I’ve mentioned before that I am a highly sensitive parent raising three highly sensitive children. (That ol’ proverbial apple does not fall far!)
We have learned to limit our children’s exposure to news media. They are still young and the news contains messages that their emotions cannot yet process. It’s simply too much sometimes.
And yet, some news is impossible to avoid.
Take, for example, last summer. My son was enjoying an art camp last July when he happened to read about the Bastille Day terror attacks in Nice, France. Another article he read contained references to the 2016 U.S. election and the possibility of WWIII.
He found these articles on old, paint covered newspapers strewn about the table on which he was painting. And the articles terrified him. At 8 years old, it was impossible for him to comprehend how such violence could happen in our world.
Explaining tragedy to children is challenging. There is a balance between providing developmentally appropriate information and helping children to feel safe and in control of their world.
I’ve learned that high-quality picture books can help.
I love the quote from Fred Rogers,“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'”
Recently, our family had the chance to check out a new book by Holly M. McGhee. It is called Come with Me. It exemplifies the Fred Rogers quote mentioned above and I wish I had the book around last summer!
*Disclosure: Our family received a review copy of Come with Me at no cost. I was not required to write a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I only share resources that I would use with my own family and those that I believe other families will enjoy.
In Come with Me, a little girl becomes scared after watching the news, which was filled with anger and hatred.
She asks her papa if there is anything she can do to make the world a better place. His response? “Come with me.”
Together, the little girl and her papa went out into the city and onto the subway. The city was filled with people from all over the world and they were kind to everyone they met.
Later, the little girl is once again frightened by the news. She asks her mama what she can do. Her response? “Come with me.”
Together, the little girl and her mama went to the grocery store. There, they saw people from all over the world. The little girl learned that one person cannot represent an entire family, race, or country.
As her family sat down to dinner that night, the little girl wonders aloud if she can do something by herself to make an impact on the world around her. She asks if she can walk the dog… alone.
Her parents decide not to live in fear and so they let the little girl walk the dog, alone.
In the hallway of her apartment building, the little girl meets a neighbor boy. He asks where she is going. Her response? “Come with me.”
Together, the little girl, her dog, and her new friend walked the city streets. They met people from around the world and they were kind to everyone. They learned that kind acts matter.
Come with Me empowers children by showing them that they can have an impact on their small patch of this earth and that small acts of kindness and love make a big difference.
Come with Me is a special collaboration between author and illustrator. Sixteen years ago, author Holly McGhee was scared and wary after the terror attacks on 9/11. McGhee found comfort from an illustration sent to her by her friend, Pascal Lemaitre, an artist from Brussels. Last year, in 2016, a terrorist attack occurred in Lemaitre’s city. United by tragedy, McGhee and Lemaitre decided to band together to create a work of kindness and optimism.
I am thankful to have this book on our bookshelf. If you have a sensitive kiddo, I highly recommend adding this book to your library bag. Come with Me will be released on September 5, 2017, and is available for pre-order now.
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