These 5 picture books will help introduce complex subjects to your kids
Here are some wonderful children’s picture books that offer a gentle way to introduce little ones to tricky subjects such as adoption and death.
We could all use some help when trying to talk to children about difficult or complex topics. Here are some wonderful children’s picture books that offer a gentle way to introduce little ones to such tricky subjects without getting them too worked up or just plain bored.
Parents can help them relate these stories to events and people around them and encourage them to ask questions that spark discussions.
A Mother for Choco
A mother for Choco is a beautiful children’s book that brings the focus on the love and relationship between a parent and child rather than the birthing or adoption process. Choco, the little chick goes around looking for a mother who looks like him.
He reaches out to animals who share similar looks but is disappointed. Choco finally finds the love he is seeking in Mrs. Bear’s arms and it stops to matter that she doesn’t look like him. The book is also great to start discussions about diversity within families.
2. Loss & Grieving
Tess loves her tree and when it has to be taken down, she is devastated. After many tears of sadness and rage, she decides to organise a funeral for her tree to remember and celebrate its life. That helps Tess resolve her sorrow and anger.
Losing a loved one is something we all struggle with regardless of age. Tess’s Tree is a heart-warming book to help a child understand emotions in the process of grieving and loss, even if it is a favorite tree or toy.
3. Personal Boundaries
My Underpants Rule!
This is a bright and colourful book that acts as a great tool to talk to them about personal safety and inappropriate adult behavior without alarming them. It is written by an ex-police officer who noted that while we take care to speak to our children about road safety, we often neglect to prepare them well for personal safety.
“What’s under my pants belongs only to me!” is repeated and ingrained through catchy rhymes and different scenarios to show what is acceptable and what isn’t. There is also an action plan in the book for what children can do in difficult situations.
The Huge Bag of Worries
Wherever Jenny goes, her worries follow her in a bag and every day they keep getting bigger and bigger. She tries to lock up the bag and leave it at home but that never quite works. It is only when she opens the bag and shares it with someone that something changes.
Children today have a lot more on their plates and minds than ever before. By acknowledging that children could also have worries, we can encourage them to open up and talk about their troubles.
This book can help start a conversation about the child’s concerns and give you a chance to help them deal with their apprehensions. Right from how likeable they are at school to whether they will ever grow taller and everything in between that could worry their little heads.
5. Special Needs
Special People Special Ways
This book is a gentle introduction to children about people who may have special needs. The bright and happy pictures and the simple language have a very positive message about how it needn’t be limiting and how people can just have different ways and speeds of doing different things.
The rhymes are catchy and encourage empathy, tolerance, and inclusion amongst children. Sample this:
“Though we seem different,
inside we’re the same.
Our hearts are for caring,
no matter our name.”
Ask them about people around them, young or old who do things differently. You could even talk about grandma and her glasses and grandpa and his walking stick!
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