Article Type

Issue Brief

Publication Date





A parent’s struggle to manage their emotions may have significant impact on small children. Helping a child understand in the here and now about what is going on for the parent, without blaming that parent or the child, may be useful for the child. It may also lead the child to seek different models of managing emotions and self-concepts. Reading books with children, or bibliotherapy, could be useful for parents who experience stress-related “meltdowns” or perhaps live with mental health conditions such as borderline personality disorder, and for those working with small children in educational, child care or child protection settings. This brief uses Meltdown Moments, a picture-story book written by an experienced mental health clinician and illustrated by a professional artist with lived experience of emotional turmoil, as an example of what may help in conversations about what is going on in the family.


Mental Health Literacy, Picture-Story Book, Children, Emotional Dysregulation, Borderline Personality Disorder, Families, Mental Health, Bibliotherapy, Mental Health Literacy, Intergenerational Mental Health


The excellent work of the artist, Marie Jonsson-Harrison, is acknowledged, and thanks to Janne McMahon, Chris Yelland, Sharron Hollamby, Gisele Apter, Rebecca Hill, and Simon Roberts-Thomson.

Corresponding Author

Dr. Anne Sved Williams: svedwill@gmail.com

Rights and Permissions

Copyright © 2018 Sved Williams

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License