‘Preventing Sibling Rivalry’ from Anne Cawood’s Book, “Children need Boundaries.”

Preventing Sibling Rivalry

1)    Allow feelings

 Remember that feelings are acceptable but behaviour is often not. Try and look underneath the behaviour to what the primary emotion is. Children often have ambivalent feelings that they cannot put into words what they are feeling.

E.g. Older sibling loves his/her younger sibling and was excited for her to come into the world/family but also feels angry with the sibling for taking away parental attention. The older sibling hits the younger sibling.

Parental response: I can see you feel confused about “younger sibling,” but he/she is not for hitting just because you feel angry with him/her.

2)    Avoid Comparisons

 Sometimes it is very difficult to avoid comparing siblings e.g. “Look how beautifully your sister is sitting!” or “Why can’t you clean up your room like your brother?” I think many parents believe that comparing children will motivate them to achieve more, however it usually does exactly the opposite.

A child then often builds up feelings of resentment and feels like he/she is not good enough, or nothing he/she does is good enough. Instead of comparing siblings – merely set the boundaries with the child. For example, “I need you to sit quietly and to stop fidgeting” or “Please clean up your room before lunch.” (Leave out the reference to the sibling, or how well the other sibling is doing it).

3)    Avoid Roles

 Try not to assign roles to children in the family e.g. “She is my little musician”, or “He is the athlete in the family”, or “She is the academic one.” Often children will try to live up to these roles and get very disappointed when they cannot perform well etc.

Even very challenging children have a good side, and it is important not to cast them in the role of the ‘bad one’ because this is how they will see themselves and behave accordingly. They may also have a great deal of anger towards the ‘good child.’


4)    Avoid Favouritism

 It is important to not show favouritism in the family – and to explain that you love siblings the same amount but in different ways. For example, you may compare one sibling to being a square, and another sibling to being a triangle… they are both the same size… and they both fit into your heart… but that they are different and that you love them for different things (You can specify these things to them too).


5)    Avoid Subjective Reaction

 It is very important to respond firmly and calmly to behaviour (and not to over-react, use names/labels or compare siblings).

You need to state the rule firmly, for example: “The rule is that we don’t hurt people.”


Coping with negative sibling behaviour:


  • Do not make it your problem if it need not be
  • Remain focused on the problem behaviour
  • Maintain objectivity
  • Ensure that the rule-breaker takes the consequences for choosing to break the rule (e.g. thinking chair)
  • Use the incident as a focus for problem solving

Parenting Advice for Structure/Routine/Security

Please see some great articles below (from the Supernanny website) – with great ideas for creating routine and structure in your home…….

Agree to Disagree…

It’s happened a hundred times before: you assume one thing is acceptable and your partner assumes the opposite. You wonder: why is he punishing the kids for that? Why is he ignoring that bad behaviour? And why can’t he see my point of view?Ultimately, the reality of relationships is that not all differences are resolvable.

Most of us learn how to be parents and how to be partners from our parents. We see how they did it, make decisions about whether it was good or bad, right or wrong, and then adjust our parenting and relationship skills accordingly. So if you grew up in a house where mum did all the discipline and dad was the laid back one, and if it never did you any harm, chances are you’ll do the same. Conversely, if your dad was a strict, authoritative, even cruel disciplinarian, you may decide that discipline is best left to mothers who have a softer touch.

When couples disagree on fundamental issues about family life, such as discipline and division of responsibility, they often make the mistake of trying to establish who is right and who is wrong. But more often than not, there is no right and wrong. If your family history is different from your partner’s, then you first need to accept that neither of you has a moral upper hand. Once you can accept this, you can stop arguing about what the other one ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ do and focus instead on what the two of you can do together to compromise.

The following tips can help you reach that compromise….

Find a common goal

Often when we’re stuck in the thick of an argument we forget that underneath the differences lies a common goal. You’re parents together, you love your children and you both want what’s best for them. On top of that you undoubtedly want a harmonious family environment and a relationship that’s fun and rewarding. Remember that both of you are working in the same direction – you might just have different routes for getting there.

Agree to disagree

Differences of opinion are inevitable. Rather than trying to convince your partner to share your point of view, accept that you’re different and you’re each entitled to see life through a different lens.

Develop a compromise

Having agreed that you share the same common goal and you’re each entitled to your opinion, sit down together and work out how you can move forward. Take time for each of you to share your perfect scenario then discuss the points that are essential and those that are arbitrary. For example, you may agree that you will support your partner in ensuring your child eats at the table, even though it’s not important to you, in exchange for your partner supporting you in making your child tidy away toys. And you may agree to give up on making sure the washing up is done before bedtime in exchange for him reading the bedtime story three times a week. What’s important is that you negotiate and compromise so that neither of you feels that you’re sacrificing any more than the other.

Pre-empt arguments

Many couples find there are particular flashpoints during the day when they’re most likely to argue. Typically this is first thing in the morning when everyone’s rushing to get out of the house or at mealtimes or children’s bedtimes. If this is the case then plan ahead how you can avoid this happening. Learn the argument triggers. It could be something as simple as your partner raising a disapproving eye-brow or always sighing when you ask them to do something. Discuss these triggers with your partner and agree how to eliminate them.

Stop arguments fast

If you’ve got into the habit of arguing over the same old things time after time, then it will be easy to slip into those old routines – even after you’ve reached a compromise. Remember to give each other the benefit of the doubt and gently remind each other that you’ve agreed a new approach. Some couples find it useful to set a code-word. When one of you uses the code word you agree to a time-out until you’ve both calmed down.

If all the above fails…..

For some couples there are hidden pay-offs for continuing to argue. It may be that are resentments much deeper than the surface things that you argue about, but rather than face these issues you bicker about safer things. The main issue may be something that happened in the past or an ongoing problem that has become too difficult to talk about. Arguing about something else allows you both to air your feelings, but avoid talking about the problem. The only way to stop this destructive cycle is to address the deeper issue.

Benefits of a Routine

Research suggests that children whose families follow a daily routine may be healthier, better behaved and could even perform better at school. Just having dinner together every night helps a family get to know each other, and a bedtime routine is essential for build a good sleep pattern in your child.

 Whilst set times for waking, meals, shared chores, bath, TV time and bedtime might fill you with horror, with the right routine you could find you use your time more productively. Your child will find structured family life reassuring and, just as with House Rules, it’s easier to function as a whole when everyone knows what’s expected of them.

You don’t have to write it up and stick it on the fridge, but this will help if you are hoping to engage your children in the routine. Otherwise, take a quiet moment to write out the ideal routine for your family and commit it to memory.

How to set up a routine:

  • Start to build the routine around the times people wake, eat and sleep.
  • Be realistic and allow enough ‘dither time’ for your children to wash and dress, especially if this is new for them.
  • Add in extras to the routine which you know your family needs; chore time, one-to-one time if you have more than one child, homework time and any out of school clubs or classes for older children.
  • Pay close attention to night time: if bags are packed, sports stuff is ready, school clothes are laid out and water bottles filled there’ll be less to do in the morning. School age children can help with all of these things. You could even set up a specific Bedtime Routine.
  • If you can, remember to rotate duties with your partner, especially the bedtime routine as this will increase your child’s trust in both Mum and Dad.
  • Get as much input as you can from your family and talk it through with other carers. A routine which works for everyone will be much easier to stick to.
  • If there’s one activity, like toothbrushing, which is a nightly sticking point, set up a Reward Chart to deal with it, or add this chore to your child’s existing chart.
  • When you first start the routine, talk your family through every step (even if you’re tired of the sound of your own voice). Within a few weeks, your child could be reminding you ‘Seven o’clock, Mum, you should be reading me a story!’

     House Rules

    How many adults can put their hands on their heart and say they love living by rules? But, as restrictive as it might sound, putting some House Rules in place for your children could make your home environment more relaxing – at last the kids know exactly what is expected of them, with no more ‘that’s not fair!’ or ‘but Dad lets us do it!’

    House Rules can be pretty general, such as ‘no shouting’ or ‘no swearing’. What’s important is that everyone in the house agrees to stick to them. Individual discipline problems, such as bad behaviour at mealtimes, might be better dealt with in a Reward Chart, which tailors a programme of rules more to the child or children.

    Giving House Rules a try in your home

    • Decide on ten realistic rules which you and your child agree you can stick to.
    • Write the rules out and stick them on your fridge for all to see, near the Reward Chart. Use pictures or symbols for younger children. Try to write your expectations in a positive way where possible, for example, ‘everyone must speak politely’ instead of ‘no swearing’; and  ‘put toys in box at the end of the day’ instead of ‘don’t make a mess’.
    • Refer to these rules when you’re going about your daily routine, and remember to praise your children when they do follow the House Rules.
    • Be consistent, if you change the rules your child may feel cheated and break them.
    • If a rule is broken, remind your child what it is – “remember, ‘no swearing’ is one of our house rules”, or you might consider some form of discipline, for example the ”Thinking Chair”

    By using this technique you are sending a message loud and clear to all the family: these are the boundaries, don’t cross them!

    The Reward Chart

    Positive attention and praise are the most effective rewards for good behaviour because they reinforce good behaviour on the spot and help a child make the connection between what you are saying and what they’ve just done.

    Use the Reward Chart to award stickers for good behaviour, and when your child has collected enough stickers to get them to the top of the chart, you can reward them with a treat or an outing (maybe even of their own choosing). When your child misbehaves, remove a sticker from the chart. Tell them why you are doing this, so they understand there are consequences for their bad behaviour.

    Reward Chart or Reward Tower?

    After five or ten stickers, the parents should give a final goal or reward to aim for, like an outing. With a large family, each child could have their own chart. Alternatively, a joint chart might help combat sibling rivalry as the kids will have to work together to achieve a common goal. Older children might appreciate something a little different from their younger siblings; a reward tower or jar given to the child with three marbles already inside and the chance to earn more marbles with good behaviour followed by a treat of their choice when the jar is full. Try to avoid using sugary treats or other food as a reward – outings are the best (and healthiest)  option.

    The Reward Chart should have specific categories written on it (using pictures or symbols for younger children) such as ‘a clean plate’, ‘a tidy room’, and the child will be given a sticker, token or coupon whenever they achieve these goals. Reward towers are more flexible, rewarding the older child when they respond well to a situation, and working in conjunction with the House Rules.

     How do I make a Reward Chart?

    If the idea of making your own really fills you with dread, there’s a range of individual or family reward charts available to buy, for boys and girls of all ages which integrate coupon, credit and sticker systems.

    Better yet, get creative and develop a chart based on something your child or children love, make it with them and mutually decide on the rewards to be made available when targets are hit. Remember to cover your chart in sticky-back plastic or get it laminated so that you can re-use the chart and peel the stickers off as well as put them on!

    If your children are sharing the chart, tailor it to work for older children, and think about the areas where your children are finding it difficult to work together.

    Ideas for Reward Charts

    • Use One to One Bonding as a reward, so that the child can get some alone-time with each parent.

    Make one-to-one time for each other

    When brothers and sisters fight constantly it can be upsetting for them and a noisy nightmare for you. It could help for them to get more alone-time with you…

    All children benefit from individual attention from their parents, but as a family you may need to schedule individual time with each other to help you bond as a unit. You may find that the dominant child responds well to having structured ‘Mum and Dad time’ in place, too.

    How the technique works:

    • Fit one-to-one time into your Family Routine two or three days a week.
    • If you have two or more children, tell each child that they will have twenty minutes to do whatever they want with you; then it will be their brother or sister’s turn. Use a clock that is visible to everyone to prove this is fair, and mark twenty minutes on the clock with a sticker for younger children
    • Start with the youngest child the first time, then the oldest the next time. If one of the other children interrupts, make it clear that you are not playing with them at the moment and use a reward system if necessary.
    • Once the twenty minutes is up, gently but firmly tie up your activity and move on to the next child.

    Engaging fussy eaters

    This technique could help engage fussy eaters, or older children who need some encouragement, to try something new. It also teaches basic nutritional requirements for the body and works on the same principle as other Reward Charts.

    How it works: the Placemat Reward Chart

    • Cut out a circle of cardboard large enough that there will be an edge around the child’s plate. Colour four sections which represent the basic food groups of protein, carbohydrate, fruit and vegetables. Laminate or cover in sticky-back plastic. Buy packs of little round stickers in each of these four colours.
    • Agree on a list of privileges (a big cuddle from mum, a healthy snack, a favourite TV show) which your child is working towards if they eat one whole portion, two whole portions, and so on. Write the list up and stick it on the fridge door.
    • Every time your child takes a bite of something from her plate, she can take a sticker of the corresponding colour to stick around the outer edge of the mat.
    • Praise her every step of the way and think ahead to ways of praising a whole portion, then a whole plateful!

    Involve your children in everyday activities

    You probably already do something like this with your younger children, especially when you’re caring for them from home. The Involvement Technique works by getting your child to help you in an activity (‘Could you help me fold this t-shirt?’ ‘Where does this toy live when we tidy up?’).

    A more structured version of this method can help in situations where your attention is diverted and which trigger attention-seeking behaviour in your child, like aggressive shouting or tantrums. The supermarket is a classic example of this kind of situation, or when you’re trying to get dinner on the table. This technique gives you the tools to set aside the attention children need, whilst building their independence and responsibility – and allows you to get chores done!

    Chores can be fun

    Small children haven’t had time to get bored with cleaning, folding, sorting, fetching, carrying and tidying yet, so take advantage of this, give them a clean cloth and heap on the praise when they do a good job.

    Older children can also be drawn in to what you’re doing. Choose an activity where you’ll be occupied doing something else, such as a trip to the supermarket or preparing dinner.

    • Make a shopping list together with your child, and write down (or find pictures of, for younger children) eight or ten items which are on your list.
    • Stick these words or pictures on a board and get him to choose some of them before you leave.
    • Once you’re at the supermarket, he can find the articles stuck to his board, getting a point on his Reward Chart if he helps younger siblings do the same.
    • Getting brothers and sisters to work together

      • Choose an activity which can accommodate all your children, like washing the car or cleaning out the fish tank.
      • Give each of the children an area to clean (like car windows for older children and wheels for the little ones) or a duty to perform (one child cleans the fish tank whilst the other rinses the plants and stones). Praise them when they work together to get the job done.
      • Supervise their work and make sure all the children are taking part and taking turns.
      • Once they’re finished and packed up, do something as a family, praising them when they keep up the good behaviour

        The Shared Play Technique

        Larger families, especially with siblings close in age, will be familiar with the constant squabbling and fighting between them. This technique encourages team play, allowing brothers and sisters to benefit and to communicate with each other without arguing.

        Getting brothers and sisters to play together

        • Organise a game which will challenge older as well as younger children, one which has a goal to work towards but doesn’t have an obvious winner or loser (see examples below).
        • Sit down with them and explain the rules, telling them that good teamwork will get them to a goal which they can all enjoy. Try to avoid giving the lead role to the dominant sibling.
        • If you’re concentrating on building sibling relationships, you’ll already have a family Reward Chart. Let them know they will earn a reward point for working well together, too.
        • Supervise the game and make sure all the children are taking part and taking turns. Praise them at every turn and try not to react to minor mishaps!

Helping Children with Feelings

1) To help children with their feelings:


Acknowledge their feelings with a word – “Oh” … “Mmmm…. I see.”

Give their feelings a name e.g. You’re so mad!

Use fantasy e.g. You wish you could find the right toy….

Try to stick to reflecting a child’s feelings – and try not to give advice or to solve the child’s problem. They want to be understood in the way that they feel.

Imagine you are a mirror and you are copying or “mirroring” your child (much like an observer). Try and describe what you SEE and try and imagine what feeling is under what you are seeing.

For example: Your child is playing in the sandpit at home. You tell him/her not to throw sand at the other children, and he/she decides to throw sand at you.

Your response: “I know you are angry…. But I am not for throwing sand at…. You can throw it in the sandpit or in the bucket.” (Your tone of voice is very important here, you need to be firm – not in a way that will frighten a child – but in a way that they will take notice of what you are saying).

Do not shout at the child as this will be seen as “attacking” and they will probably not take on board what you are saying. Also try not to threaten the child e.g. “If you don’t stop throwing sand at the children – we will be going home and we wont come back again!” (This again will only frighten children and make them more anxious).

Giving an alternative is a great way for them to do something but in a safe way (e.g. throwing the sand in the sandpit or in the bucket is better than a child throwing sand at other children).


A – Acknowledge the feeling (e.g. angry, frustrated, excited etc.)
L – Set the limit (e.g. I am not for hitting, I am not for throwing sand at or the floor is not for throwing paint at etc.)
T – Target an alternative (e.g. You can throw the sand in the sandpit or in the bucket) – a “safer” option.

If the child does not stop the behaviour (e.g. Throwing sand at you) – You can say “I know you are mad at me… but if you don’t stop throwing sand at me – when we go home I will put you on the thinking chair) – use “thinking chair” instead of naughty step and try not to call their behaviour “naughty.” Remember to always acknowledge how they are feeling first before telling them what will happen.

Lastly, when you get home (if they didn’t stop throwing sand at you) – FOLLOW THROUGH with what you have told them and put the child on the “Thinking Chair” (1 minute per year of age e.g. 2 years old = 2 minutes on the chair). This creates predictability and security for a child – because they know what to expect next.

Thinking Chair – should be in a small room (maybe dining room or lounge) where there are no toys, TV’s, games, books etc – try and face the chair towards a blank wall or corner so that they have no distractions and have to try and think about what they did.

When time is up, come and explain why they are on the chair and accept an apology.

“Child’s name…. I put you on the thinking chair because you carried on throwing sand at me when I told you I wasn’t for throwing sand at….. Is there anything you want to say to me?

When they say “Sorry” – hug and kiss them and FORGIVE THEM. Moving on is very important and don’t hold grudges as this will be felt by the child.

Try not to say, “You were on the chair because you were so mad at me!” You don’t want your child to hide his/her feelings – you want to ACCEPT their feelings, but not the BEHAVIOUR.

2) To engage cooperation:

1) Describe what you see or describe the problem

2) Give information

3) Say it with a word

4) Talk about your feelings

1) Describe the problem: e.g. Child is filling up the bath with water and it is about to overflow.

Your response: Child’s name, the water in the bath is getting close to the top – Instead of: You’re so irresponsible! You always do this! Do you want us to have a flood?

2) Give information: e.g. Milk is used and then left on the table.

Your response: Milk goes sour if it stays out of the fridge –
Instead of: Who left the milk out of the fridge?

3) Say it with a word: e.g. Children are not going to have a bath and are clowning around.

Your response: Girls, Bath! (one word)

4) Talk about your feelings e.g. Child keeps pulling on your sleeve or following you around the house.

Your response: I know you want some time with me… but I don’t like having my sleeve pulled… or I don’t like being followed around the house… We can have some time together a bit later…

3) Alternatives to Punishment:

1) Point out a way to be helpful
2) Express strong disapproval (without attacking character)
3) State your expectations
4) Give a choice
5) Take action

E.G. You are in the grocery shop with your son and he is clowning around and running up and down the aisles.

Point out a way to be helpful:
It would really help if you picked out 3 big lemons for us.

Express strong disapproval:
I don’t like you running around the shops

State your expectations and give a choice:
You can choose to either sit in the trolley or you can choose to walk – which do you choose?

Take action:
Either remove the child from the shop or reflect on their choice.

E.g. I see you chose to sit in the trolley. (If you remove them – BEFORE doing so -give them a warning about taking them home to the thinking chair)

Winston’s Wish: Children and Death Part 2

How age can affect understanding

ages 3-4 until 10:

  • The hamster’s not moving but he’ll play with me tomorrow.
  • The hamster won’t ever play again.
  • Old people die and we can never play with them again.
  • Grandpa may die one day in the future.
  • Mummy and daddy will die when they’re old.
  • I will die when I’m old.
  • Not only old people die. Mummy and daddy could die tomorrow if something happened.
  • I could die tomorrow.
  • I can kill myself.

Under 5 or 6, a child may not be able to understand

that death is permanent.

Slightly older children may still have this hope and belief that the death will not be permanent but are beginning to understand ‘forever’. Children bereaved when they are 5 to 8 years old may feel that they can in some way reverse what has happened (‘Dad will come back if I’m very good and eat my broccoli’).

They may also feel – as may older children and young people – that they in some way caused the death. (‘I was angry with him and shouted at him when he left for work because he wouldn’t fix my bike. I refused to give him a hug. And then he never came home again. It’s all my fault.’) It is so common for a young person to feel they may have contributed to the death that it’s worth saying something like: ‘You do know, don’t you, that nothing you said or didn’t say and nothing you did or didn’t do made this happen?’

When first told of the death, younger children may be mainly concerned with the ‘when’ and ‘where’ of the death. Slightly older ones may also want to know the ‘how’ and older children and young people will also explore the ‘why’.

Younger children will express their concerns about their own future; don’t be surprised if a child asks you: ‘What will happen to me? Who will meet me after school? Will I still go to Cubs?’ Whatever reassurance is possible about continuing everyday activities and arrangements will be appreciated, or clear explanations given about alternative arrangements. ‘At the moment, we’re working all this out. What I do know is that we will still be living in this house at least until Christmas and that granny Jane will meet you from school on the days I can’t. You can still have Bethany to tea whenever you want.’

As children begin to understand more about death and dying, a death in the family may make them anxious about the health and safety of surviving members of the family. Don’t be surprised if the children become more clingy or more reluctant to see you leave. They may feel that they need to stick close to protect you from the mysterious occurrence that made their dad disappear or at least to be with you if it happens again. Older children may feel very responsible for you and younger siblings and feel the need to keep a close eye on your safety.

By the age of 10, children will usually have all of the bits of the jigsaw puzzle of understanding. They will even understand that they are able to cause their own death. They will appreciate clear and detailed information – beyond ‘when’, ‘where’ and ‘how’ the death happened, they will be interested in ‘why’.

Talking about death

Talking to your child about the death of someone close may be the hardest thing you have ever done or will ever do.

Yet to keep talking about the person who has died – offering information, recalling and stimulating memories, and sharing feelings – is one of the most important things you can do to help your child as they journey through grief. Children never want to forget the person who has died.

When children ask difficult questions, there is no automatic need to give a long explanation. Beginning by asking: ‘What do you think?’, and building on their answer, will aid their understanding.

Younger children may be confused by some of the everyday expressions that people use when someone dies, so it is best to keep language simple and direct. Saying that someone has ‘died’ or is ‘dead’ gives a child unique words for a unique event and helps them begin to understand that what has happened is so important that it needs a whole new range of words to describe it.

Consider that you are young and you are told that: ‘We’ve lost your mother’. Wouldn’t you wonder why no-one was out looking everywhere they could think of for her? Wouldn’t you be afraid that no-one would come looking for you if you became lost?

Suppose you are told that: ‘Granny has gone to sleep’ or ‘passed away in her sleep’. Wouldn’t you be very scared of going to bed at night and do all you could to keep yourself and your parents awake at all costs?

Even the language we use with the very best intentions of giving appropriate and accurate descriptions can confuse a child. Take a moment to think about it from their point of view. Here are some examples of misunderstandings that children have shared with us:

  • ‘Someone attacked daddy in his heart but I couldn’t see the cuts.’ (His father had a heart attack.


  • ‘They told me my baby sister was born dead. But how could she be both? (Her sister was stillborn.)


  • ‘If he passed his HIV on, why did he still have it?’


The language surrounding funeral rites can also confuse. Children who are asked if they want to see their mother’s body have asked: ‘Why not her head too?’ Similarly, when people talk of burying or cremating someone’s body, children can wonder what happens to all the other bits.

‘She was beside herself when I suggested she came with me to see the new headstone on her mum’s grave. It was only later that she told me she’d thought it would be her mum’s head changed into stone. Logical really because we talk of her body being in the grave.’

Children who have always been told to avoid fire and flames may be alarmed at the idea that their relative’s body is to be burnt.

 Families try to convey their beliefs about life after death to their children. Some families may believe in a heaven or other place beyond this world. Some may believe that the person who has died is a star, or an angel, or is ‘all around us’. Some may believe that the dead person will be reborn in some form. Some may believe that death is an ending.

While it is your choice about how you talk about what happens after death, please consider the following thoughts that children have shared with us. They worry whether they will be seen when they are being naughty or want to be private. They wonder why their parents don’t ring or write from heaven. They struggle to understand how grandad can become a planet.

‘Mummy said daddy had gone to heaven. But she won’t take me to see him. Granny lives in Cornwall so I don’t see why we can’t go and visit him: you go through heaven to get there.’

‘Gran says mum can see me all the time. So she must have seen me hide the sweets. She won’t love me any more because I said I hadn’t.’

It may be best to say something like: ‘People have all sorts of beliefs about what happens after someone dies. We know that they can’t come back and visit us or ring on the phone. Being dead isn’t like being in another country. These are some of the things that people believe … and I believe this … I wonder what you believe? You may change what you believe as you grow older’.

Time passes

You will come across many beliefs about grief. Only you will find out what is true for you and for your children – and they may be different things.

You will probably be told that ‘time heals’ or that ‘the first year is the worst’. Some families find this is true – but others find that the second year can be even harder. Or the fourth.

It can be when family and friends ask less about how you are coping or when the invitations fall away or when people assume you are ‘over it’ that the loneliness and the yearning hit hardest.

Children and young people tell us that, after a while, their friends stop talking about the person who has died, that teachers no longer ask how they’re doing and that sometimes even their own families stop communicating, assuming that it’s ‘for the best’ if the person fades from memory. Yet these young people passionately want to keep talking about the person who has died – they just need some help to do so.

We often hear from families who say something like: ‘He never talks about his dad, I think he’s forgotten him’. Children and young people need your help to keep talking about the person who has died. They need your ‘permission’ that it is OK to do so, and this is best demonstrated by you talking about them regularly and naturally.

Young people want to preserve their memories and maintain a ‘continuing bond’ with the person who has died for as long as they choose.

Feelings, thoughts and behaviour

Children and young people can experience a huge range of feelings and thoughts after the death of someone close. You may feel that your children are reacting in unexpected or surprising ways. You may feel that some reactions are inappropriate. Each child and young person will have a unique response to this unique event – and every reaction is natural.

Some people expect – or maybe that should be ‘hope’ – that grief will follow a pattern of responses from disbelief and shock through to acceptance. Bereaved young people will tell you that grief is nowhere near as organised or straightforward. Grief feels chaotic. Grief follows no rules. Think about yourself and how it has felt for you.

So the following list just begins to describe some common responses to the death of someone important. You may also want to take a look at the ‘feelings’ area of the pages for young people to see some of the feelings young people have shared with us. And you may like to look at our ‘This may help’ section for some practical ideas.

Common responses include:

  • Sadness, not necessarily shown in crying. (‘Don’t they realise people cry on the inside too?’)
  • Guilt. (‘If only I hadn’t refused to tidy my room.’)
  • Anger, at others and/or at the person who has died. (‘I hate him for riding so fast on his motorbike; he can’t have loved us.’)
  • Disbelief. (‘If I don’t think about it, she’ll come back.’)
  • Confusion. (‘I don’t understand anything any more; it’s all jumbled up.’)
  • Fear. (‘No-one’s safe; they say everyone dies.’)
  • Rage, often expressed in physical violence to objects. (‘I want to smash up the whole ***** world.’)
  • Anxiety and a desire to control events and people. (‘What’s going to happen next?’)
  • Despair. (‘There’s no point in anything any more.’)
  • Feeling ‘frozen’. (‘I can’t feel anything at all.’)
  • Avoiding the subject. (‘I’m leaving if you mention Tim again.’)
  • Wanting to keep busy at all costs. (‘I can’t talk … I’m off to football.’)
  • Yearning. (‘If I could just see her for a second.’)
  • Powerlessness. (‘What can I do?’)
  • Worthlessness. (‘It should have been me who died.’)

 The death of a parent

Leading researchers agree that the death of a parent is one of the hardest losses a child has to face. Young people’s responses to the death of a parent will vary according to:

  • their age
  • the cause and nature of the death (for example, whether sudden or expected, whether by suicide or violence)
  • the family circumstances (for example, whether parents lived together, whether major life changes will now be necessary)
  • any previous experience of death or trauma within the family
  • their own resilience and the support and care they receive.

The death of a parent may cause a child or young person to feel some or all of the following:

  • deep sadness, that may or may not be expressed in conventional ways such as crying
  • a hollow, achy pain inside that is hard to put into words and may be described as hunger or boredom or fear
  • loneliness and a sense of having been abandoned
  • anxiety about the safety and well-being of the rest of the family, especially the surviving parent and including themselves
  • that they have to become more responsible – ‘man of the house now’
  • that there’s no point in anything any more, including school work
  • anger and even rage at what has happened
  • blame or guilt for things said or unsaid, done or undone
  • relief – if the family situation and dynamics had been difficult, for example
  • physical symptoms (for example, ones that may echo their dead] parent’s symptoms)
  • and many others.


The death of a brother or sister


Young people’s responses to the death of a brother or sister will vary according to:

  • their age
  • the age of their brother or sister
  • their position within the family
  • how long they had known each other (for example, a stillborn baby or an older teenager)
  • the cause and nature of the death (for example, whether sudden or expected, whether by suicide or violence)
  • the family circumstances (for example, their parents’ ability to support them while grieving themselves)
  • any previous experience of death or trauma within the family
  • their own resilience and the support and care they receive.


The death of a brother or sister may cause a child or young person to feel some or all of the following:

  • deep sadness, that may or may not be expressed in conventional ways such as crying
  • a hollow, achy pain inside that is hard to put into words and may be described as hunger or boredom or fear
  • loneliness and a sense of having been abandoned
  • anxiety about the safety and well-being of the rest of the family, especially other siblings and themselves
  • a feeling of responsibility – working hard, helping out
  • a sense of identification with, for example, an older sibling and a commitment to live up to their memory and planned future
  • a feeling that there’s no point in anything any more, including school work
  • anger and even rage at what has happened
  • blame or guilt for things said or unsaid, done or undone
  • relief – if the family situation and dynamics had been difficult, for example, or if the sibling had caused family strife
  • resentment at parents’ absorption in their own grief
  • disquiet at reaching and passing sibling’s age
  • and many others.

The death of a grandparent, other relative or friend

 Young people’s responses to the death of someone close will vary according to:

  • their age
  • the age of the person who died
  • the nature of their relationship (for example, a grandfather who picked them up from school every day or an aunt who lived in Australia and just sent birthday cards)
  • the cause and nature of the death (for example, whether sudden or expected, whether by suicide or violence)
  • the family circumstances (for example, their parents’ ability to support them while grieving themselves)
  • any previous experience of death or trauma within the family or wider community (for example, the third child from school to die this year)
  • their own resilience and the support and care they receive.

The death of a grandparent, other relative or friend may cause a child or young person to feel some or all of the following:

  • deep sadness, that may or may not be expressed in conventional ways such as crying
  • a hollow, achy pain inside that is hard to put into words and may be described as hunger or boredom or fear
  • loneliness and a sense of having been abandoned (for example, they were the only school friend who played at lunchtime)
  • anxiety about the safety and well-being of the rest of the family  including themselves
  • a feeling of responsibility – working hard, helping out
  • a feeling that there’s no point in anything any more, including school work
  • anger and even rage at what has happened
  • blame or guilt for things said or unsaid, done or undone
  • relief – if the family situation and dynamics had been difficult, (for example, if gran lived with the family and needed a great deal of care)
  • the loss of a trusted supporter (for example, an uncle who always had time to listen)
  • and many others.

 Different causes of death

There’s no hierarchy of death. No means or cause of death is better or worse than another for a grieving child. They are all overwhelming.

If a death is expected (for example, through cancer or other illness), the family may have had time to prepare for the loss, to begin to adjust to the future without the person, to make sure that photographs have been taken, letters to open in the future have been written, goodbyes said. It is very likely that the family will have received help – and will continue to receive help – from a hospice-based service or other support service (such as Macmillan nurses).

However, the family may also have suffered through a prolonged period of stress in which the children felt unable to undertake normal activities or to rebel or have fun; a period when the family focused on the person who was dying in a way that the children found very hard.

If a death is sudden (for example, through a heart attack or road accident) there is no chance for goodbyes and no chance for preparations or adjustment. The last conversations linger in the memory. There is no professional whose role it is to support these bereaved families (although police family liaison officers and hospital-based bereavement services make valuable contributions). However, for some people, a sudden death may be seen more positively (for example, of a frail grandmother).

If a death is through suicide, there are particular difficulties for the families left behind. It has been estimated that for every suicide, six people will experience intense grief – and many more will be deeply affected. Those bereaved through suicide face especially intense feelings and thoughts, ask themselves more agonising questions and face more public scrutiny. For both children and adults, it can take a long time to dare to trust others again.

Funerals and other memorials

Families, and individuals within families, can have very different views on whether children should see the body after death or attend the funeral.

From our conversations with bereaved children and young people, we know that they value the chance to choose but, to make an informed choice, they need information on what is involved.

However, if it will not be possible or appropriate for your children to attend the funeral, for whatever reason, there are other positive ways in which they can be involved. Or, if the funeral happened a while ago, and your children have regrets that they did not attend, it is never too late to have a memorial or other ceremony that includes them in saying ‘goodbye’.

Probably the biggest factor that will affect a younger child’s attendance at a funeral is if they feel their presence is welcome there. If there is going to be tension (as opposed to sadness) they will pick this up and feel more distressed by the atmosphere than by what is happening. It’s your family. You know them best.

It is, however, worth saying that we have spoken to many, many children who did not attend the funeral of someone close and later regretted it.

Why it can help to see the body and attend the funeral

Families will have different cultural and religious beliefs about seeing the person who has died and attending the funeral, but it can help a child to:

  • begin to say goodbye
  • begin to accept the reality and finality of the death
  • begin to understand what has happened
  • be less scared.


Seeing the body

If you are prepared to let your child make the choice of whether to see the person after they have died, some things may help them decide:

  • Tell them that they can change their minds – at any time.
  • Check that they are happy with the choice they’ve made – but not too often, because children want to please and may say what they think you want them to say.
  • Give them clear and detailed information about what will happen. (‘Aunt Sue and me and you will drive to the Chapel of Rest on the High Street just past the video shop. There’s a little room with a few chairs where we can sit and wait. You’ll have the chance to change your mind. Then Mr Collins, the undertaker, will come in. He’s quite tall and has wispy ginger hair and always wears a suit. Aunt Sue will go in to see dad first.’)
  • Let them know, quite clearly and in detail, what to expect, ideally from you or someone else who has already seen the body. (‘Your dad is lying in the box called a coffin on a table with his head to the left and his feet to the right. You can see all of him because the lid isn’t there. There’s a window high up in the wall behind him and you can see a tree through it. Your dad’s wearing his old football shirt. There’s a rather nice smell from a vase of flowers on the table near your dad’s head. He doesn’t look quite like Jim as I think of him, partly because he’s not jumping up and offering you a drink, and partly because he’s got his eyes closed and he’s not talking. Partly, I think, because the bit I think of as “Jim” isn’t there. It’s just his body. So don’t be surprised if it doesn’t seem to be your dear dad. His skin’s cold too. You can touch him. I kissed his forehead which was what I wanted to do but it seemed strange that his skin was cold.’)
  • Give them choices about what they do when they enter the room – they can wait by the door, stroke a head or hand, and leave when they want to.
  • Children and young people often appreciate taking something with a special meaning to leave with body, for example, a card they have made, or a shell from a favourite holiday or a picture.

Attending the funeral

If you are prepared to let your child make the choice of whether to attend the funeral, some things may help them decide:

  • Talk to them about what is involved.
  • Let them know that they can change their minds – at any time.
  • Check that they are happy with the choice they’ve made – but not too often, because children want to please and may say what they think you want them to say.
  • Have someone with whom the child feels secure to act as their supporter for the funeral. This may be an aunt or uncle or one of your best friends. This allows you to be fully present at the funeral for your own sake.
  • Give them clear and detailed information about what will happen; this will involve explanations about the difference between, for example, burials and cremations. If it fits with your own beliefs, it will help if the child has had some preparation about the difference between the body of the person and the part that made them who they were. Some people call this a soul, or a spirit, or love, or ‘what was special about daddy’ or ‘what we will remember about daddy’.
  • Reassure them that it is all of the body of the person who has died that is being buried or cremated. Some younger children are confused and wonder what happens to the head, arms and legs.
  • Give reassurance that the person who has died can no longer feel anything, so they will not feel the flames nor will they be scared at being buried.
  • Offer clear and detailed explanations of what to expect from people at the funeral. Some children can be shocked that people seem to have a party after someone has died; others are upset when people say: ‘How lovely to see you’. Explain that this doesn’t mean that these people are happy that the person has died – they’re just the sort of things that adults say. Equally, seeing adults in deep distress may alarm children but preparation beforehand will help them understand that this is a reasonable response to the huge thing that has happened.
  • Prepare them for some of the things that adults may say to them. For example, boys may be told that they are the ‘man of the house now’ and will appreciate reassurance that they are not.
  • Create opportunities to be involved. This may be in the planning of the funeral service. It may be through saying or reading or writing something about the person who has died. It may be through choosing a particular piece of music. They may wish for something special to be put in the coffin, for example, a picture or something linked to a memory.
  • Give plenty of reassurance that they can still be involved and participate in saying ‘goodbye’ even if they choose not to attend and that they won’t be criticised if they don’t go to the funeral.

Alternative ‘goodbyes’

It is never too late to hold a memorial or other ceremony for an important person. You could consider linking this to an important date – for example the date of their death, or of the funeral or of their birthday. Children and young people who did not attend the funeral may appreciate some of the following ideas; they can also be used for marking the anniversary of the person’s death:

  • Visit the grave (if there is one – or other special place, for example where the ashes were scattered).
  • Visit a place with special memories (for example, the place where you had your best holiday ever).
  • Create a special place of their own choosing (for example, in the garden of a new house).
  • Visit a place that you went to regularly (for example, the park or the swimming pool) – an everyday rather than a once-in-a-lifetime place.

Some of these ideas may make the occasion special:

  • Hold a small ceremony with specially chosen music, poems and tributes.
  • Bring a picnic of the dead person’s favourite food to share.
  • Prepare something to leave in the ‘special place’ – flowers, a laminated poem, a toy.
  • Release helium-filled balloons to which messages are attached on labels. You could say: ‘If you came back for five minutes, I would …’ or ‘I remember when …’ or ‘My wish for the future is …’
  • Light a candle and share special memories with each other.
  • Start a collection of memories from family and friends of the person who has died. (‘I remember the day Jim got stuck on the school roof after climbing up to get his ball.’)


When more help may be needed


Most children and their families will be able to cope with the death of a close family member, especially if families can talk about what is happening, about their thoughts and feelings, and about the person who has died.

Community-based local bereavement services for young people can offer support, and help children and families begin to rebuild their lives following a death in the family.

Many people worry about their children and they sometimes feel they should seek professional help immediately after the death. Children and young people will have a range of reactions that may cause concern. These may include: not talking about the person who has died, deep sadness, rage, disturbed sleep, nightmares, lack of appetite or over-eating, lack of interest in previous enthusiasms, not wanting to attend school or see friends.

Most of these changes will disappear gradually. However, if they persist or become severe (for example, a child almost stops sleeping or a teenager considers suicide as a way of rejoining the person who has died), it may be best to seek help. You could start by talking to your family doctor.

This may help

The following are some examples of activities that may:

  • support a bereaved child or young person and their family
  • preserve a continuing link with the person who has died
  • involve children and young people in the mourning process
  • help bereaved children and their families take steps along their unique bereavement journey.


  • Making a Memory Box

Bereaved children will benefit from collecting into a special box items that remind them of the person who has died and times shared with them. Examples could be:- cards received, perfume or aftershave, shells from a beach holiday, tickets from an outing, an item of clothing or jewellery, flowers from the funeral, photographs……. Every time the child turns over the items in the box, they are turning over the memories of the person in their mind and thus keeping fresh their memories. You can find specially designed memory boxes and information sheets in our Shop.


  • Making a Memory Book

This is a paper-based version of a memory box. A scrapbook can contain pictures, drawings, tickets, postcards, letters, and certificates – all-important keepsakes connected with the person who has died.


  • Family Record

A family record can help a child or young person gain a sense of where they and the person who has died fits into the family. A family tree can be put together. Family photographs, documents, certificates and mementoes can be included. It can be particularly powerful to include stories about the person’s life, which can be contributed by family members and friends; this is often a welcome way for them to be involved. For example, what was the funniest thing the person ever did? What was their best subject at school? What was the bravest thing they ever did? If you are going to include videos or sound tapes of the person who has died – please consider making a copy – just to be on the safe side.


  • Telling the story

It is important that children and young people gain a clear understanding of what happened to the person who died. Younger children may appreciate using dolls, model figures or puppets to tell the story. Older children may prefer to use paper and pens. It can help them tell what happened if they break the story into 5 or so pieces: -


  • what was life like before they died ? (some idea of the family before the death)
  • what happened just before they died ? (earlier in the day, the day before…)
  • how did they die ? what happened?
  • what happened immediately afterwards
  • what is life like now?


Listening to them tell what happened gives a chance gently to correct any misunderstandings, to provide additional information and to answer any questions.

  • Sleeping difficulties

Bereaved children can have difficulties sleeping; both in getting to sleep through worrying and grieving, and in experiencing nightmares or disturbing dreams.

For worrying, try South American worry dolls. (you can buy these in ‘Oxfam’ or similar shops or make your own). 5 or 6 tiny doll-like figures are held within a tiny cloth bag with a drawstring. South American children are encouraged at bedtime to whisper one big worry to each doll. The dolls are then placed under the pillow and the dolls take over the task of worrying for the night.

For bad dreams and nightmares, try the American Indian legend of the ‘Dreamcatcher’. (You can buy these from some ‘Oxfam’ or similar shops or make your own). The legend tells how all the dreams of the world flow over our heads as we sleep. Our dreams are caught by the Dreamcatcher’s web; the bad dreams stick to the strands of the web and the good dreams filter softly down the feathers to the sleeper beneath. Some Dreamcatchers have beads woven onto the web – these represent ‘heroes’ and a child can choose their own heroes to help hold back the bad dreams (for example, one could be Dad, another could be a football star, another could be the family dog etc).

  • Anxiety on parting

Bereaved children can become very concerned about being apart from their parent(s) or carers after a death. They may worry that other people will also die or in some way disappear from their lives.


Place your hand and your child’s hand on a piece of paper, with one or more fingers touching. Draw around the hands. Do another sheet so that each of you has a copy. Then each person keeps their copy safe – for a child, it could be tucked into a school bag, or a coat pocket. Whenever they feel the need to be close to you, they place their hand over their handprint and ‘feel’ your hand alongside, supporting and encouraging them.

   Later today..

When parting, mention something that will happen after school (or wherever the child is spending the day). For example, ‘remind me to buy potatoes when I collect you’; ‘let’s feed the ducks on the way home tonight’; ‘we must water the plants this afternoon’. Having a glimpse of the future that includes both of you can be comforting.

Winston’s Wish Organisation (UK): Children and death part 1


Supporting a bereaved child or young person.

A guide for parents and carers

Whether sudden or expected, few life events have a greater impact on families than the death of a family member. The ways in which families make sense of,  and cope with their grief vary greatly. Everyone’s bereavement journey will be unique. But grief is normal – and necessary – and needs to be expressed.


Although supporting a bereaved child can seem daunting, there are simple, straightforward and practical ways, which can make a real difference.


With support and information, young people can be helped to understand what has happened and can slowly learn to live with their loss.

For parents and carers


At a time when you are experiencing your own grief at the death of a partner, child, other family member or friend, it can seem overwhelming to offer support to your child or children.


Within these pages we hope to give you some information and some guidance on the responses and needs of children and young people when someone important in their life has died.

Some important reminders


  • Remember that ‘super parents’ don’t exist. Just do what you can, when you can. Be gentle on yourself.


  • There is more than one way to support your children. Choose the things that you feel most comfortable with.


  • Accept that some things just can’t be ‘made better’ in a short space of time.


  • Talk to children using words they understand and ask questions to check they have understood you.


  • Give information a bit at a time if your children are younger. Pieces of the ‘jigsaw puzzle’ can be put together over time to make the complete picture.


  • Show children how you are feeling: it helps them to know that it’s OK to show their feelings too



  • Encourage children to ask questions and keep answering them – even if it’s for the 100th time.


  • Answer questions honestly and simply; and be willing to say ‘I don’t know’.


  • Try to find ways in which children can be involved.


  • Keep talking about the person who has died.


  • Trust yourself and your instincts – you haven’t forgotten how to parent your child.


  • Look after yourself too.



Children and grief


Children’s experience of a death in the family, and their reactions to it, may be different from yours as an adult. Try not to assume you know what they are feeling – ask them what they are feeling and accept what they tell you.


Initial reactions may range from great distress to what may seem to be unconcern. They may find it impossible to speak, they may be unable to stop crying or they may ask: ‘Can I ride my bike now?’ All of these – and more – are normal reactions and do not mean that the child is uncaring or reacting excessively.


Younger children experience grief differently to adults. Adults could be said to wade with difficulty through rivers of grief, and may become stuck in the middle of a wide sea of grieving. For children, their grieving can seem more like leaping in and out of puddles. One minute, they may be sobbing, the next they are asking: ‘What’s for tea?’ It does not mean they care any the less about what has happened.


KITES Charity UK: How do children cope with the death of a loved one? Part 2.

How to support a child through times of loss or grief:

  • Give your child truthful information – sometimes it may be tempting to shield your child from unpleasant facts, particularly if you are in pain yourself, but in fact if you do not tell your child the truth, they may build a fantasy of what has happened and they may easily come to the conclusion that it was their fault.
  • Inform your child’s school what has happened so that they may support your child through this difficult time.
  • Give your child reassurance -encourage them to believe in their ability to recover.
  • Help your child to understand that dead means “not living.” Use age-appropriate language and factual works like “death” or “dying.” Remember that younger children often think that death and sleeping are the same and they may need to be reassured that if they go to sleep, they will wake up again.
  • Give your child opportunities to say goodbye. Let your child go to the funeral and/or the cemetery. Explain to the child beforehand what to expect.
  • Allow your child to talk about what has happened even if it feels painful. Often children become anxious about expressing grief because they don’t want to upset you.
  • Be prepared to answer the same questions over and over again – children will take longer to understand what has happened than adults.
  • Give your child opportunities to express his/her feelings and reflect those feelings back to them. For example,  ”I know you are very angry that Grandpa is sick. You are scared he is going to die.”
  • Stick to normal daily routines and don’t forget to keep hugging and holding your child – they will need lots of reassurance and affection.
  • Be creative – Allow your child to make something that will keep the loved one’s memory alive. This could be a photo album, a story about the person, or a memory box with a few precious objects in. These memories can then be returned to at a less painful time.
  • Young children almost always display magical thinking during times of loss or death. Therefore you need to clearly convey the message – “It was not your fault. You are not bad or unlovable. There is nothing you could have done to change things.”
  • Avoid using euphemisms or figures of speech like “went to sleep” or “passed away.” Remember a child may take these phrases literally and become fearful of what they mean.
  • Make time to mark special times that were special before the bereavement and also to enjoy life!
  • Empower your child – ask them what they want.
  • Don’t take control away from the child – let them make decisions about what they want to do.
  • Try to share your grief with your child without “dumping” it onto them.
  • Let them have contact with people with whom they are close to.


An example of a Memory Box:








End of Part 2.

KITES Charity UK: How do children cope with the death of a loved one? Part 1.

KITES at St. Joseph’s Hospice in the UK provides crucial play therapy services for children that have been affected by bereavement. They usually get involved after someone has died, but sometimes they will get involved beforehand when someone in the family has a life-threatening illness.

I found their website information particularly interesting and helpful, and I felt that I should share it with families out there:

1) Children’s responses to loss:

Children will often feel numbness, disbelief, guilt, panic, denial, despair and anger after the death of a family member. They might be in shock and denial right after receiving the bad news and wander around searching for their loved one if they have died.

Children may experience disturbed sleep, fear of the dark, bad dreams and bedwetting. They might regress to earlier stages of their development and start behaving in a more ‘childish’ way. They may feel angry and question why this thing has happened to them. They may question any professionals who may have been involved in the care of the person that is ill or has died.

Children may change their eating habits – they may eat more or less. They may become restless or withdrawn. They may become clingy and fear any separation from their carer.

Children may feel run down, tired or forgetful. They may catch more illnesses than usual.

Children of all ages, but particularly young children may ‘play out’ their feelings rather than talking about them.

Young children in particular may feel abandoned rather than sad.

End of Part 1

Psychologies Magazine Article (February/March 2011 Pages 42 – 45) “After Divorce: Creating Two Happy Homes”

I recently read this article and I found it particularly interesting and thought it would be great to share with my readers.

The key ideas that stuck with me after reading the article were:

1) Children need security and predictability after divorce, and
2) In order for children to feel safe and secure, the basic expectations of children need to be the same in each home.

So often children are caught up in the middle of their parent’s divorce. Sometimes one parent can bad mouth the other parent in front of the child, and this kind of communication can really make a child feel hurt and angry.

Children love their parents unconditionally, and it is really important to remember that, and not to “destroy” their love, as this will only cause doubts and mistrust, as well as the child feeling “broken in half.”

I recently read a wonderful children’s book about a family going through a divorce. In this story, the little girl had a dog that ALWAYS stayed with her wherever she went. No matter which house she stayed at, or where she went, or what parent she saw that weekend, her dog always stayed with her. This made me think of how important it is for children to have familiar toys, and/or pets with them at each house – so that both homes can feel like home to them.

Fred Stays with Me! [Hardback]
Author(s):Nancy Coffelt
Illustrated by:Tricia Tusa

Published by Little, Brown & Company
Published 5 June 2008
32 pages
Country: United States
EAN: 9780316882699