s very smart Dad as he struggles with one of her weekly spelling lists. This book is a very effective way of highlighting what dyslexia is and how it affects those who struggle with it.
It’s a really encouraging story for kids who have dyslexia, too, as Katie’s dad is one of the most respected lawyers in town, with people asking him for advice wherever he goes. It shows that just because you might be suffering from dyslexia, though you may struggle to read and write some words; as a result, it certainly won’t stop you from reaching your full potential.
Really and Truly: A Story about Dementia
You may have guessed it already but Really and Truly by Emilie Rivard is a very moving story that portrays a child dealing with his grandfather’s dementia. It comes with some beautifully put together illustrations and is writhe with tenderness, sensitivity, and humor.
Explaining dementia can be really difficult due to the fact even we as adults don’t have a full grasp on exactly what it is. As such, this book that follows Charlie and his Grandfather as he recalls stories about gnomes and pirates before struggling to think of any new ones is a great way to begin to explain this disease to a child.
The Coat I Wear
Kids aren’t always in tune with their emotions, and it can mean that when they experience feelings of grief, they struggle to fully comprehend why they actually feel so bad. The Coat I Wear, which Mel Maxwell wrote, is a really good book that uses the symbolism of a heavy and uncomfortable coat to articulate how it feels to experience grief.
My Daddy’s Going Away
This is especially relevant now as throughout the past year, due to the covid-19 pandemic, a lot of kids have become used to their parents being home all the time. Now, as the vaccine is rolled out and some organizations begin to bring an end to flexible working, kids are going to have to understand that sometimes, parents need to go away for different reasons.
My Daddy’s Going Away by Christopher MacGregor is a fantastic book that uses gorgeous images and a well-written story to explain why it is that sometimes parents need to go away. The book was also written in support of the charity Combat Stress and, in some editions, features a foreword by his royal highness, the Prince of Wales.
You know what is best for your kid, but the fact remains that sometimes when it comes to explaining complex situations such as grief, age, separation, and many other issues, it can be tough knowing where to start. As such, using the likes of stories as a means to explain these problems is a great idea. The above is a good list of some of the best books that talk about these issues; however, whatever it is you are trying to explain to your child, there will more than likely be a story out there that will help you along the way. You don’t have to use this technique, but the combination of images with a light-hearted and engaging story really does simplify these conversations.