Families Facing Cancer: Spotlight and Giveaway on Mighty + Bright

When Sara Olsher was diagnosed with cancer at age 34, her first thought was her 6-year-old daughter. As a single mom, the two were incredibly close, and Sara was deeply worried about her daughter’s mental health.

“I worried a lot about whether I would be okay, of course, but it was all about how cancer would impact my daughter,” Sara said. “I know I can deal with almost anything, but I wasn’t sure if my daughter could.”

Sara’s first order of business was to find a children’s book to explain her diagnosis. Unfortunately, what she was looking for — a book that explained the actual science of cancer in an age-appropriate, non-scary way — didn’t exist.

As an illustrator, Sara had enough experience to put together a book on the topic, which she published through her company Mighty + Bright. The book is called What Happens When Someone I Love Has Cancer and now has well over a hundred five-star ratings on Amazon and is used in hospitals across the United States.

As it turns out, this book was just the beginning.

Throughout her treatment, Sara desperately wished for some way to make cancer easier. Her explanation took the fear out of cancer for her daughter but did nothing to manage the chaos and stress of long-term cancer treatment. Sara relied on her “village” to help with school drop-offs and pickups, meals, and more, and her daughter was often confused about who would be in the house each day. She worried that someone would forget to pick her up at school.

Sara also struggled to come up with ways to stay emotionally connected to her daughter. Games of tag and play dates in the park were now replaced with long stretches of time where Sara was too exhausted to even come up with activities to do from the couch.

Sara’s solution was a visual calendar, which helped her daughter easily see what she could expect each day. Would mom be extra tired from chemo? Or would it be a “good day,” closer to the end of the cycle? The calendar also had low-key activities the two could do together. Sara’s daughter picked out the activities and chose the day they’d do them, giving the pair something to look forward to.

Since Sara’s diagnosis in 2017, she has continued to build her company to help with a number of difficult life circumstances. She now has book and calendar sets for everyday use in addition to special sets for kids facing parental divorce, their own pediatric cancer diagnosis, or the diagnosis of a parent or sibling. Through her nonprofit organization, Resilience Campaign, Sara is seeking funding to provide these resources to pediatric cancer patients and their siblings.

Using these books and calendars, Sara found a way to take things that are incredibly complicated and make them simple and easy to understand.

“These tools brought both of us security and peace,” Sara says. “Every day, my daughter could check the calendar to see – where in the chemo cycle is mom? When will she start to feel better? What activity can I choose for us to do together? This calendar was a gift. It was the gift of being able to connect with my child, even when I was exhausted.”

Through her experience with cancer, Sara learned a lesson so deeply that it has become a core part of who she is. And that lesson is this: Making life more simple makes space for the things that really matter.

It makes space so your brain isn’t preoccupied with keeping track of everything under the sun, and for connection with the people, we love.

Learn more about Sara and how to purchase her amazing resources at MightyandBright.com. You can also follow her on Facebook, and Instagram.

We will be giving away a children’s book and calendar kit of your choice 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 Mighty + Bright Co and leave a comment.
  4. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy and @MightyandBrightCo tag two friends in the post.
  5. Twitter: Follow, Like, and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy

Good luck, the winner will be chosen by 9/4/21. Open to U.S. residents.

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How to Help Kids Cope with their Mom’s Breast Cancer 

 

When Your Parents Divorce A kid-to-kid guide to dealing with divorce

Guest Blogger, Kimberly King 

Divorce can be a traumatic experience for children, but parents can do a lot to help ease stress and uncertainty. When Your Parents Divorce is a useful tool that parents can use to help children with questions and concerns that arise during this challenging and stressful time. Told from a child’s perspective, using clear and kid-friendly language, When Your Parents Divorce will help you and your children adjust to divorce in a positive, cooperative, and supportive way. The book aims to ease discord and confusion in the family and prevent Parent Alienation. A must-read for parents and kids.

  • One of a kind, a unique book created for kids and shared in a kids voice. Told from a child’s perspective, based on a real-life kid story Full of real-life kid scenarios that your child encounter as they adjust to your divorce
  • Presented in kid language that provides comfort on a tough topic.
  • Bibliotherapy, helping kids talk about their feelings by using books, is an effective therapeutic way to help kids cope with difficult emotions

Using a simple, direct, comforting approach that doesn’t dumb down the issues involved, as well as an easy-to-use system to help kids engage in open conversations with parents. When Your Parents Divorce covers a variety of topics, including:

Clarification of the terms and definitions involved in separation and divorce.

  • Supportive talking points for parents and children
  • Helping kids realize each parent’s value and worth.
  • Teaches kids that they are not alone.
  • Kids learn to be aware and express their feelings.
  • Explains that divorce is never their fault.
  • The story encourages family collaboration and cooperation.
  • Identifies some everyday worries, problems, and issues kids may experience as they adjust to the new family situation.
  • Stresses the way families can get along in a positive way when they work together
About the Author: 

Kimberly King left her traditional job as a kindergarten teacher to write books for children on difficult and often emotional topics. Kimberly King is a child-development professional, certified early-childhood educator, and darkness2light.org sexual abuse prevention Stewards of Children facilitator. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in early childhood development and family studies from the University of Maine and a Master of Science degree in early childhood education. She is the author of, I Said No!, the best-selling children’s book about sexual-abuse prevention. King is the author of three kid-to-kid guides:

King lives with her family in Connecticut and is available for media trainings, interviews, school visits, and author signings.

“Divorce is The Worst” Spotlight and Giveaway

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Divorce is on the rise globally and it is having an impact on the children involved. It’s the new normal with kids being raised by single parents, blended families or having their time split between two households.

So how do we explain divorce to kids? Is there a way to validate their feelings and support them through this drastic change?

I think there is. When we talk with honesty, compassion and allow kids to express all emotions involved, it will help ease this transition. We know that talking isn’t the only way kids learn, we need to use other modalities such as play, creative arts and books.

I am ecstatic to share an amazing resource by a good friend, Anastasia Higginbotham,  the author of Divorce is The Worst.

Anastasia and her Creation

I made this book because it’s the one I want to read on the subject of divorcing or separating parents.

My parents divorced when I was 14 and said it was for the best. They told me: “Don’t let this affect you.” I saw them struggling with a choice that was obviously painful for them and though it broke my heart when my dad moved out, I did try to not let it affect me. This ensured that the heartbreak would follow me right into adulthood.

You can’t get over something you never went through in the first place. As grown-ups, we don’t want kids to be hurt by our choices. We’re reluctant to admit that our broken vows and failures cause them pain. But when parents’ lives unravel – for any reason (divorce, family illness or death, financial stress) – it affects the kids, even if no one’s throwing dishes across the room or weeping on the couch all day long. Though this may also be happening.

Other divorce books try to make kids feel better about the divorce. Mine supports kids to find out how they feel at all. The truth of their experience is the only thing that matters.

Purchase through the Feminist Press or through your local bookstore.

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About the Author

Anastasia Higginbotham has worked in New York City for 20 years as a speechwriter for social justice organizations.  Her essays have appeared in Ms., Bitch, Glamour, The Sun, The Women’s Review of Books, Women’s Media Center, and in various anthologies, including Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape. She is a 2015 Hedgebrook Fellow. Follow Anastasia on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

Giveaway

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Chose one or more ways to enter:

1. Sign up for email notifications on ChildLifeMommy.com and leave a comment on this post.

2. Facebook: Follow Child Life Mommy and leave a comment on post

3. Twitter: Follow, Like and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy and @OrdTerribleThings

4. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy and @OrdinaryTerribleThings, Like and tag a friend in the post.

Good Luck! The winner will be chosen on 6/11/15

Winner DITW Giveaway