Learning to cope with ambivalence is one of the greatest challenges in a child's emotional development. In the second edition of this delightful and engaging book, a series of familiar situations illustrate the common yet uncomfortable experience of having two contrasting feelings at the same time. The first day of school brings both pride and fear; the arrival of a new brother or sister can trigger both joy and sadness. These vignettes will help the young child recognize and understand the phenomenon of mixed feelings.

In an extensive afterword, psychologist Jane Annunziata offers children guidelines for responding to their conflicting feelings. She also provides parents with concrete suggestions for helping their growing children resolve their struggles with ambivalence on the journey toward emotional maturity.

Excerpt from the note to children

Now that you have read this book, you have started to learn about "double-dip" feelings. They are called "double-dip" because they are two different feelings that happen at the same time, sort of like two flavors of ice cream scoops right on top of each other. With an ice cream cone, double dips are fun, because you get to have twice as much ice cream as a single scoop. But with feelings, double dips usually aren't so much fun. When kids have these kinds of feelings, they often feel confused and uncomfortable. It bothers kids to feel two different ways at the same time because they don't quite know what to do. Here are some ideas to help you with your double-dip feelings...

Excerpt from the note to parents

Ambivalence is discomforting even to adults, who have the ability to understand and tolerate opposing feelings. For children, ambivalent feelings are far more uncomfortable and confusing, because children's intellectual and emotional resources for tolerating them are more limited and less developed. As parents, you may be able to draw from your own grow-up difficulties to imagining just how hard it is for your inexperienced child to accept and resolve ambivalent feelings.

About the Author
Barbara Cain, MSW, writes about the normal feelings of childhood, and is a practicing psychotherapist in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
About the Illustrator
Anne Patterson is a book illustrator, portraitist, and graphic designer. She lives in Maine.
Reviews & Awards

Comments on the first edition

I made a mistake the day after Double-Dip Feelings arrived: I took it to school and showed it to some parents. I had to fight to get it back. As you work with it, you'll wish you had it around when you were growing up.
—Barbara Warren, Casa Grande Union High School, Arizona City, AZ, In The Gifted Child Today

...encourages children to understand that mixed and conflicting feelings are normal, with illustrations that are child specific.
—Elissa Benedek, MD, Director Of Training And Research, Center For Forensic Psychiatry, Ann Arbor, Michigan