Parenting doesn’t come with a manual, but challenging conversations do now thanks to the A Kids Book About series.
Conversations with young children about challenging subjects can be cringeworthy and sometimes leaves parents at a loss for words after being bombarded with questions. The A Kids Book About series is here to serve a catalyst for these talks. The books, which are for children aged five and up, focus on topics like white privilege, money, empathy, disabilities, racism, belonging bullying, depression, failure and many more. They are designed to help adults have honest conversations about things that matter in straightforward and honest way.
As a therapist, I was eager to see what these books were like. Children ask a lot of questions about serious matters and their questions deserve to be answered in an age-appropriate way. This is something that isn’t an easy task for all adults, so I wanted to see if A Kids Book About would help make those conversations easier.
All of the books are colorful and written with a conversational tone. They also have an intro and outro. The intro preps the parent for the reading experience and outro offers suggestions, questions you can ask your child or how to answer what your child may ask you. Each book is written in a way that leaves opportunities for children to intercept and share their experiences and ask questions. It’s not longwinded and wordy either. The anecdotes the authors used serve their purpose in helping the child connect with the theme. It’s highly recommended that the parent and child read the book together. Having your child read the book alone defeats the purpose and takes away from the learning experience of the book.
One of the books that stood out to me is A Kids Book About Money. The author, Adam Stramwasser, pointed out that kids are forming their own ideas around money just by watching the adults in their lives. So an open conversation about money, its value, how to spend and save it and especially how to earn it is essential. Financial literacy is something that adults learn the hard way once they are buried in debt and bad credit. Starting these conversations early using tools like this book, along with modeling, can help your child dodge that bullet when they get older.
Books are available for purchase here.
A Kids Book About Racism is another highlight, which was written by Jelani Memory. Memory gave his own account of what it’s like being a mixed-Black person and described how racism made him feel. One thing that resonates with children is feeling and Memory perfectly conveyed how hurtful racism is in a direct, age-appropriate way. Considering the racial climate that we live in, racism is important to discuss racism with children of color. The deaths of unarmed Blacks, protests, riots and marches are all happening right in front of their eyes in a world they have to live in. Though this conversation can be difficult, “it’s never too early to start.” As Memory pointed out in the outro, the adult is sometimes more scared to talk about these things than the child is. Don’t let racism be the elephant in the room. Put your apprehension to the side and explore their curiosity. The book about white privilege is more geared toward white children and helping them understanding why they have advantages in life that they didn’t earn. I honestly don’t see an issue with a Black parent and child reading this book because the theme is executed well.