The Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting and the mailing of suspicious packages are recent events in the news that may cause children who are aware of them anxiety or fear. We offer you what we can during this difficult moments and that is the comfort and security that time spent with you and good book can provide. Come. Open a book. Start to read. Hold them close and revisit old friends together; Curious George, The Cat in the Hat, Arthur, The Little Engine That Could.
Or stay at home and do the same. Find the books in the bookcase with the dog-eared pages and the tell-tale bite marks on the spine; the ones you can probably recite without looking at the pages. Choose the one with the coffee ring on the cover for having been on the bedside table every night.
Favorite stories are steadfast old friends to count on in times of trouble. In addition, the books listed below are designed to help you talk through fear and trauma with your child.
It is clear from the resources we have gathered below that one of the best things we can all do is simply reassure children that many people – their family, their teachers, their neighbors, the people at day care or church or the library love and care about them and are looking out for their safety.
“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered. ”Yes, Piglet?” ”Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.” ~ A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Professional Advice about Helping Children Cope with Violence and Tragic Events:
- Jewish Resources for Coping after the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting
- Empowering Young People in the Aftermath of Hate a Guide for Educators and Families
- How to Talk to Children About Anti-Semitism
- How to Talk to Your Kids About Scary Situations
- The Fred Rogers Company: Tragic Events and Video
- Sesame Street: Traumatic Experiences (Includes Activities)
- PBS Arthur Special Program: Helping Our Children Feel Safe
- Children’s BBC Video: Advice if You Are Upset By the News
- KidsHealth: How to Talk to Your Child About the News
- Common Sense Media: Explaining the News to Our Kids
- Child Mind: Helping Children Cope After a Traumatic Event
- The National Institute of Health: Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters: What Parents Can Do
While favorite stories are comforting and familiar, you may find that it would be helpful to read a book together that helps your child understand feeling afraid or anxious; or answers questions he or she might have about death. Below are several children’s books that address separation anxiety, fear and grief. These are just a small sampling to show you the kinds of books that are available. Also listed are some parenting books about helping a child cope with anxiety. Click on any book jacket to go directly to the online catalog to make a request with your IndyPL Library Card, or visit any of our branch locations. IndyPL librarians would be happy to help you find books like these. NOTE: The first two titles, Owl Babies and The Kissing Hand, you can watch right now online – no waiting. Both are about learning to cope with separation anxiety.
Watch Right Now: Owl Babies – Three baby owls panic when they awaken one night and find their mother gone, worrying about what has happened to her and becoming frightened by all the scary things that surround them in the dark. Book
The Breaking News – When devastating news rattles a young girl’s community, her normally attentive parents and neighbors are suddenly exhausted and distracted. At school, her teacher tells the class to look for the helpers-the good people working to make things better in big and small ways. She wants more than anything to help in a BIG way, but maybe she can start with one small act of kindness instead … and then another, and another. Small things can compound, after all, to make a world of difference.
The Invisible String – When Liza and Jeremy run to their mother during a scary storm, she comforts them by telling them about the Invisible String, which connects people who love each other no matter where they are and means that they are never alone.
Healing Days – A guide for kids who have experienced trauma.
The Hugging Tree – Told in rhyming text, a little tree clings tenaciously to a granite cliff, determined to live, tended by a little boy, and ultimately loved by the people in the community.
Jenny is Scared – When Jenny and her brother are frightened by events in the world, their parents help them talk about their fears and feel better.
The Kiss Box
– As they prepare for a short separation, Mama Bear and Little Bear find a way to reassure each other while they are apart.
Love, Hugs & Hope – Helps children identify feelings that overwhelm them with anxiety and despair. Explains that sometimes bad things happen and good people are hurt. Children feel fear, sadness, and anger. The book teaches that there are ways of dealing with these emotions.
Love Waves – While they are at work a mother and father send powerful “love waves” to their child at home, offering reassurance and comfort in their absence.
Mommy in My Pocket – A little girl gets anxious about separation from her mommy when she goes to school.
On That Day: a Book of Hope for Children – This book tells children that although terrible things happen, there is still hope that the world can be a better place.
The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm – When little Mica is frightened by a storm, her father tells her the story of a rhino who was feeling lost and alone, until he learns that with the love of family and friends, there will always be help during tough times. eBook
Snowflakes Fall – In this illustrated poem in honor of the victims of the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, falling snowflakes celebrate the uniqueness of life, its precious, simple moments, and the strength of memory. Print, eBook
A Terrible Thing Happened – After Sherman sees something terrible happen, he becomes anxious and then angry, but when a counselor helps him talk about these emotions he feels better.
What To Do When You’re Scared and Worried – Why do we have worries and fears? — Fears after something bad has happened — Fears of people, animals, and situations — Worries about being away from your parents : separation anxiety — Thoughts and behaviors you can’t stop — Worrying all the time — Panic, feeling you are going crazy or about to die — How to control your worries and fears — When fears and worries will not go away — For parents : helping your children cope with worries and fears. eBook
When Bad Things Happen: A Guide to Help Kids Cope – Truly bad things happen in life. And while we cannot shelter children from every hurt and harm, we can reassure them that they will always be loved and cared for. We can teach children the skills needed for coping with life’s biggest challenges and changes. And we can restore children’s trust that life, after all, is good. eBook
Freeing Your Child From Anxiety – Written by an expert in the field of childhood anxiety disorders, this indispensable guide is for parents looking for safe, proven methods for reducing childhood anxiety. Dr. Chansky shows them how to teach their child to successfully deal with stress and face the challenges and uncertainties of life. This resource is a CD but is also available as a eBook
Growing Up Brave – The author, a childhood anxiety expert, helps parents identify and understand anxiety in their children, outlines effective and convenient parenting techniques for reducing anxiety, and shows parents how to promote bravery for long-term confidence.