I’ve had moments of low lows in my life. Moments where I just wanted to cry for a long time—and I did that, I really did. Life sometimes just hurts, and the world seems to be against you, you cannot do anything right, and you just want to escape even for a moment and think about something—anything—else. Books have always been an escape for me. Whenever I felt like the world around me was crumbling, and I just wanted something happy, or something to simply distract me, I would turn to a book. There is something different that happens when I read a book to get away, compared to when I watch a movie or television. It is physically harder to see the world around me with my nose in a book, with my eyes scanning the words and reading the text. It is a productive feeling to turn the page and know that even if I feel I can do nothing else, I am at least feeding my brain. I am turning a page, and I am progressing.
One of the most distinct times in my life where I turned to books was when my husband deployed to Afghanistan. I had just started my freshman year of college. I was away from my family for the first time, completely on my own. I felt afraid. I was nervous. I was crumbling. For the first time in my life school was very hard, and I felt like the world was pouring rain down on me via a personal rain cloud. The only thing I had read in a long time were school textbooks. Then during one weekend, I remember it distinctly, I picked up a book. Maybe this was the worst book in the world to read when my (at the time) boyfriend was deployed, or maybe it was exactly what I needed. I read Dear John by Nicolas Sparks. If you’ve ever read this book or anything by the author, you will know he is known for romantic, tear-jerking, heart-wrenching stories about love and life. This book had me crying, it had me wrapped up in the story, away from my pain, sadness, and loneliness. I read that book in a weekend, and I remember coming out of it feeling so much better. For even just a little bit I was away from the world, and it felt good.
Children experience these same types of serious and all-consuming emotions. Maybe they are being bullied at school; maybe they are adjusting to new siblings being added to the family, or perhaps they are dealing with the death of a close relative. Regardless of the situation, books can serve as an escape from these moments of grief and can help your child come through their sadness on the other end of the story feeling triumphant. Especially if the topic of the book in some way addresses their feelings, it can help them feel powerful and strong. If nothing else, it can serve as a distraction to ease their minds and bring a new sense of calm and peace.
Sometimes as parents we do not know exactly what to say to our children to help them through tough times. With books, you do not have to have the right words yourself; you just have to have the right words somewhere on your bookshelf.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish