Children’s Books that explain PTSD

What is PTSD?

Sometimes it seems a bit difficult to explain a condition that can be so irrational and chaotic to a person on the outside looking in. Especially when that person is a 7 year old with Asperger’s who thinks and believes everything to be logical and sequential. A couple of years ago there were hardly any books about combat-related PTSD for adults, let alone children’s books!

children's books ptsd

I haven’t seen many books for children that address what PTSD is, but the few I have found seem to do a good job at explaining the impact of the condition on a family. In my opinion it is a bit difficult to choose a book that talks about such a stressful topic. And it makes it even more difficult when the funds aren’t always available to simply “buy a book just to see if it’s a good fit.”


Here are a few Children’s books about PTSD

Why is Dad So Mad? (The Why Series) (Volume 1)

This is a simple, yet informative book geared toward children of military families. Personally, I thought the metaphoric use of a Lion family is quite clever and really helped Elijah understand the similarities between what the book says about PTSD and what Daddy may experience. It seemed very easy for Elijah to understand that ‘Daddy can get as mad as a Lion,’ but still be the gentle, loving and playful Daddy he loves so much. I like this book, because it addresses the anger and irritability that is often associated with PTSD. I REALLY like the fact that this book was written by a service member, plus he released another version: Why is Mom So Mad (The Why Series) (Volume 2)

My Daddy Has PTSD

This book seems to be focusing more on the anxiety associated with PTSD. It is written in a really nice and easy to understand way for kids (at least Elijah thought so), plus it briefly addresses deployments and homecoming. It is definitely geared towards military children and makes references to the Commissary in the book, which I had to explain to Elijah; as he hasn’t been to a Commissary in years! This book was also written by a service member.

Why Are You So Scared?: A Child’s Book About Parents With PTSD

I REALLY like this book! It is A LOT longer than the previous two I mentioned, but it addresses a variety of aspects regarding PTSD. I think Elijah responded well to this one, because it explains that there are other kids out there whose parents have PTSD. It also explains that PTSD is not a disease, but more about the way the parent feels and why he/she acts the way they do in certain situations. There are places in the book for the child to color/draw pictures of their family, feelings, and anything they desire to express. It was written by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, but there is a section in the back for parents and caregivers that was written by a U.S. Army Psychologist.

Do you know of other books that explain PTSD?

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Disclaimer: Everything I share is solely based on my personal experience and is for informational purposes only. This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please view my disclosure policy.


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