With so much emphasis on the heart during the month of February, this Saturday, February 4, 2012, I am offering a free download of the Amazon Kindle version of my book that was inspired by my son’s open heart surgery as an infant: Baby Brother Goes to the Hospital.
The Back Story
My son was born with a heart defect and underwent open-heart surgery at 15 months. Needless to say, I was terrified at the thought of my baby having this surgery. I focused so much on my infant’s health that I neglected thinking about the impact on his older brother, who was only a toddler himself. In an effort to protect him from what was happening, I tried to pretend there was nothing out of the ordinary going on and didn’t even attempt to talk to him about the crisis, merely telling him that his brother would return from the hospital when he was “better”. Little did I know that he had interpretted “better” to be the opposite of “bad!” The poor little guy thought that I had sent his brother away as a punishment for crying too much! He developed all sorts of fears as a result, including wondering when I would turn on him and send him away, too!
Young children misunderstand things all the time and these misunderstandings may lead to behavior problems if we don’t stop and listen to children’s interpretations of what’s going on around them. A good book can invite such discussions and provide insights into their thoughts and fears. I wrote this book so that parents are reminded of the need to engage children in a discussion about their fears. Ideally, books of this nature should be read with young children BEFORE the family is embroiled in a crisis. Most young children will be faced with a beloved family member’s hospitalization in their lives and they will need to have coping skills in order to deal with the crisis in an emotionally healthy manner.
The focus of the story in Baby Brother Goes to the Hospital is on Annie’s fear and misunderstanding about what is going on. A young child does not need to have a baby brother to benefit from this book. The important thing is that the discussion is started about what happens when someone is hospitalized. Pediatricians, nurses, early childhood teachers, and parents of young children could all benefit from having a copy of this book on hand.
Enjoy! And if you’re so inclined, think about a donation to the American Heart Association and/or your local Children’s Hospital.