Positive tools for thriving families.

Help The Kid Witnesses of the Alexandria Attack… and the Hundreds of Others

Posted by Dr. Maker on June 19th, 2017

Our heartfelt sympathies and thoughts are with the families who survived and witnessed the Alexandria attack last week. As we know, children were playing in the playground nearby when the attack occurred. We can help the kid witnesses of the Alexandria attack in many ways. Parents, teachers, counselors and other caretakers can talk to the children about what happened in simple and reassuring ways. We can ask the kids if they have any questions and feelings about what happened. We… Read More


The Manchester and London Bridge Attacks: Helping Kids Cope With a Traumatic Death

Posted by Dr. Maker on June 5th, 2017

We express our deepest sympathies to the families and communities who have lost loved ones in the recent Manchester and London Bridge attacks. In the wake of these attacks, and the increase in global terrorism and violence, it is imperative that we utilize positive tools in helping kids cope with a traumatic death, as they process, understand, and express their related anxiety, fear, loss, and confusion. Although parents try to shelter their children, kids are often victims or witnesses of violence,… Read More


Teen Suicide: Prevention is Key

Posted by Dr. Maker on May 9th, 2017

We express our deepest sympathies to the family who lost their son recently at Torrey Pines High School in San Diego, CA. The community is grieving with the family, and parents, clinicians, and educators are working hard to map the steps to teen suicide awareness and prevention. In 2014, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention stated that suicide was the second leading cause of death for children between the ages of 10-24 years. Suicide continues to be a significant… Read More


Child-Centered Divorce Network Praises ‘Family Changes’ Book

Posted by Dr. Maker on January 24th, 2017

Image by Precious Little One The founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network, Rosalind Sedacca, praises Family Changes: Explaining Divorce To Children, as an “outstanding book“. Ms. Sedacca states: “Family Changes: Explaining Divorce to Children is a new book written by Azmaira Maker, Ph.D. As founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network, I am often sent new books on family changes for children. I always look forward to reading them, hoping they will have the tone, voice, message and visuals that convey what… Read More


January is ‘Divorce Month’: Tips To Protect Your Kids.

Posted by Dr. Maker on January 17th, 2017

January has been tagged as ‘Divorce Month‘ in both the U.S. and the U.K., given the unusually high number of calls to attorneys and therapists during this month. The Huffington Post, The Guardian, and the Independent hypothesize that the stressors of the holidays, travel, family time, and financial tensions create significant conflict between partners, which could lead to high volume divorce inquiries. KIDS ARE RESILIENT Although divorce can be stressful for young children, kids are resilient and adaptive, and the research demonstrates that most… Read More


In Memory of Sandy Hook: Help Support Kids Coping With A Traumatic Death

Posted by Dr. Maker on December 14th, 2016

Today is the fourth anniversary of the Sandy Hook School shooting. It is with much sadness that we remember this day and event, and we offer our heartfelt sympathies to the families and the community who lost their loved children and family members. Since the Sandy Hook shooting, 160 schools have experienced a school shooting. The Brady Campaign also reports that one in five kids and teens in the U.S. has witnessed a shooting. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that gun… Read More


Tips and Tools To Keep The Holidays Joyful For The Kids.

Posted by Dr. Maker on November 21st, 2016

As the holidays approach, it is important for parents (married or divorced) to be mindful of the multiple accompanying stressors, and the need to keep the holidays joyful and peaceful for the kids. This article provides tips and tools to help parents minimize conflicts in the hopes of allowing kids to be kids in a happy home environment. Unfortunately, the first Monday after the holidays is marked as “Divorce Day’ and January as the “Divorce Month” in both the U.S. and… Read More


Protecting Children from Divorce Tug-of-Wars: Ten Golden Rules

Posted by Dr. Maker on September 26th, 2016

Tips for protecting children from divorce tug-of-wars. Approximately 40-50% of couples end up in divorce in the United States (CDC; Washington Post, 2014), and approximately 1.5 million children are affected by divorce each year (Scientific American, 2013). Research has demonstrated that divorce can contribute to significant consequences in children, including anger, depression, anxiety, school and social difficulties, and even changes in long-term attitudes towards marriage and divorce (Fidler and Bala, 2010; Kinsfogel and Grych, 2004; Johnston, 1994; Grych and Fincham,… Read More


Tips and Tools On How To Still Be A Great Parent When Coping with Depression

Posted by Dr. Maker on September 19th, 2016

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), depression is one of the most common mental health issues in the U.S. If you have struggled with depression, know that you are not alone. It is estimated that 1 in 10 Americans struggle with depression at some point in their lives. If you are a mother, it is important to recognize that women have higher rates of depression, and are twice as likely to struggle with depression compared to men of the… Read More


How Are We Explaining to Young Kids What Just Happened in Orlando?

Posted by Dr. Maker on June 14th, 2016

How are we explaining to young kids what just happened in Orlando?  Another senseless tragedy has occurred, this time in Orlando, and our deepest sympathies go out to all the families who have lost loved ones and the Orlando community. As I watch the news and read the papers, I keep asking myself, what about the kids? How are the children in Orlando being impacted? Who is talking to them? Who is explaining to them what just happened in Orlando?… Read More

  • Exceptional, impressive, thoroughly 'kid friendly' from beginning to end, "Family Changes: Explaining Divorce to Children" should be a part of every community library Parenting Studies collections. For families with young children who are having to deal with divorce, "Family Changes: Explaining Divorce to Children" will prove to be an invaluable and instructive aid.

    Editor in Chief - Midwest Book Review

  • Those of us parenting, working with, or caring for children experiencing divorce will welcome Family Changes as a unique, positive, and creative resource for helping children understand and cope with this complicated transition. The comprehensive note to adults effectively explains how children work through painful questions and feelings. The touching story—with the endearing Zoey and her attempt to understand a very grown up topic—ends with extremely helpful follow up questions that will be highly valued by parents, child advocates, therapists, and others who wish to better serve children during this difficult time. I highly recommend this book to parents and professionals.

    Sacha Coupet, Ph.D., J.D. Clinical Psychologist and Associate Professor of Family Law, Loyola University, Chicago, IL

  • Family Changes: Explaining Divorce to Children is an outstanding book that is gentle, positive, and validating for both children and adults. With an excellent and informative parent guide about the value of talking to children about their feelings, a highly sensitive and engaging story with exquisite illustrations, and an effective list of questions that children typically ask, this book is essential reading for divorcing families, and for therapists and advocates working with children of divorce.

    Sandra A. Graham-Bermann, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of Michigan

  • Family Changes is an inspiring and exceptional book on divorce. It explains divorce in a developmentally appropriate and comforting language that validates children's complex feelings about divorce. Dr. Maker's expertise and years of experience working with children who are coping with the grief and confusion that often accompany divorce shine through in every page. I highly recommend this book to divorcing parents, schools, libraries, and professionals working with children of divorce.

    Martha Crowe, M.A. Child Development, Institute for Public Health, San Diego State University, CA

  • Dr. Maker has brought us this excellent child-centric educational book about how to navigate the changes of a family undergoing divorce. Dr. Maker takes us through this experience from the child's point of view and shares the gift of positive transformation that can occur during this life-changing time. The illustrations are sublime and the topic is handled so gently and ingeniously. Of course, it is written by a child psychologist with the gift of creativity. It's a book that every child therapist, library, school, and families going through a divorce should have on their shelves.

    Krista Royabal, M.D., Psychiatrist, Executive Medical Director, True Life Center for Wellbeing, CA

  • Based on the typical emotional turbulence a child feels from separation or divorce, Family Changes receives high recommendation as the first title that adults should turn to in the effort to explain, explore, and support a child's feelings in the matter, concluding with a list of 'process questions' which adults can use to further enhance the story line's overall approach.

    CA Bookwatch/Donovan’s Literary Services/Recommended Reading

  • The story touches on several key issues that children worry about - will their parents still love them, will they have two homes now, did they somehow cause the divorce, etc. The book also opens with a straightforward Note to Adults and ends with a list of questions that adults can discuss with children. Often books that do a good job of explaining divorce and separation are so focused on the child's point-of-view, that they don't offer any advice for the parents, caregivers, and teachers that are trying to help the child makes sense of it all. Family Changes avoids that problem and gives good guidelines for adults. I would recommend this book to parents and other family members, educators, and counselors.

    NetGalley Reviews/The Fairview Review - Librarian

  • This story is filled with little moments that reflect the nature of children perfectly. If you need to explain what it means to be divorced or separated to your child then this is one of the best ways to do that. The book is filled with relatable emotions and questions that a lot of children will have if their family is going through a separation. Dr. Maker’s years of experience are evident in the story as she masterfully addresses many common concerns for children experiencing a divorce in their family.

    The Littlest Bookshelf