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by Chandra Ghosh Ippen
Ellie's mom did not come for their visit, and Ellie is stuck in a cloud of sadness and anger as she tries to understand why. Fortunately, Miss K. and Ellie's Uncle Finny are there to help her. Using the metaphor of a wave, they help Ellie talk about and understand her mother's ups and downs, recognize and hold on to loving memories, and know that she is not alone.
Millions of young children live in families with an adult who is struggling due to trauma (ACEs), mental illness (PTSD, depression, bipolar), substance abuse, or other addiction. Mama's Waves was written for any child who has a family member who struggles with emotional waves whether they live together or not.
The story was developed to open doors to conversations that young children need to have. When family members have challenges, young children worry about them and often have many difficult questions. They need the help of grown-ups within and outside their families
To have language for the challenges that their parents face
To know that they can talk about tough times and good times
To better understand why their parent may not be around
And, very importantly, to keep good memories alive because these memories shape their view of themselves as worthy of love
Mama's Waves shows us that these conversations are possible, important, and support healing and connection.
While the book was written specifically for children whose parents have struggled with addiction or mental illness, other children may benefit from having language and dialogue that helps them to empathically understand the challenges that too many families are facing.
Mama's Waves is the first book in the Ellie Bean series and was developed by the team that created Once I Was Very Very Scared, You Weren't With Me, Holdin Pott, and the Trinka and Sam story series as tools to help families heal after stressful or traumatic events.