How do you approach difficult subjects with your kids? It can be hard to find just the right vocabulary to use for young kids so that they will fully comprehend what you want them to know. It can also be hard to know just how much information to give - not too much for them to handle but not so little that they don't get the full picture of what is happening.
I like to find a good book on whatever difficult subject I need to discuss with my child. The book helps me in several ways. If I pick a book that I know is age-appropriate, then I know just how much information I should be giving. I can just follow the book's lead. Also, sometimes picture books can convey information to kids in a way that just talking can't, especially a book with great illustrations.
The topic of refugees is a tough one. I think it is important for my kids to understand that there are people in the world right now who are going through the horrific experience of losing their homes and families, who are having to start their lives over in a foreign land every day. They need to know to show these people compassion and friendship. At the same time, I find it hard to, in a sense, break their innocence bubble. I wish the world wasn't such a tough place and that they could stay blissfully unaware that evil exists. But that can't happen. It's my job to teach these little minds to be world citizens.
If you are like me, and you want to teach your kids about the hard life of a refugee but also don't want to have the story be too much, too scary, too violent, then Lost and Found Cat by Amy Shrodes and Dough Kuntz is a great book for you.
The family in this story must leave their home in Iraq because it has become too dangerous. They cannot bring too many personal belongings because they will have to carry them on their long journey, but they can't bear to leave their beloved pet cat, Kunkush, behind. They hide him in a basket and do their best to keep him hidden and quiet. When the family makes it to Greece, Kunkush escapes from the basket, and they can't find him before they must leave on a bus for the next leg of their journey. Volunteers help the family to find Kunkush and reunite him with his family.