I recently found When Sadness Is At Your Door by Eva Eland at my local library. What is sadness? How do we cope with it? For many children, they may not understand what sadness is and why they feel this way. This is not just for younger children but even older children can feel melancholy just “because”. Even as adults, we sometimes feel sad. At times, there be no real reason to feel sad but we feel the feeling of sadness. Sadness is neither “good” or “bad”. It’s a feeling that needs nurturing and reflection, which this picture book provides for its readers.
When Sadness Is At Your Door is a beautifully illustrated book about the feeling of sadness. The story begins by defining what sadness is and representing it as a friendly blue character. “Sometimes sadness arrives unexpectedly. It follows you around…” Eva Eland describes that you can try to hide it but it “feels like you’ve become sadness yourself.”
What do you do when Sadness arrives?
As the book continues, the author tells the reader, “try not to be afraid of sadness. Give it a name. Listen to it. Ask where it comes from and what is needs.” This is such a validating statement that can help many children and also inspire reflection. Many children may even communicate that they are sad but because they don’t know why, many of us just disregard it. I think validating your child’s feeling by giving it a name and listening to it is key!
When Sadness Is At Your Door gives some coping strategies such as sitting quietly, finding something you enjoy to do, taking a walk and just reminding your sadness it’s not alone. What do you like to do when you are sad? How about your child? Providing a model can be helpful such as “When I feel sad, I go for a walk or call a friend.”
Why is this book so important?
I love this book because Eva Eland, author/illustrator does a magnificent job describing a complex feeling and also giving readers the opportunity to validate sadness and also provide coping strategies. We all get sad from time to time and a book such as this can be a wonderful way to open up this discussion with your child.
However, this is a difference between sadness and clinical depression. If you think your child is clinically depressed, you should contact a mental health provider.