Finding the words to support your children during your separation or divorce can be difficult. Relatable, informative, and helpful geared to children books can be great tools to aid in discussions, support the normalcy of the feelings and additionally provide direction.
There for You
Feelings are the focus of this tale about a little boy who is being told that his parents are separating. The parents exhibit a cohesiveness as they talk with their son together about their separation as well as their support for him.
Ariadne Brill, parenting educator at Positive Parenting Connection, recommends this book as “helpful for parents who are trying to be amicable around the children but need to explain they will no longer be a couple.”
I Don't Want to Talk About It
Jeanine Franz Ransom
With the clever use of animals, this book covers the range of feelings one little girl has after her parents announce their plans for divorce.
Brill also recommends this book as helpful for children who are ages 5-9 and feeling anxious or worried that the separation is their fault. It is also helpful in explaining words and expressions like “differences” and “adjusting to our new arrangement.”
Fred Stays With Me
After a family separates, there are differences and commanalities between the two houses, and this story is excellent in painting a picture of how the transition has gone, the importance of working through challenges, and the new normal. The big constant is a dog named Fred who travels with the little girl between mom and dad's houses.
Remarriage, stepfamilies, and relocation are navigated by a little boy and his brother in this story. The little boy understandably struggles with his feelings and his expression of them. The book also shows practical ways employed to help the boys adjust to the changes.
The dinosaurs cover the struggles, feelings, differences, and the changes that occur when your parents divorce. Psychologist Sara Dimerman recommends it for children up to ages 8 or 9. Due to the range of important topics covered, I also recommend it, but with a caveat, as it does bring up some serious issues like substance abuse and high conflict situations as a sort of aside, merely mentioning them and moving on. For example, one page shows Mom dinosaur chasing pills with a martini. It is a small part of the book, and perhaps with this in mind, parents can prepare for further discussions if necessary.
The original book Mom's House, Dad's House is a common recommendation for adults, and here Dr. Ricci has a kid-friendly guide to tackle the questions that kids might have, how to move forward in a positive way, problem-solving techniques, as well as difficult topical issues like abuse.