Book Suggestions for Children Going Through a Divorce
This week I’m reviewing three books for young kids whose families are going through a divorce. My kids were quite young when their father and I separated and eventually divorced and they had a hard time understanding why their father no longer lived with us. Reading was very much a part of our normal routine and I found that reading books about other kids in similar situations was comforting to them. Reading can also provide a catalyst for questions and discussions.
The first book I read was Weekends With Dad by Melissa Higgins. This book is appropriate for young kids, probably two through eight. The main character is a young male fox who has a younger female sister and their parents are getting a divorce. The illustrations of the fox family are colorful and appealing to young kids and the story line is brief but hits the necessary high points. The story goes through the main character’s feelings: guilt, sadness, embarrassment, confusion and eventual acceptance. I like that this book addresses many of the difficult emotions children go through and tries to stay positive without denying the challenges.
I also read Mom and Dad Glue by Kes Gray, a book about a young boy going through a tough time with his parent’s divorce and his attempt to “glue“ them back together. The words are rhyming which gives it a nice flow and the pictures are bright and appealing. It goes through his sadness about their divorce and his desire to put things back like they used to be, searching for parent glue in an effort to mend them. He discovers that it’s not his fault and there is nothing he can do to change things. One of the best parts of this book is the emphasis on the child not being at fault and reassurance that his parents will continue to love him forever, a lifetime guarantee. As with the previous book, I would recommend this book for kids from two to eight.
The last book I read was Always Mom, Forever Dad by Joanna Rowland. This book takes us beyond the initial divorce adjustment period to the stage where the divorce has occurred and the children are going between Mom and Dad’s houses. It’s a very upbeat book focused on the differences at each parent’s houses but the positive aspects of each. It was realistic in addressing that the child misses the other parent when they’re away. In those scenarios the child was allowed to have a picture of the other parent with them and call them each day, a good idea but something many parents won’t allow. It also stressed that the child is loved forever by both parents. This would be a good book for kids ages four through eight.
These three books, along with many other great selections about divorce, are available to check out through the Tulsa City-County Library system. I highly recommend reading to your children about divorce and visitation and being open to discussing the questions and emotions that may result.