Tips for using Books to Engage with Children

Parents and caregivers who share books with children after a tragedy or loss should be prepared to do the following:

  • Let the characters and story help your children understand how to cope. Discuss ways to feel less anxious or nervous about what is happening.
  • Be willing to answer your child’s questions simply, at their level of understanding.
  • Let them know that it is normal to cry, feel scared, or want comfort during difficult times. Provide them with opportunities for that emotional closeness, as needed.
  • Remind children that you, the caregiver/parent are there for them, and that you are always willing to help them when times are difficult.
  • Us the power of ritual to help teach children how people in your family or social group remember those who have died.
  • Encourage children to identify simple plans of action to take each day to reengage in normal activities with others.
  • Help children develop simple ways to remember good things about those who have died. They might share a story, draw pictures, or remember occasions that they enjoyed with the person(s) who have died.
  • Let children know they are loved and cared for. Reach out to other family members or close friends who could also support your child/ren

Taken from this RESOURCE