On April 5th, the second book in the Just Enough Series (published by Orca Book publishers and illustrated by Cindy Revell) was released. Two thousand copies were instantly sold! I have been talking about this project with people in the media and I have kept a journal of my responses. Below, you will find some of my most important reflections about this project!
My Reflections About "Where Do Loved Ones Go When They Die?
As our world becomes more complicated, it has become more challenging to teach and parent our children. I have seen this change first hand as a practicing child psychologist. The Just Enough Series was developed to give parents and teachers tools to talk about difficult and complicated subjects with their young children. The most recent book, “What Happens When A Loved One Dies?” was written to help children understand and cope with death. I am particularly concerned about children who have witnessed violence and terrorism.
I have written these books for the early childhood audience because I am a big proponent of early intervention. Helping to address difficult concepts early in a wholesome way, allows parents and teachers to set the foundation for wholesome values in life.
I think that these topics are difficult for young and older alike. It is especially hard to talk about difficult topics with children, when you are struggling to process these topics yourself. As a child psychologist, I have a great deal of experience talking to children about difficult topics and I hoped to share what I have learned. I have written these books to provide parents and teachers with a kind of script to help these conversations unfold.
The goal is to help children understand the concept of death. I wanted the book to be appropriate for children from a wide range of backgrounds. I wanted the book to be culturally sensitive. And, I wanted to promote and encourage children to ask questions.
The questions in this book, and also in the others, are inspired by real discussions I have had with children over the years. I think the books have been so well received because they reflect the real and authentic questions children have.
I imagine that many parents would be reading this book to their children because the children have been asking about death. Perhaps children have experienced loss first hand. I hope that parents can use the book as a way of helping children to open up about their own thoughts and questions. I also hope that the book fosters opportunities for parents and children to explore their own unique cultural values around death.