Children’s Book Helps Families to Cope with Sadness
The Children’s Book Review
Published: February 21, 2012
Author Translates Personal Struggles into a Tender Tale of Mutual Understanding
BOSTON – A parent is supposed to comfort their child when they are sad, wipe away their tears and tell them that everything is going to be alright. But what happens when the parent is the one who is crying?
When My Mommy Cries by Crystal Godfrey LaPoint is a unique children’s book to help parents talk with children about sadness. The semi-autobiographical tale is told through the eyes of a little girl trying to understand her mother’s chronic depression. Through mutual understanding and respect, the mother and daughter are able to confront the sadness and focus on the love that prevails.
Designed as a communication tool, the book enables parents to provide comfort and support to their children when trying to understand sadness and grief.
“The book allows parents to take the issue out of their own experiences and reflect it through the characters,” says LaPoint. “It’s a way to express love, support and reassurance during tough times without having to focus on the source of grief directly.”
The child of a depressed mother and victim of depression herself, LaPoint incorporates her own experiences with sadness and its affect on family dynamics into the book.
“There are a staggering number of children whose parents are wrestling with this ‘invisible disability,’” says LaPoint. “These children are confused, frightened, lonely and helpless, and their parent’s own feelings of shame and despair render them without the resources necessary to help their children navigate these challenges.”
Readers can also experience the message through song, with a musical CD located in the back of the book. An accomplished composer, LaPoint translated the story into a touching song to enhance and amplify the poignancy of the story, and to remove the potential emotional burden for parents of reading the book aloud.
LaPoint hopes that the book will help to foster understanding and allow families to create an open dialogue about grief and depression.
“The powerful stigma attached to depression in our society silences so many of its victims,” says LaPoint. “It’s important that I do my part to help break that silence and hold up a model of informed compassion. This book gives a beautiful purpose and meaning to the sadness I’ve endured in my own life by transforming it into a resource to help countless others who have shared my experiences.”
Crystal Godfrey LaPoint is an accomplished composer and artist. For over three decades she has suffered from the dark legacy of depression. A survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault, Crystal is now a tireless advocate for survivors of relationship violence and for destigmatizing mental illness. She currently resides in Fitchburg, Massachusetts with her husband.
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