Whenever a big transition for my son headed our way, like weaning off the pacifier or potty training, I created a custom book for him to help him understand what was happening and what to expect. I used characters he loved and sprinkled in all kinds of touches from his own life experiences. It was magical for him. I saw it in the way he lit up when we read it. He connected with it, he adored it and it worked. He gave up the pacifier. He finally tried potty training.
Then came the biggest transition of all – our family’s divorce. I was so worried about telling him and what his reaction would be. How could I explain such a complicated topic that was loaded with emotion to such a tiny person who I loved more than anything? I failed to find a book that was right for his age (3 1/2 years old) – one that explained divorce in a way he could understand and helped him learn what to expect. Most importantly, I needed it to comfort him so he knew things would definitely be different, but they’d be ok. Then I realized I knew what I needed to do. The idea for Bear’s Changing Family was born.
I did A LOT of reading and research, and the most important thing I learned was how essential it was to make sure my son knew that he was loved by both his father and I, and that would never change. That’s why love is a constant throughout Bear’s Changing Family – cover to cover.
I have great respect for children. They are smart and intuitive, brave and resilient. Bear’s Changing Family is honest and fair, and it empowers children so they know what to do when they feel sad or miss the parent they are not with.
As a parent, you never want to hurt or disappoint your children, but hurt and disappointment are a part of life. I’ve learned it’s ok for children to know their parents struggle at times. How we talk about divorce, and how we walk through it greatly influences their experience and outcomes. We get to model vulnerability and strength and resilience. And that’s pretty great.
You may be wondering what qualifies me to write this book. I would say it’s this combination of qualities and experience:
Mom + Divorced + Love of Children + Early Childhood Education Experience + Creative Education + Passion + Well-Researched Writing + A Desire to Do Meaningful Work
I believe we need to do better, and do more, for children going through life-changing experiences. In a world where you can personalize everything from your travel mug to your morning coffee order, it just makes sense. This is something the world needs. My goal is to create a series of books that handle tough topics with heart, insight and a ton of research.
By the way, the top image on this page isn’t a photo of my son and I because I wanted to protect his privacy. Although it doesn’t look like us, it sure does feel like it.
I sincerely hope Bear’s Changing Family helps your family as much as it did ours. Please let me know!