By Guest Blogger, Melissa Guarnaccia, MSW, LCSW ~ Counselor at Charlotte Preparatory School
During this challenging time of coping with the pandemic, it can be beneficial to look to books for our families to find peace and comfort. I came across one book, The List of Things that Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead, that is especially relevant during times of uncertainty. In this book, Stead does an amazing job capturing some unique things within families that will never change, regardless of family or worldwide events that take place.
Here is an excerpt:
Dad said, “Things are changing, Bea. But there’s still a lot you can count on. Okay? Things that won’t ever change.” This was when they gave me the green spiral notebook and the green pen (my favorite color is green). In the notebook they had made a list. I started to read. Mom loves you more than anything, always. Dad loves you more than anything, always. I uncapped my pen and started to write…”
Amidst all of this change in our lives, it can be reassuring to identify and discuss the things that will remain the same. For example, here are a few things that my children identified in our home that will never change:
– The love that we have for one another
– The fun we have outside
– The sound of our pug snoring under a blanket
The book is recommended for grades 3-7. If you have children younger than this, you can still create a list within your family and reap the rewards of having this discussion. This could be an excellent dinner conversation, an ongoing activity where you place ideas into a jar or even hang up a board to add unwavering things throughout the week.
When identifying stable and secure things within your family unit, you are helping to decrease anxiety for your children. Children are often searching for clues that help them to remember that they are safe and loved. Perspective during this unknown time is very important. We can choose to look at all that is lost, or we can choose to look at the things that remain consistent and strong. When a negative event occurs, remember that it is your response that truly determines how you are able to cope. As Mr. Rogers stated, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother told me to look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Let’s continue to identify and celebrate the positive connections that remain. Let’s always remember to celebrate love.
Melissa Guarnaccia lives in Charlotte with her husband, Adam, and sons Colin and Gray.