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No, these aren't self-help books. Instead, I thought I'd curate a list of various children's books that are helpful for those difficult milestones. You know the ones I'm talking about--the temper tantrums, the impulsive behavior, the best friend who is no longer friends with your little one, the over-emotion that comes with the arrival of hormones. I hope you find one of these helpful for you and your little ones!
The Color Monster by Anna Llenas is a wonderful pop-up book that associates a feeling with a color. It distills the emotions into colors to make it easier to understand for little ones. I think it's a great way to teach even young toddlers how to express themselves and their frustrations. Bonus is the fact that it's a pop-up book! Full review here.
It's no secret that we're fans of Tad Hills. I've always been partial to ducks and his brightly-painted scenes of Duck and Goose are a favorite of mine. While on a school visit to the Bookworm girl's school, Hills mentioned Duck and Goose, How are You Feeling? For little fans of the water fowl, I think this board book can be a great way to clue you in to what they are feeling too. Hills even gave the students a mini-art lesson on how to draw duck and goose, as well as how to change their eyes and eyebrows to interpret their expressions and feelings. And while you're teaching your little one about empathy, they may also want to check out Duck and Goose, Goose Needs a Hug.
While I think that some of the suggestions above could also help older kids, some of them may want more substantial reading.
American Girl has this great series called The Care and Keeping of You that I recommend to all my 8-12 year old female patients. It talks about physical, physiological, and emotional changes that occur with puberty. In that vein, The Feelings Book is a companion book to the series that talk about hormones, friendship issues and more. It's a great way to emphasize that what your little one is going through is normal, and that she's not alone in feeling frustrated, sad, hurt, or overly emotional.