JOURNAL STAR: Experts recommend picture books to help kids with all the tough topics

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The Peoria Journal Star is reporting, “Young children understandably often have a tough time navigating grown-up issues, such as death and divorce, and parents can have a hard time explaining things. Enter picture books.

It’s easier for kids to process things they hear “third-hand” during reading-time cuddles, says Wayne Fleisig, a clinical psychologist and member of the board of advisers for “Parents” magazine. “Books can be a good and nonthreatening platform in which to discuss difficult subjects,” he says. “There are pictures to distract them if things get overwhelming and they do not have to approach the subject head on, but instead can take in a small amount at a time.”

Fleisig says parents need to vet the book first to see if it’s age-appropriate – or appropriate for your kids’ personalities – and to help you anticipate questions. Also be willing to say, “That is a good question. Let me think about it and I will get back to later with an answer.” If a child is resisting a subject, or seems uncomfortable, put the book down and try again later…”

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