By Beth Andrews
Magination Press, $9.95, 32 pages
How do children learn to cope when a parent has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? Author Beth Andrews gives kids a book that helps them learn about PTSD using nonthreatening, kid-friendly language. Andrews is a licensed social worker and author of two other self-help books for children. She describes what PTSD is, what side effects accompany the disorder, and what kids should and shouldn’t do to help their mom or dad while they work on their recovery. The most important message is that a child’s job is to be a kid, to play, to have friends, and to do their best.
The book is filled with questions and exercises that kids and parents can work through together. The interactive layout allows kids to express their thoughts through writing, drawing, and designing. One page asks kids to draw a picture of themselves with their parent. Another page invites the reader to draw the emotions they are feeling on various faces. Illustrator Katherine Kirkland’s drawings are charming and warm. Former active-duty U.S. Army psychologist and veteran Bret Moore offers advice for using this book to help kids communicate their feelings and emotions that accompany their parents’ PTSD recovery.