I really wanted to share one of my favourite kids books that I read with my boys regularly and they love it… it’s called ‘The Family Book’ by Todd Parr.
Todd, from Berkeley (California) was originally an artist and this really shows in his books – bright, colourful and creative illustrations that my kids seem to really respond to.
It’s a book that was recommended to me as a useful one for adopted children… and also as a same-sex parent family, but it goes beyond that. In my opinion it should be on the shelf in every family home and school as it’s an excellent way to start educating children at a young age about the differences in each family and allow them to build an understanding and acceptance of those variations.
‘The Family Book’s ability to cover so many different topics in such a short and concise way is astounding. From ethnic diversity, to step families, adoption, same-sex parents, family size, living conditions… it has it all and whilst your family may fit one page description, every page gives you something that your children can relate to and start to build that open-minded attitude that I personally believe is so important.
When my partner and I started talking about adoption as a gay couple, its fair to say that a lot of our anxieties where about how our children might ‘stand out’ in the mainstream… would they get bullied for having two dads? Is being adopted and having two dads, more than they should have to deal with as they get older? The list of these types of worries we had was pretty long!
So, having made the [BEST EVER] decision to adopt, the next worry is how do you start talking to your children about adoption and same-sex parents (“where’s mum?” type conversations) and at what age? We found the answers to those questions in this book.
It was the first book I bought when the boys joined our family aged 17 months and we had it on display with tons of other books in their room. It didn’t take long for it to become a nightly read, chosen by the boys (who pick their own books to read every night), probably because of its attractive and bold appearance.
Now nearly 3, the boys still pick it regularly, only now it takes us about 10 minutes longer to read it as we have stop on every page whilst Haribo relays back to us how he has two daddies (and also list everyone else he knows who has two dads), or how baby Zack (their new cousin) lives far away, how we like eating different things… there literally isn’t a page that boy hasn’t got a statement for… It’s AMAZING to listen too (even though it does start to eat into Daddies post bed, cool down beer time)!
As for their understanding of adoption, some pennies might be starting to drop in their little learning minds as the book allows us to mention the word ‘adoption’ almost daily, as we talk about how Dad and Daddy adopted the boys and how they adopted us in return… we hope doing this starts to ‘normalise’ the word, not just for them but for us too, so that we can have that open and honest dialogue as they grow up.
You’ll look at the book now and think ‘has he over-egged it’ but I’m telling you, when you listen to the conversations we are having reading this book, it truly reminds you how sponge like they are and how important it is that they hear these messages at a young age, regardless of your own family make-up!
I really can’t speak highly enough and describe to you just how much I love this book… although I’m not massively happy now that thanks to my other half, the boys now shout ‘Daddy’ when they get to the page about ‘some families like to be quiet’ and has an image of a parent asleep on the sofa! Safe to say that’s his tooth brush cleaning the toilet seat again! (just kidding… or am I?).
So, if I’ve inspired you to use some of Todd’s inspiration with your kids, you can find the link to Amazon below… its worth every penny and I really hope you get so much from it as we have and continue to!
Disclaimer- This post is not sponsored but does contain affiliate links.