Why Are You So Scared?: A Child's Book about Parents with PTSD

Overview

Kids who have a parent with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can often feel confused, scared, or helpless. Why Are You So Scared? explains PTSD and its symptoms in nonthreatening, kid-friendly language, and is full of questions and exercises that kids and parents can work through together. The workbook-style layout encourages kids to express their thoughts and emotions about PTSD through writing, drawing, and designing. This book can serve as a practical tool for kids to cope with and eventually understand ...

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Overview

Kids who have a parent with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can often feel confused, scared, or helpless. Why Are You So Scared? explains PTSD and its symptoms in nonthreatening, kid-friendly language, and is full of questions and exercises that kids and parents can work through together. The workbook-style layout encourages kids to express their thoughts and emotions about PTSD through writing, drawing, and designing. This book can serve as a practical tool for kids to cope with and eventually understand their parent's PTSD.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
What a switch—this is a book that explains to children the problem that a parent may be having and it is labeled Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The author makes it clear that the child is not responsible and that this problem was brought on by some traumatic incident in a parent's life, with several examples given. When a parent suffers from PTSD, he or she may not sleep well and therefore could be grouchy the next day or forget about something important in the child's life like attending sporting events or not keeping a promise. Sometimes parents have panic attacks, have scary dreams or seem like they are day dreaming and acting like you are not really in their thoughts. Suggestions are made as to how a child should react to each of these situations. Parents may see a psychiatrist or be part of a therapy group and kids should know that their parents are working hard to overcome PTSD. It is OK to have feelings of anger, frustration and sometimes be scared but a child's real job is to "be a kid, play, have friends and do your very best in school. It's OK to have fun and be a kid even when mom or dad is feeling bad." The watercolor illustrations are realistic and kids should be able to relate to them. There is an extensive note to parents and caregivers on the closing pages. While this book contains very good information, it may be a bit overwhelming and my recommendation would be to read it in small bites, probably with a trusted adult relative, friend or counselor. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
Kirkus Reviews

A direct explanation for today's post-traumatic stress disorders affecting parents and children is offered as a supplement to therapy in this interactive workbook.

An empathetic and honest text introduces scenarios that might trigger PTSD, such as assault, car or plane accident, military service, police or fire service, natural disasters and war-related or terrorist bombings. Explanations as to how someone with PTSD might react follow, with examples including panic attacks, nervous or jumpy behavior, sleep issues or nightmares. The text acknowledges children's feelings of helplessness as well as the false sense that their behavior might be responsible, providing strong reassurance that that is not the case, and it also emphasizes that feelings of sadness, anger and despair do not cancel the love of a parent. Acknowledgement that many families experience the effects of PTSD confirms that children and parents are not alone in seeking and receiving help. Loose, child-friendly watercolors offer a window into a series of emotions and depict a wide variety of family configurations, ages, cultures and races, encompassing the spectrum of American society. Suggested activities with framed blank pages (some with starter drawings of blank faces) encourage children to draw their families, experiences and feelings as they try to work through their particular situations.

Useful as a self-help guide; affected families may well benefit from the advice and approach provided. (Informational picture book. 5-10)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781433810442
  • Publisher: American Psychological Association
  • Publication date: 8/15/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 584,783
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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