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About Me is a creative self-discovery book, designed to engage children in a self-affirming process as they identify and explore their thoughts, feelings, and relationships.
Written by: Lynn Peck and Shelley Whitman
52 Pages, Walsworth Publishing Company, ©1996
The Rainbow Project is an affiliate of this book.
My Mom Went To Jail
A book to help children cope with their parent’s incarceration.
This book is designed to be read to a child by an adult. It can be used with two age groups. The text on the left hand pages is appropriate for 6-10 year-olds; and the shorter, condensed version under the pictures is more suitable for preschoolers.
We deliberately chose not to name the mother’s crime, so the book could be applicable to a wider audience. Our suggestion is to address, in a simple way, a child’s questions about what their particular parent did wrong. For example, “You did hit someone and hurt them. He needs to learn other things to do when he has angry feelings – things that don’t hurt anybody.” Or, “Your mom has a problem with using drugs. The drugs make her do mean things. They make her forget to take care of you. She needs help to stop using them.”
Children may feel blame for their parent’s incarceration. If they were abused by a parent, they may assume it was because they were bad. We’ve tried to counter this common child’s perception and encourage adults reading this book to children to reinforce the idea that children are not bad. They are still learning how to behave and it’s the job of grown-ups to help them. Adults are expected to know how to behave. When they don’t, they need help from other adults. Sometimes they have to go to jail.
It’s important to remember that many children of abusive parents still have positive feelings about their parent, no matter what the parent has done. Children often need to know they can dislike the behavior but still care about the parent.
Written by: Kathleen Hodgkins, MSSW; and Suzanne Bergen, MA
Illustrated by: Lori O’Brien
20 Pages; ISBN 1-931273-00-6; The Rainbow Project, Inc.
Parenting The Young Sexually Abused Child
This manual was developed for use when a child discloses sexual abuse.
This information applies to cases of incest and to sexual abuse outside the family.
You will find that the working of this manual occasionally refers to mothers, because mothers are usually the primary caregivers for their children. It is not our intent to exclude fathers, foster parents, or other caregivers. We wish to recognize all caregivers of children as partners in the healing and recovery process.
The purpose of this manual is to empower you with information. You are encouraged to use some of it or all of it, at your own pace and when you are emotionally ready. In our work with sexually abused children and their families, we are continually reminded of the importance of your involvement in your child’s recovery.
This manual is not intended to replace professional helping services but to assist and support you in the day-to-day role only a caregiver can provide.
Funds that made this manual possible were provided by a grant from the Dane County Commission on Sensitive Crimes. We want to thank members of the Commission on Sensitive Crimes for their support and faith in parents as partners in their child’s healing process.
Written by: Lauri Nichols, MSSW
31 Pages; ISBN 1-931273-02-2; The Rainbow Project, Inc.
Preschooler Sexuality Guide for Parents
This is a manual prepared in conjunction with a workshop training for parents focusing on childhood sexuality and the prevention of sexual abuse among preschoolers.
The manual is appropriate for use by parents without the formal training provided in the workshop.
This PROSTEPPP Parent Guide is for use with the PROSTEPPP curriculum and workshop training on childhood sexuality. The guide is meant to be used as a companion to the Parent Packet. It follows the curriculum outline for easy reference to information from the workshop.
PROSTEPPP was first developed in May 1993, to provide sexuality training and education to parents of preschoolers. A part of that training and education also focused on the prevention of sexual abuse among preschoolers. PROSTEPPP was originally made possible through a prevention grant from the Dane County Youth Commission.
Funds that made the PROSTEPPP Parent Guide possible were provided by a grant from the 1993 Dane County Commission on Sensitive Crimes. We appreciate COSC’s interest and help in making this guide available to PROSTEPPP parents and day care staff.
Written by: Lauri Nichols, MSSW; ©1994
Revised by: Julie Satkamp, MSSW and Suzanne Bergen, MA; ©1996
21 Pages; ISBN 1-931273-04-9; The Rainbow Project, Inc.
The Death Next Door
A story and activity book to help children cope with the death of someone close to them.
Death can be a difficult time for all of us, especially for children. In The Death Next Door, Isaac’s good friend and neighbor, Mr. Miller, dies after being diagnosed with cancer. Although this is difficult for Isaac, he is allowed to participate in his own grieving process, as well as publicly mourn the death of his friend. In the end, he devises a special farewell tribute to Mr. Miller, who taught him about some of the magic in nature.
The purpose of this story and activity book is to help the child integrate the story of Isaac with his/her own experiences involving death. It is designed to be completed primarily by the child, with close help from a trusted grown-up. The hope is that by presenting the tale of Isaac, a young child sharing his experiences with the death of someone close, your child will be able to process what it’s like for him/her in a less threatening manner by discussing some of the feelings that Isaac might be dealing with. In other words, the child can process his/her grief through the fictional character Isaac.
Please don’t think your child needs to participate in each mourning event presented in the text (visitation, funeral, etc.). Instead s/he should be given information about these activities beforehand, and allowed to make his/her own decisions about attending them. If the child does choose to participate in any of these events, s/he will need the help of a trusted grown-up who is willing to offer both information and support. Further, alternative plans should be in place when a child chooses to attend a particular mourning event, but is unable to stay throughout or wants to leave early. Remember, children generally strive to gain the most complete understanding of events that transpire. When not provided information, or not allowed to participate in the formal grieving process, they frequently fill in any gaps in their understanding based on what they do know, believe, or have experienced, which may be somewhat inaccurate.
Each page of text (odd numbered pages) includes two versions of the story. The top portion of the text is most appropriate for 6 to 10+ year-olds, while the bottom portion of the text (below the bold line) is somewhat simplified and condensed, and therefore designed more for the 4 to 5 year-old child. The child’s developmental level should also be considered when determining which version of the text is most appropriate for use with them.
Adjacent to each page of text is an activity for the child to complete to further help integrate the story of Isaac into his/her own experiences. These appear on the even numbered pages. The beginning activities are relatively safe, such as listing things the child enjoys collecting, in hopes of establishing rapport with Isaac. As the story progresses, however, more difficult topics are presented in the activity section, such as what the child thinks or feels about death. There are, however, some safer activities integrated throughout the activity section, so as not to overwhelm the child.
It is recommended that the child’s participation in each activity be completely voluntary. There are certain activities which request the child share his/her work, thoughts, or feelings with a grown-up they trust. You may also need to help the child transcribe his/her thoughts and feelings in these sections, depending on their vocabulary and writing abilities. Overall, the activity book is designed to serve as a springboard, facilitating conversation to promote greater understanding. Also at this time, you will have the opportunity to “customize” the child’s comprehension of death to fit his/her specific cultural or religious values and beliefs. When asked questions by the child, it is most important to answer him/her honestly and directly, normalize feelings, be supportive, and encourage their own grieving process. The emphasis of the activity section is on feelings identification, both through the character in the story, and directly with the child.
Once completed, it is advisable to save The Death Next Door for future reference and enhanced learning for a child who may experience death in the future. In this case, s/he may benefit from reviewing their work regarding a previous death, and from that, gain knowledge that through grieving comes healing. Further, if a child chooses to skip any activities as s/he initially works through the book, s/he may later feel more comfortable, and therefore finish any incomplete sections.
Remember, your ability to be honest and model appropriate reactions/responses to death is integral to how the child works through his/her grief. Further, in order to be most available for your child, you must also have done your own grief work.
Written by: Darren LeCount, MSSW
Illustrated by: Cari Johnson
34 Pages; ISBN 1-931273-01-4; The Rainbow Project, Inc., ©2000
A Problem Solving & Alternatives to Violence Curriculum for Preschool & Primary Age Children
A classroom approach developed for helping preschool to first grade age level children in the art of peacemaking & problem solving.
Prepared using a grant from the Dane County Youth Commission – Madison, Wisconsin
Written by: Sharyl Kato-Nilson, Director; & Kay Phillips, Ph.D.
61 Pages; ISBN 1-931273-05-7; The Rainbow Project, Inc., ©1985