Lulu Faces Loss and Finds Encouragement: Children’s Book Spotlight and Giveaway

You know how much I love adding new resources to support children coping with life’s challenges. I’m so excited to introduce a newly published children’s book, Lulu Faces Loss and Finds Encouragement, written and illustrated by Danica Thurber. This book is a great tool for caregivers, child life specialists, and therapists helping children understand and cope with terminal illness and loss. 

Guest Blogger, Danica Thurber

Eight-year-old Lulu loves her Grandma. But after getting sick with cancer, Grandma can’t go outside and play with Lulu. She has to stay in bed. 

Soon, Grandma gets very weak and loses her hair. Lulu and mom visit Grandma every day they can. In school, Lulu learns how “encouragement” can help people find hope and gain strength. She begins to make and find small “gifts of encouragement” to help Grandma smile. 

Little did she know that Lulu, mom, and grandpa would all need to encourage each other once Grandma was gone.

Helping Children Cope

Give children a way to creatively express their thoughts and emotions about death and grief.

Follow along with Lulu as she navigates her first major loss, and then walks through the first few months of grief, finding support and encouragement along the way. 

Based on the author’s own experience of childhood loss, parents and caretakers will find this book a great support in engaging children in difficult conversations about cancer, hospice, death, and grief.

Best for: Grades K-3

BONUS material inside: instructions for a CRAFT PROJECT just like Lulu makes in the book!

Purchase your paperback or a digital copy on Amazon today.

Learn more at ProjectGrief.org and follow on Instagram and Facebook.

Author Bio

Danica Thurber is an artist, children’s book author, and certified Therapeutic Art Life Coach. At the age of 12, she began to use art as a mode of therapeutic self-expression, following the sudden death of her father. Danica and her husband live in beautiful Boise, ID. They share a love for art, a passion to help people, and a deep adoration for Midnight, their little black cat. “Lulu Learns Encouragement: A Gift to Share In Times of Loss” is her first published children’s book.

Testimonials

“This beautifully, uncomplicated, and simply stated book is beyond precious in every way. As a mom who has lost a child, explaining grief and ways to help my other young son was a difficult process but this book explains how to encourage those who are grieving in a wonderful way. It truly is a sweet and loving sentiment from any adult to any child. It completely resonates with my life and it will be a permanent addition to our bookshelf!”  

– Vee Anstey

As a teacher, I would certainly add this book to a classroom set for elementary students! Featuring a diverse cast of characters and with a focus on empathy for other people, the story is perfectly set up as a read-aloud, age-appropriate discussion, and includes a practical follow-up activity that empowers kids to take initiative and reach out to others around them who are experiencing illness or loss. 

– Lane (School teacher)

We will be giving away a copy of Lulu Faces Loss and Finds Encouragement 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 a friend.
  3. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy and @ProjectGriefArt tag two friends in the post.
  4. Twitter: Follow, Like, and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy.

Good luck, the winner will be chosen by 11/16/20.

Family Food Storage: Why Your Family Should Have a Garden

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Guest Blogger, Lizzie Weakley

If you want to eat as healthy as possible while teaching the family about responsibility, then consider growing a garden in the yard. The garden is a way for you to monitor what your family eats. It can also turn a bit of a profit if you grow enough vegetables and other types of produce.

Lower Grocery Bill
If you’ve shopped at a grocery store lately, then you know that fresh produce has a high price tag. When you plant a garden, you can get seeds at a low price, growing vegetables and fruits at a fraction of the price that you would spend at the grocery store. When you aren’t spending money on these items with the regular grocery bill, you’ll start to see a drop in how much you spend each month.

Safety
When you have your own garden, you will know what materials are used to make it grow. You could simply plant the seeds in the ground and rely on the sun along with your water source to make the seeds grow, but there is another option. Companies like Nature Safe have fertilizers that are safe for the environment as well as the products that you grow. This allows you to have fresh items that are free of the chemicals that are sometimes used on items that you get in the grocery store. Since there is a lack of pesticides and other chemicals, you’ll be doing the health of the family a favor.

Teaching About Nature
Your children can help in every aspect of the garden. They can create rows for the garden and plant the seeds. This is a good time to teach them about nature and how plants grow with the help of the sun, water and bees. While they are learning about nature, children can also learn about healthy living. These are ideas that they can carry on to their adulthood, passing down gardening traditions and techniques to their own children.

Always Have Food

When you have a garden, you will usually have a food source, even when you can’t get to the grocery store. As the produce comes in, you can store the items by canning them. This will allow you to keep a substantial amount of food for months ahead. You could also sell some of the produce that you have to make a little extra money for the family.

A garden is ideal for teaching and maintaining life. It’s a way for everyone to learn about the safety of growing produce and how it can be good for the body. You’ll also be able to save money that would be spent on expensive items at the grocery store.

The Ripple Effects of Mindfulness and Meditation

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I recently completed a six-week course of mindfulness and meditation at my children’s pediatric wellness center. I went into it with some knowledge of the practice and the benefits that it can bring to people, but not really knowing how to incorporate it fully into my life. My ultimate goal was to deepen my learning experience and also teach it to my family and the children that I work with in my practice.

The workshop was led by Cory Muscara from the Long Island Center for Mindfulness.  He was incredibly helpful in breaking down the theory, how to practice different types of meditation and how to realistically weave it into your life. He gave us daily homework to practice guided meditation, self-reflect and increase our awareness of the present moment.

All three may sound easy to do, but it was a challenge because our brains are wired to constantly think, plan, judge, and move at a high-speed. We are also juggling the emotions that are tied to our thoughts, such as anger, guilt, and anxiety. It makes sense that so many people have a hard time navigating through life, especially if they don’t have the coping tools to stay calm, think clearly and communicate effectively.

In a matter of six weeks, I could see a drastic change in my life. My interpersonal relationships were much stronger than they were before. I was able to articulate my thoughts and feelings with my family calmly (especially during those intense parenting moments) and also became a more active listener to their needs.

I was able to disconnect from chaotic thoughts that would typically trigger stress and anxiety and reconnect with emotions of stillness and confidence. I was also able to strengthen my techniques of child-centered play with the clients in my practice and teach coping strategies based on mindfulness to the kids and parents.

I think it is wonderful to see the trend of adults practicing mindfulness and meditation, but I am really excited to see that educators, parents, and healthcare professionals are incorporating it with children.

Here are a few children’s books on mindfulness and meditation that I have started to use with my kids and the families in my child life practice.

Master of Mindfulness: How to Be Your Own Superhero in Times of Stress  

Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda

Moody Cow Meditates

Peaceful Piggy Meditation

Puppy Mind 

The Lemonade Hurricane: A Story of Mindfulness and Meditation

Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercise for Kids (and Their Parents)

What Does it Mean to be Present? 

Have you thought about incorporating mindfulness and meditation into your life?