Tips for Military Families: Books about Separation

Reading a book with a child is a great way to start a conversation, especially if it's a tough topic to talk about like separation.

Reading a book with a child is a great way to start a conversation, especially if it’s a tough topic to talk about like separation.

During this Month of the Military Child, we’re looking at various way our center communities can help the military families in our midst. According to, nearly half of our country’s active duty service members have children and more than 550,000 of those children are under the age of five. One of the toughest parts of being in a military family is dealing with separation during deployment. The deployed parent misses their child and the child misses their mom or dad, though young children may have a tough time expressing their sense of loss.

We all know children love story time: listening to the story, looking at pictures, and asking about the characters. Reading some of the books listed below may help children find the words to voice their feelings about separations and transitions, whether they’re a child in a military family facing a parent’s deployment, or a child whose parents are divorcing, or a child coming to terms with the death of a family member.

While You Are Away, by Eileen Spinelli

The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn
My Somebody Special, by Sarah Weeks
My Day, Your Day, by Robin Ballard
Owl Babies, by Martin Waddell
Where is My Baby? by Harriet Ziefert
You Go Away, You Come Back, by Dorothy Corey

Fred Stays with Me, by Nancy Coffelt and Tricia Tusa
Two Homes, by Claire Masurel

Everett Anderson’s Goodbye, by Lucille Clifton

If you have families in your center going through who are facing any of these situations, please share this list with them. Together we can offer children the sense of support a community provides and the knowledge that they are cared for.

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