How to Talk to Kids About Trauma, Loss, and Illness

Should you talk to a child, teen, or even a young adult about chronic illness? Are you allowed to use the words illness, sick, dying, and death when talking to kids? How young is too young to tell the absolute truth about these life difficult topics?
 
These are hard conversations, but they are important to have. I was honored to be part of The Chronic Connection Podcast and share strategies for parents and caregivers. Take a listen below.

Migraine and Mia: Spotlight and Giveaway

Guest Blogger, Kat Harrison, Author of Migraine and Mia

Mia lives with chronic migraine. Believe it or not, a migraine is more than just a headache. Mia’s chronic migraine often makes her body feel like a full-on pain parade with a marching band behind her eyeballs! Sometimes she even sees dots, stripes, and a whole kaleidoscope of colors. While chronic migraine really is no fun at all, there are small ways that friends and family can help when one strikes. Written with humor and pizzazz, Migraine and Mia is the perfect way to educate children about chronic migraine, an often-misunderstood health condition, and what family and friends can do to better help support those who live with it.

Inspiration for The Book

Award-winning author Kat Harrison was diagnosed with chronic migraine when she was 15. Kat struggles to remember a time when she wasn’t in pain every single day. For such a common condition, migraine is incredibly misunderstood. There are significantly more symptoms than people realize, and a variety of migraine types that exist. When Harrison was looking at the picture book market, there was a huge hole in books that accurately portray chronic illness, chronic pain, and disability — so her daily life inspired her to write them. Picture books are such a foundational format for bringing both depth and levity to serious topics.

What would you like children and their parents to take away from this story?

Harrison hopes to educate readers that migraine is so much more than just a headache! That statement is a large premise to the story — this idea that a migraine is a full-body test in pain and endurance, and there are small ways family and friends can help. Kat wants the book to entertain as well as educate. She believes that there is a huge stigma against health books — that they’re “boring” or “too niche.”  She is proving with each book that this is simply not true. It’s possible to tackle something like a diagnosis and still show mastery of craft and a creative arc, and Harrison has achieved that.

What gave you the idea to write about medical and health issues that children may encounter?

Harrison got the idea after taking many lukewarm trips to the library. In most children’s collections, there are a very limited number of fictional picture books that tackle health conditions with honesty and realism. While there is a definite place in the canon for books that center on animals and general hospital experiences, Harrison wanted to take it one step further and write from the perspective of a patient. There is no substitute for health stories written by people who actually live them.

Author Bio

Kat Harrison is the award-winning author of Surgery on Sunday and Migraine and Mia. She’s a chronic illness advocate from Michigan and has shared her story with organizations like the American Migraine Foundation and the National Headache Foundation, as well as outlets like Real Simple and The Mighty. Much like Mia (but a little bit older), she has lived with chronic migraine for over eighteen years.

We will be giving away a copy of Migraine and Mia to one lucky winner.

Choose one or more ways to enter:

1. Sign up for email notifications at ChildLifeMommy.com and leave a comment below.

2. Facebook: Follow Child Life Mommy and tag two friends.

3. Facebook: Follow XOKatHarrison and leave a comment about the giveaway.

4. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy and @XOKat, and tag two friends in the post.

Good Luck, the winner will be chosen on 12/15/21.

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Spotlight and Giveaway on Wonderfully Made Kids Co.

We all know that children learn better through a hands-on approach. Child life specialists, teachers, and parents can now incorporate fun educational activities through Wonderfully Made Kids Co.
I have been incorporating their current teaching kits on the heart and food allergies with my own children and clients that I work with. The kids are able to deepen their learning experience, clear up misconceptions, and strengthen healthy coping skills.
Guest Blogger, Andria Robinette and Erin Robinette Founders of Wonderfully made Kids Co.
What we Do:
We create FUN, hands-on curriculum for kids (and their families) to learn about their Wonderfully Made Bodies. With age-appropriate content, cute graphics, hands-on STEM activities, and more, our kits are a resource to help your family create a family culture that values health and wellness.
Our Beliefs:

We believe

  • in celebrating and taking care of our wonderfully made bodies
  • things are easier when we do them together, as a family
  • when we appreciate our bodies, good decisions and healthy lifestyle choices will follow

Where to Purchase:

We currently have two kits available but are working at adding more.

The Heart Education Kit includes information that is kid-friendly content, 3 hands-on activities, a huge anatomical heart poster, stickers, and more.

The Big 9 Food Allergy Kit will teach about the 9 Major Allergens, symptoms of an allergic reaction, tips on how to stay safe, how to read food labels, the importance of having a medical emergency plan, and more.

Included in the kit: a family-friendly booklet with activities, a medical alert bracelet, an Epinephrine Auto-Injector TRAINER, “King 9” Playing Cards, “Felt Fun,” and “Super SPY Allergen game”.

About Us:

Founded in Houston, Texas in January 2021, Wonderfully Made Kids Co. was created by sister-in-law’s Andria & Erin.
Erin, as a nurse during the COVID-19 pandemic in Nashville, was disheartened by the current climate in which healthcare was so negatively associated with sickness and sadness. Andria, as a curriculum writer and stay-at-home-mom to three little girls, struggled to find age-appropriate content around health and wellness that was fun and engaging for the whole family.
Together, as a family, they created a curriculum to inspire an appreciation for their wonderfully made bodies.
Oh, and once Zach saw how awesome his wife and sister’s company was… he had to join in. And then the team was complete.

To learn more, check out WonderfullyMadeKidsCo.com and follow on Facebook and Instagram.

 

 

We will be giving away 1 heart and 1 food allergy educational kit to 2 lucky winners.

Choose one or more ways to enter:

  1. Sign up for email notifications at ChildLifeMommy.com and leave a comment below.
  2. Facebook: Follow Child Life Mommy and tag two friends. Leave a heart or food emoji to let us know which kit you want.
  3. Facebook: Follow Wonderfully Made Kids Co. and leave a comment.
  4. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy and @WonderfullyMadeKidsCo tag two friends and leave a heart or food emoji to let us know which kit you want.
  5. Twitter: Follow, Like, and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy

Good luck, the winner will be chosen by 11/1/21. Open to U.S. residents.

Discount Code: Use the childlifemommy_20 to get a 20% discount until 11/10/21

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