This will be a school year unlike any other. It will be embedded in the mind of your youngsters for probably the rest of their lives, for better and worse. Some miss the joy of reuniting with friends and meeting new teachers. Others miss routines that ground them. Some are content staying home and love getting time with family.
These new experiences are bound to bring up a wide range of emotions, even if kids don’t articulate them. Just dealing with technology issues alone requires extreme patience, resilience, and understanding.
Helping your kids develop emotional skills, along with the ability to roll with a sense of humor, will smooth out future bumps in the road before you even get there.
Our collection is full of books about that support, this emotional muscle building and self-care for kids, teens and adults. September Sunday Night stories also features books on the topic throughout September.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you are a positive role model for your kids, which includes accepting yourself and your kids as is, with all the struggles.
For parents, check out our Parenting During COVID Booklist for support navigating this season. Topics cover practical strategies for navigating technology with kids to strategies for developing emotional resilience.
Our Emotional Growth for Young Readers list focuses on picture books with characters and plots that expand reader’s emotional and interpersonal awareness. When Sadness Is At Your Door by Eva Eland and What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada can be used to start discussions with kids about how challenges can teach us about hope and resilience. What Should Danny Do? is a choose your own adventure book focusing on the outcomes of choices the character makes throughout the day.
Looking for a chapter book that falls under that category? Read a book from our Emotional Development Read Alouds list, like Stella Diaz Never Gives Up by Angela Dominguez or Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate.
Books for Emotional Resilience (recommended for ages 10+) includes great read aloud novels with characters who develop and/or demonstrate emotional resilience in complex situations and non-fiction guides. Fish in a Tree by Lynda Hunt and Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper offer narratives about students building their confidence at school.Ghost by Jason Reynolds and One for the Murphys by Lynda Hunt provide models for kids overcoming significant in interpersonal relationships. Mindful Me: Mindfulness and Meditation for Kids provides practical guidance for those looking for straight forward emotional and mental health strategies.
The De-stress for Success Teen Booklist features practical guides and non-fiction stories about individuals overcoming stress to find hope and resilience. From confidence building strategies in The Self-Esteem Habit for Teens: 50 Simple Ways to Build Your Confidence Every Day by Lisa Schab to advice on re-wiring stress responses in Be Mindful and Stress Less: 50 Ways to Deal with Your (Crazy) Life by Gina Biegel, this booklist offers resources for teens looking to strengthen their mental health in this season.
In all of this, remember that at any age, caregiver and other adult engagement around the reading of these books will make their impact even more powerful. And don’t forget to take care of yourself.