By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC
We all know that divorce is one of the most traumatic events that can happen in a child’s life. Many people have written books on the subject to guide parents through the maze of challenges that are inevitable at this time. However, it is much more difficult communicating with children directly about divorce.
There are a few books on the market written especially for children. None of them are one size fits all. So parents must read through each one to determine which book speaks most clearly to their own family situation. The age and gender of the children, relationship between the divorced parents, custodial agreements and other factors all influence how effective any one children’s book will be for any family.
Karen Stanton has written and illustrated a new book: Monday, Wednesday And Every Other Weekend. It’s a gentle and accessible story about dealing with the many changes that come with divorce, especially adapting to transitioning between homes. Stanton’s beautiful illustrations bring the story to life and she uses pet dog, Pomegranate, to touch on the poignant emotions and confusion children experience as they find their way into a new reality.
You can find Karen’s book in book stores and on Amazon.
One of my favorites is the award-winning book, Family Changes: Explaining Divorce to Children by Azmaira Maker, Ph.D. I believe this is the best expression of how divorce impacts children that you can share with children from 4 – 8 years old. This is a beautifully illustrated book with a heartfelt message from a professional therapist. At the end Azmaira includes process questions for parents to discuss with their children.
Learn more at AspiringFamilies.com.
Another book written with great sincerity and compassion is Where Am I Sleeping Tonight? A Story of Divorce by Carol Gordon Ekster with Illustrations by Sue Rama. I love the title. It reflects a common challenge faced by children of divorce.
The book is written from the perspective of two young boys who travel between both parent’s homes and are trying to cope with their circumstances. Hearing this child voice his frustration is valuable for parents and hopefully young readers will relate. If your family situation mirrors this family, this book can be of value to read together and then discuss the relevant issues that come up.
I commend Carol for her efforts in dealing with a complex topic and bringing it to a level children can relate to. Her book comes up with some solutions worth considering. Even more importantly, it may be a stepping stone that can lead to fruitful conversations about other topics and concerns that may be tougher to handle but necessary to discuss nevertheless.
You can find more information about Carol’s book at www.carolgordonekster.com.
Another book worth your consideration is When Divorce Happens by Kimerly Pressley-Herrick with illustrations by Tiffany Perkins. It’s part of the What Happened To Me? coloring book series.
Kimberly uses a penguin of no particular gender to talk about living in two houses since its parent’s divorce. There’s more emotional reflection in this book and a more complex story line. The book can not only be read and colored, there are also pages encouraging children to tell their own story through their own words as well as drawing their feelings. I strongly encourage children to explore this option. Not all kids will be attracted to this option, but if they are, it can be very therapeutic for them while revealing important matters for parents to discuss with them.
I especially love this approach because no children’s book will ever cover the exact situation your children are going through in your specific divorce. Kimberly also has a coloring book on Parental Alienation as part of her Coloring Away Pain series: Helping Kids Cope One Coloring Book at a Time.
You can learn more about these coloring books at: www.coloringawaypain.com or
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Rosalind Sedacca, CDC is a Divorce & Parenting Coach and founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network. She is the author of the professionally acclaimed ebook, How Do I Tell the Kids About the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children — with Love! Her free articles, ezine, blog, coaching, teleseminars and other valuable resources for parents facing, moving through or transitioning after divorce can be found at: www.childcentereddivorce.com.
© Rosalind Sedacca All rights reserved.