Reading Can Help Your Child Accept Sadness, As Just Another Emotion

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Do you squirm when a story you are reading to your child gets really sad? Are you worried how your child will react on knowing that his or her favourite character dies? By wishing that sad emotions just disappear does not make them go away but stay hidden deep inside, waiting to burst at a later point of time.

Talking about feelings while reading a book

Reading a fictional book where drama happens, people go through bad times and perhaps rise later, death occurs etc. gives room for some difficult discussions to happen in a stress free environment. After all the story is a figment of someone’s imagination. This is a lot easier when compared to facing the same event in real life or reading about a real life tragedy in the newspaper. No doubt reality hits harder than fiction. But what fiction does is that it gives your child the peace of mind required to raise some difficult questions and seek truthful answers.

Stories such as Lion King, Charlotte’s Web, Gangsta Granny have a knack of drawing you into an incredibly absorbing story, make you love each character and then something happens to the most likely favourite character. It is bound to make the reader feel shock at first and then be overcome by emotion. A six year old is in tears when he gets to know that Charlotte, the Spider in Charlotte’s Web eventually dies. His mother holds him close and lets him cry. She does not answer his question, “Why does Charlotte have to die?” immediately. She lets him express his feelings and then after a while explains that feeling sad is normal, happens to everyone and in those times people take care of each other. She lets him know that she is there to take care of him now. Find this story

Accepting the fact that any other emotion, other than happiness is ok and can be dealt with

As adults we are prone to a variety of emotions. Wishing therefore that children must experience only happiness is unrealistic and does not prepare them for the future in anyway.  Feeling sad or disappointed is just another emotion and reaching out to someone close to cry out or just talk is the normal thing to do. Similarly, reaching out to someone close in distress is the right thing to do is a basic lesson that all children need to learn early on to be good human beings.

A variety of children’s books exist today that enable you to curl up with your child and talk about a variety of subjects from a third person’s perspective. What could be a better way to learn and accept different emotions and how to deal with them?


 

Are there any books you have stumbled upon that have enabled you to have conversations with your child on very serious topics? Would you like to share? If yes, please write to me at lakshmi.mitter@yahoo.com.

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