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When Bad Things Happen
A Guide to Help Kids Cope
By Ted O'Neal, R. W. Alley
Abbey PressCopyright © 2003 Ted O'Neal
All rights reserved.
Good Times, Bad Times
Not everything goes right in the world, does it? Sometimes things go so wrong that even the big people who care about us can't seem to "fix" them.
Maybe one of your favorite toys gets broken, or your report card has some grades that are not so great. Maybe you get sick or hurt — or your mom or dad or grandparent does.
Sunshine is part of life — and so are thunderstorms. There are good times and there are bad times. And the bad times may not even be anybody's fault.
However You Feel Is Okay
When something very bad happens, you might want to cry or yell or run away and hide. You might have stomachaches or nightmares. You might feel:
All these feelings are normal. You don't need to be ashamed or afraid of them. Talk about your feelings with someone close to you.
It's hard to understand why Grandma got sick, or why you have to move far away from friends. Ask your mom or dad to help you understand.
Even if you know the reasons, you don't have to like what happened. You can understand that your cat was hit by a car, but you will still feel mad and sad.
You might think you made a bad thing happen. If it rains on the day your dad takes you to a ballgame, you may feel like you are being punished somehow.
But rain just happens, and so do some bad things. There isn't any good reason. It isn't anybody's fault. You didn't cause it by being bad, and you can't undo it by being good.
Don't let your worry, anger, or sadness be a secret. Even if grown-ups seem too busy to listen, make sure they know how you feel. You might be surprised to find out that they feel the same as you.
Some of your questions might upset people, because they aren't sure how to answer them. And some grownups — no matter how much they care about you — just don't know how to talk about bad things.
It's still good to find out how people are feeling and thinking — even if they are confused. It's good to know that you are not the only one feeling bad. It's good to know that you are safe and loved and will always be cared for.
Excerpted from When Bad Things Happen by Ted O'Neal, R. W. Alley. Copyright © 2003 Ted O'Neal. Excerpted by permission of Abbey Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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