Positive tools for thriving families.

Chicago Tribune interviewed Dr. Maker about children’s fears of racism and terrorism in today’s world. Children are growing up in a very different environment today, as they are surrounded by incidents, news, and conversations related to racism and terrorism. It is difficult for parents and adults to have honest and reassuring conversations with children and teenagers on such complicated and charged topics. Nevertheless, it is important for us to address these issues with children, as kids need to air their questions and fears, or else they will continue to live in worry, confusion, and unknowns.

Chicago Tribune focused on a very important but related topic on specific fears expressed by Muslim children living in the U.S. The socio-political climate of anti-Muslim sentiment amidst fears of terrorism, places Muslim children in a unique position as they may be highly exposed to incidents of bullying and racism and/or may have considerable anxiety about being harassed for being Muslim. Simultaneously, these children may worry about speaking out and expressing their fears and reality, for fear of further rejection and retaliation.

The article and interview highlight important examples of how Muslim children may want to change their Arabic names and hide their religious affiliation for fear of bullying and negative fear based responses. The article also discusses how these children may worry about being deported or not seeing their international family members. Children may or may not bring these questions and incidents up with parents, teachers, and other adults in their lives, as many of us may avoid these difficult issues, not knowing how to respond in safe and assuring ways. The Chicago Tribune article provides some helpful ways that adults and parents can discuss these topics in healthy, child-appropriate ways.

As grown ups, it is our job to make ALL children feel safe, loved, and integrated, no matter what race, culture, and religion they identify with. Schools, parents, teachers, counselors, community leaders, and religious leaders need to take a leadership role and begin open dialogues, safe focus groups, and healing activities with children and teenagers. Teaching tolerance, acceptance, and integration of ALL our innocent children is vital for us to move forward as a community and nation with thriving children from varying cultures and faiths.

 


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  • 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