When Bad Things Happen: A Guide to Help Kids Cope

When Bad Things Happen: A Guide to Help Kids Cope

by Ted O'Neal, R. W. Alley

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Truly bad things happen in life. And while we cannot shelter children from every hurt and harm, we can reassure them that they, like the little elves in these pages, will always be loved and cared for. We can teach children the skills needed for coping with life’s biggest challenges and changes. And we can restore children’s trust that life, after all, is good.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781497696617
Publisher: Abbey Press
Publication date: 10/28/2014
Series: Elf-help Books for Kids
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 32
File size: 3 MB
Age Range: 8 - 11 Years

About the Author

Ted O’Neal can be found working the soil on occasion in southern Indiana, where he lives with his wife, children, dog, and other domesticated and non-domesticated critters. He is also the author of the Elf-help book, Garden Therapy, and the Elf-help Book for Kids, Respect: Dare to Care, Share, and Be Fair.
R. W. Alley is the illustrator for the popular Abbey Press adult series of Elf-help books, as well as an illustrator and writer of children’s books. He lives in Barrington, Rhode Island, with his wife, daughter, and son. See a wide variety of his works at: www.rwalley.com.

Read an Excerpt

When Bad Things Happen

A Guide to Help Kids Cope

By Ted O'Neal, R. W. Alley

Abbey Press

Copyright © 2003 Ted O'Neal
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4976-9661-7


Good Times, Bad Times

Not everything goes right in the world, does it? Sometimes things go so wrong that even the big people who care about us can't seem to "fix" them.

Maybe one of your favorite toys gets broken, or your report card has some grades that are not so great. Maybe you get sick or hurt — or your mom or dad or grandparent does.

Sunshine is part of life — and so are thunderstorms. There are good times and there are bad times. And the bad times may not even be anybody's fault.

However You Feel Is Okay

When something very bad happens, you might want to cry or yell or run away and hide. You might have stomachaches or nightmares. You might feel:

confused scared
tired sick
bored guilty
angry lonely
sad ashamed

All these feelings are normal. You don't need to be ashamed or afraid of them. Talk about your feelings with someone close to you.


It's hard to understand why Grandma got sick, or why you have to move far away from friends. Ask your mom or dad to help you understand.

Even if you know the reasons, you don't have to like what happened. You can understand that your cat was hit by a car, but you will still feel mad and sad.

You might think you made a bad thing happen. If it rains on the day your dad takes you to a ballgame, you may feel like you are being punished somehow.

But rain just happens, and so do some bad things. There isn't any good reason. It isn't anybody's fault. You didn't cause it by being bad, and you can't undo it by being good.

Help Yourself

Don't let your worry, anger, or sadness be a secret. Even if grown-ups seem too busy to listen, make sure they know how you feel. You might be surprised to find out that they feel the same as you.

Some of your questions might upset people, because they aren't sure how to answer them. And some grownups — no matter how much they care about you — just don't know how to talk about bad things.

It's still good to find out how people are feeling and thinking — even if they are confused. It's good to know that you are not the only one feeling bad. It's good to know that you are safe and loved and will always be cared for.


Excerpted from When Bad Things Happen by Ted O'Neal, R. W. Alley. Copyright © 2003 Ted O'Neal. Excerpted by permission of Abbey Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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