After my own experience with cancer, I discovered a world of nonprofit organizations that help families deal with a cancer diagnosis.
Elephants and Tea is the only magazine written for and by the AYA (adolescents and young adults) cancer community telling their story in their own words. Their mission to hep AYA patients, survivors and caregivers know they are not alone in their fight with cancer.
Living Beyond Breast Cancer is a national nonprofit organization that seeks to create a world that understands there is more than one way to have breast cancer. Their Reading for Reassurance Program distributes books to parents with young kids (including Cancer Party!)
Sharsheret is a Jewish national nonprofit that provides free, confidential, and personalized support to women and families living with or at increased genetic risk for breast or ovarian cancer. Their free Busy Box contains toys based on your children’s ages and interests as well as parenting resources for you.
Young Survival Coalition (YSC) strengthens the community, addresses the unique needs, amplifies the voice and improves the quality of life of young adults affected by breast cancer, locally, nationally and internationally.
Picture books are a great way to teach little kids about divorce. Here are a few of my recommended books for kids about divorce and separation:
What Happens When Parents Get Divorced - This book begins by explaining what divorce is and how it will affect a child's day-to-day life (which is proven to relieve anxiety), and goes on to explain the big feelings divorce and separation might cause.
Have You Filled a Bucket Today? - Giving kids the language to talk about their feelings is invaluable during a divorce. This book uses a simple and vivid analogy you'll return to again and again, whenever your buckets are empty.
The Invisible String - Divorce means being separated from one of your parents, all the time. This book is great for dealing with separation of any kind.
Fred Stays With Me! - When two houses are totally different, transitions are extra hard. This book talks about the differences between Mom & Dad's house, while always bringing it back to one consistent object (in this case, Fred the dog).
Two Homes - Another great book about the differences between houses. One thing is the same in both houses: the child is loved.
In My Heart: A Book of Feelings - Another book to help kids learn and accept their different feelings. This one has the added benefit of being super fun to read - each page has a different cut-out heart.
The Family Book - I big puffy pink heart author/illustrator Todd Parr, and this book about family is one of my favorites! Kids of divorce often feel like their family is different in a negative way. This book talks about all the different types of families, all in a positive light.
Let's Talk About It: Divorce (Mr. Rogers) - Although the images are a bit outdated, this book remains a fantastic choice. This book is direct and to the point: divorce isn't fun, but it isn't your fault, and your parents love you.
When you're going through a divorce, you might vacillate between wanting to read everything on earth and wanting to stick your head in the ground. The only way out is through, and here are some books for adults I found helpful:
Crazy Time: Surviving Divorce and Building a New Life - Healing from divorce comes in stages, and this well-organized book helps you navigate them. It'll give you a new perspective on divorce, and feels both practical and grounding.
Boundaries - In case it's not your thing, I'll warn you that this book has some Christian overtones. However if you can get past that (which I could), this book has some fantastic tips about creating and maintaining healthy boundaries, which is a must when co-parenting.
Co-parenting with a Toxic Ex - Most divorces are toxic in the beginning, so I think this book is helpful for everyone. It'll be extra helpful if you're co-parenting with someone with a personality disorder like Narcissistic Personality Disorder (more common than you might think) or Borderline Personality Disorder.
Splitting - Narcissism is way more common than you might think, and co-parenting with someone who has this personality disorder is impossible. This book offers real-world help, so you can understand how to deal with a narcissist, develop boundaries, and protect yourself and your kids.
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times - Divorce hack: when you allow yourself to feel your pain, it goes away a lot faster. When you avoid it, the pain goes on forever. This book is a great resource and speaks to the spiritual rebirth that divorce can bring.
Transformational Divorce - This workbook is aimed at women, and is full of positivity. It'll help you evaluate what you want out of life now that you have a second chance.
Falling Apart in One Piece - Sometimes reading about someone else's experience can make you feel less alone. I loved this memoir of a woman who entered the world of divorce with a nine month-old baby.
What would you add to this list? Shoot us an email and let us know!
Mighty + Bright is proud to donate 10% of our profits and match every single dollar donated (with no limit) to Resilience Campaign™
to help kids affected by cancer emotionally cope with their diagnosis and treatment. Learn More >