I am a big fan of using books with young kids for discussing difficult topics. Though we may have the best of intentions, with young children, it is just not a good developmental fit to sit across from them and simply talk about a difficult topic as we might with a friend or much older child. Of course it's not that conversations aren't appropriate at all. Though there are some tricks as far as timing and context that can help, which I'll cover in a separate post. Picture books are wonderful though for topics ranging from grief, to moving, to divorce and blended families. Kids naturally just enjoy picture books and being read to. During challenging times when your child might need one of these books they need cuddling more than usual. Reading with them invites to satisfy that healthy need in a context that feels natural doesn't make them feel awkward.
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