If you decide to get a divorce, don’t forget about the kids. They are trying to manage as many emotions as you are and doing their best to figure out answers to lots of questions.
You can try to guide your child through the pre-divorce, real-time and post-divorce life as best you can, but sometimes, that’s hard to do as you’re trying to manage your own stresses and anxieties. This is when you can lean on the words of others.
Some of the buzz words and questions associated with divorce are:
- Where will I live?
- Was it my fault?
These are difficult questions for a child to answer. The following four picture books set the stage well and will help your young children navigate their feelings and lead them to a greater understanding.
- It’s Not Your Fault, KoKo Bear, by Vicki Lansky and Jane Prince
This book is great for you to first read on your own and then with your children. It lays out the ins and outs of divorce in simple and loving language, reassuring the children that no matter what, their parents will always love them and that it wasn’t their fault. For the parent, this book outlines strategies to help guide your child’s transition.
- A Smart Girl’s Guide to Her Parent’s Divorce, by Nancy Holyoke
This guidebook, tailored more to girls than boys, is an essential read to any eight to 12-year-old girl who has multitudes of questions about her parents’ divorce. The book has quizzes, tips and advice from other kids that have gone through the same thing.
- Divorce is the Worst, by Anastasia Higginbotham
Some kids will only see the worst of the situation. If your child is having an unusually tough time with the divorce, this may be the book for them. The language is straight-forward and honest with vivid and attention-grabbing imagery which may be exactly what your child needs. Some kids need honesty over sugar-coated answers to process the situation at hand.
- My Family’s Changing: A First Look at Family Break-Up, by Pat Thomas and Lesley Harker
This book, written by a psychotherapist, focuses on helping any child age four and up understand the elemental points of her parents’ divorce. Throughout the book, there are “What about you?” boxes filled with discussion questions for the family. These questions help families begin the conversation about topics and questions they would otherwise be unsure how to bring up.
You want your children to adjust as well as they can during this major life transition. These books can act as guiding lights for them in an otherwise dark time.