One of the most difficult challenges when separating is helping children understand and accept the family breakup.
As parents we can be filled with guilt that we may have caused massive emotional problems for kids, but not sure how to help the children adjust.
Children’s books can be a powerful resource to provide helpful advice and understanding for children.
Here is a list of books for different age groups which children may find enjoyable and supportive.
For young children (age 2 – 7)
Was it the Chocolate Pudding ?
By Sandra Levins and Bryan Langdo
Was It the Chocolate Pudding? tells the story of divorce in a typical family from the point of view of an engaging young narrator. Readers learn about divorce, and receive age-appropriate explanations of what is happening regarding such issues as single-parent homes and joint custody. But most importantly, the narrator explains that divorce is not the child’s fault – it is a grown-up problem. The story emphasizes the need for communication between parent and child and includes a “”Note to Parents”” by psychologist and author Jane Annunziata, PsyD
My family’s changing
By Pat Thomas
This picture book for younger children explores the issue of divorce. The author of this book is a psychotherapistand helps children to face their fears, worries and questions when their family is going through a break-up. A special feature, “What About You?” sidebars appear frequently with questions directed at the child reading the book. The questions encourage children to explore their own feeling about the situation.
By Claire Masurel
At Mommy’s house, Alex has a soft chair. At Daddy’s house, Alex has a rocking chair. In each home, Alex also has a special bedroom and lots of friends to play with. But whether Alex is with Mommy or with Daddy, one thing always stays the same – Alex is loved. The gently reassuring text focuses on what is gained rather than what is lost when parents divorce, while the sensitive illustrations, depicting two unique homes in all their small details, firmly establish Alex’s place in both of them. Two Homes will help children – and parents – embrace even the most difficult of changes with an open and optimistic heart.
When my parents forgot how to be friends
By Jennifer Moore-Mallinos and Marta Fabrega
This book follows a young girl coming to terms with her parents separation. It provides reassurance that separation is not her fault and that by living in separate houses the parents may get along better.
Books for Older Children ( Ages 8 – 13)
It’s not the end of the world
By Judy Blume
This story follows the journey of Karen, age 11, as she navigates her parents separtion. It covers the frustartions and sadness of the situation, the importance of good friends and how in time it is possible to readjust and feel happy again
By Jacqueline Wilson
The story of Floss, who has to cope with her parents divorce and the move with her mother and new family to the other side of the world. The bookshows that even the hardest decisions can be made and overcome with parental love and support of friends
The Suitcase Kid
The story of a young girl who lives week on/week off between her two stepfamilies, feeling that she doesn’t really fit into either.
It deals with difficult issues which some children will find comfort relating to, and provides a good balance of sadness and comedy with a feel good ending