5 Best Children’s Books About Divorce Update 05/2022

Children's Books About Divorce

For only about half of the high school graduates, both of their parents live together, and for at least half of those teenagers, the breakup of their family happened a long time ago when they were young children. Last week, I asked some 13-year-olds if they had trouble deciding what to tell their friends and which friends to tell. “Oh, no,” said one, “because there are only two girls in my class whose parents are together. I don’t know what to say.” They were shocked when their daughter asked if they were getting a divorce “like Jack’s mom and dad.”

The Details Matter

The Details Matter

So the word is already known, but that doesn’t mean it’s been properly learned or used. It doesn’t even matter if kids know what divorce is. Even if they do, they can’t figure out what it might mean for them. This is where kids’ books about divorce can be helpful, but you should be careful when you choose one. Children, especially very young ones, won’t be able to apply a book’s information to their own lives if there are parts of it that don’t work for them. They may even think it isn’t true. There is a soft chair at Mommy’s house for Alex, but there isn’t one for him at Dad’s house. Alex has a rocking chair at his dad’s house. Each time Alex goes home, he has a special room and a lot of friends there, too. When your parents live apart, Two Homes paints a picture that is warm and reassuring. It tries to show how good it is to have parents who live apart, but your child might think it doesn’t apply to him or her.

It’s important to look at the book before you buy it, paying attention to what small children notice. Family members: What does your child call them? If she calls you Mama, Dad, and Gran, and you all live in the city, a book about Mommy and Daddy and Grandma who live in the country won’t seem like a book that her family would like.

Animals Can Be the Exception

It is possible to find books that give information in a way that works for every child. Dinosaurs Divorce is one of the Dino Life Guides. It was written by Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown, and it is one of their books. Children ages 3 to 6 will find everything from “Divorce Words and What They Mean” to how to meet parents’ new friends in this A-Z book. Because the families in the book are dinosaurs, the differences between the reading-and child’s the book-families child’s are blurred. Kids usually tell me that this is the book about divorce that they’ve talked about the most to me.

Help for Kids of Varying Ages

My Family’s Changing by Pat Thomas

For young children, Pat Thomas has written a book called “My Family’s Changing.” This book really helps kids apply what the book says to their own lives. To help very young children talk about their worries and fears when their parents split up, Pat wrote this picture book. I especially like this book because it has sidebars that ask “What about you?” These “What about you?” sidebars let child-readers compare themselves and their feelings to the book-children.

There is a book called When My Parents Forgot How to Be Friends by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos that is part of the Let’s Talk About It series. It tries to reassure school-age kids that they are not to blame for their parents’ separation and that each parent will still love them even though they don’t love each other any more.

When your parents split, What in the World Do You Do When Your Parents Divorce? has a lot of direct information in a Q&A format for kids who are older. They wrote a book called A Survival Guide for Kids.

Don’t Just Look for ‘Divorce Books’

It might be more fun for kids to read good stories about kids whose parents aren’t together or who are in a stressful situation, and it might also be more useful. It is better for your child if she reads or hears stories that are similar to her own. This will make her feel less alone in her sadness and more comfortable with it. Some of these books don’t have the words “Divorce” or “Family” in their names, so you’ll have to choose carefully. You might start with authors who know you or reviewers you trust. It’s a good idea to read Virginia Ironside’s The Huge Bag of Worries and Michael Morpurgo’s Cool!

Huge Bag of Worries is the story of a little girl who can’t keep up with all of her worries and fears about school. Her friends and family are so busy with their own issues that she doesn’t want to bother them. Finally, her grandmother notices that her “bag of worries” is getting bigger. They work through her worries together. There are many ways the child can deal with their worries, such as talking about them.

I love Michael Morpurgo, and if your child likes him, there are a lot of books to choose from. Cool! It’s about Robbie, a boy who was hit by a car that was about to hit his dog, Lucky. He can hear, but he can’t move or speak. Our ears can hear him talk about his mom, sister, and why they’re not together. Dad breaks all the rules at the hospital and brings Lucky in. Everyone tries to wake him up, but no one can reach him until he does.

Don’t Forget That Books Are for Fun

Even though books can be very helpful and comforting in the months after a family breakup, they do not have to be about the same thing as what your child is going through right now. Books are for fun, to learn, to use your imagination, and to get away from everything. Don’t let the tensions and stress in your family change what you read or stop your kids from being read to. Books and reading are meant to be happy. 

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