From the Scholastic Bookshelf: How to Talk to Your Child About Family

All families look different, but what holds them together is their love.

Mar 23, 2022



From the Scholastic Bookshelf: How to Talk to Your Child About Family

Mar 23, 2022

Families are always evolving — new members can be added, or roles may change — but what holds a family together is the love and history they share. 

What family looks like varies from household to household. Some families have two mommies or two daddies, and some have grandmas and grandpas who are primary caregivers. Others have single parents, and children may be adopted or fostered. 

Whatever your family looks like, it’s important that your child feels welcome to be themselves in it and able to ask when they need something or want to talk. If your family unit will be seeing some changes soon — perhaps a new sibling is on the way — set aside some time to discuss how each family member feels about it.

For its 100th anniversary, Scholastic spoke with experts to identify a set of books, articles, and tips that make starting a conversation with your child about family easier. These resources are part of a broader initiative, called the Scholastic Bookshelf, created for Instagram to raise awareness around contemporary issues affecting children today.

For more quick tips and book recommendations, sign up for our Scholastic Parents newsletter! 

Books About Family

Part of what makes a family unique are the relationships across generations. The bond children share with their grandparents is a special one. I Love My Glam-Ma is an illustrated ode to the adventurous and young-at-heart grandmothers who add surprise and intrigue to children’s lives. Whether they’re helping build sandcastles or reading forts, these grandmothers live every day with a playful spirit that they impart to their grandkids.

Older readers will find similar vibrancy in The Lotterys Plus One, from best-selling adult novelist Emma Donaghue. The Lotterys are a large family with four parents, children who are both adopted and biological, and a menagerie of pets. They all live together in a sprawling house called Camelottery, but can they take on one more? 

When grandfather Grumps comes to stay, 9-year-old Sumac gives up her room, but her generosity doesn’t faze him: He’s still unhappy with how the household is run. So Sumac takes it upon herself to help Grumps find his place in this eclectic mix — and maybe a change of heart.

Articles About Family

Children may see reflections of their own family in these articles from Scholastic. 

In “Dad’s New Job,” from Scholastic Storyworks magazine, main character Henry is embarrassed by a recent shift in his parents’ roles. After being laid off, his father is now a stay-at-home parent. This makes Henry so uncomfortable that he intentionally neglects to tell his father about Take Your Dad to School Day. But Henry’s dad finds out about the event anyway and shows up — which is how Henry learns that his dad’s new job was a choice, to keep the family together in the town they called home. 

Readers get a glimpse of artist Carmen Lomas Garza’s paintings in “Family Portraits” from Scholastic Art magazine. Growing up Mexican American, Garza was often ashamed of her background. But as an adult artist, Garza’s heritage is the centerpiece of her work. 

In Camas para Sueños (Beds for Dreams), Garza paints her sister and herself stargazing while they discuss their dream of being artists. Empanadas delivers a bustling kitchen scene from a high point of view, to emphasize the number of pastries and family members in the room.

Be sure to visit the Scholastic Bookshelf for more resources on family and other must-discuss topics. If you’re planning to talk with your child about other complex topics and seek tips or book recommendations, we invite you to visit our Tough Topics hub. You’ll find a wealth of advice from Scholastic editors to help you navigate challenging conversations thoughtfully, including those about:

Shop books about what makes family special below! You can shop all books and activities at The Scholastic Store.

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