Exercises that can help when a young child loses a parent, grandparent or other close relative or friend
Help Me Say Goodbye: Activities for Helping Kids Cope When a Special Person Dies. By Janis Silverman. Fairview Press, 32 pp., $9.95, paperback. Ages 5–9.
By Janice Harayda
Normally, I don’t review children’s books that offer only bibliotherapy or help with problems. But Help Me Say Goodbye has so much to offer grief-stricken 5-to-9-year-olds that I’ve decided to break my self-imposed rule.
Teacher Janis Silverman designed this activity book for families with young children who will be visiting a friend or relative who is dying. But the book could also help children who have recently lost someone important. Each page describes something a child could do to “say goodbye” and provides space for it. One page says: “When you visit your friend or relative, what can you bring? Draw or write about your ideas.” Other pages suggest ways children can express their feelings after a loss. One says that when someone dies, people may feel angry: “Draw or write what you can do when you feel angry. Circle the things that won’t hurt anyone else.” And while the book is designed for children in grades kindergarten through three, it describes a few activities for younger ones, such as, “Use a toy phone to talk about what happened.”
Recommended … for children who are coping with the death of a parent, grandparent, sibling, teacher or friend. The exercise in this book could be adapted for children whose pets have died.
Published: January 1999.
Furthermore: At this writing, this book is in stock on Amazon www.amazon.com. Many libraries also have it.
© 2007 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.