Therapeutic stories are stories for children which address a topic that can be considered as challenging for an adult to communicate to a child. Topics such as bereavement, moving house, a new baby, growing up in diverse family units, dealing with emotions, how to meditate and the list goes on. They are a great way for a parent to bring up a topic when they want to teach their child something or want to broach a conversation but are not sure where to start. These stories give both parents and children a language so they can talk about the tricky topic.
Some wonderful books to check out with your children include
Rosie’s brain by Lynda Ryden
This is a fabulous book that takes the really difficult concepts (for adults) of different parts of the brain and makes them simple and relatable so that both children and adults can understand what happens in our brains when we get emotionally out of control.
Here is the author reading the book https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuU87vmSkVE
The Red Beast by K.I. Al-Ghani.
This book was written with neuro-diverse children who find it challenging to control their anger, in mind but in my opinion, it is great to help any child (or adult) learn more about their big feeling of anger and how to manage it.
Here is a video of the book being read https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgrCDqQbgCE&t=2s
The invisible string by Patrice Karst.
This book can support children who experience separation anxiety as it uses the analogy of an invisible string that connects you to all the people you love no matter where they are, even those in heaven.
Here is a video of the book being read https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rZNTFf35Aw
Please note: There are many beautiful books available covering many different aspects of bereavement and loss. If you are looking for one to support a child, it is best that the adult has seen the content of the book so they know that it is the right book to support the child at that particular time in their stage of grief. Local libraries will often stock books or will order them for you. You can also check out YouTube as books are often available there, narrated with the images.
https://onefamily.ie/booklist/ One family have created a ready to use list of therapeutic stories related to separation, loss
https://rainbowsgb.org/recommended-books/ Books for supporting children through bereavement and loss
http://www.wellbeingstories.com/> These are for 8-11 year olds that incorporate characters for different types of positive and negative thinking. One is called William and the Worry Wart (who sometimes gets out of control to become a Panic Monster).
Each story comes with a family toolkit with lots of ideas and resources for parents and a teacher toolkit which has a wealth of activities.
Let’s Talk About It
Have you ever tried reading your children therapeutic stories? If so, did you find it helpful?
What therapeutic stories have you used with your children? What did you find useful about them?