One of the most effective ways to begin a dialog with your children about almost any complicated subject is by introducing the topic through books. There are picture books to introduce a new baby, potty training, adoption… and divorce is no different. These five books can help you and your co-parent address divorce with your children so they aren’t confused and so the message about what’s happening in your family is consistent.
Recommended ages: 3-6
Written from the point of view of a 7-year-old boy, Two Homes explains that the love Mommy and Daddy have for him doesn’t change just because they’re getting a divorce. In fact, from a kid’s perspective, a divorce can be, well, an embarrassment of riches. There will be two of everything: two homes, two bedrooms, two kitchens. This book is a way to ease your child into a new lifestyle where days will continue as usual – sleeping, eating, playing – just in two different places. There is no pitting Mom and Dad against each other, and it’s a great way to start talking about what it’s like to have two homes when parents divorce.
Recommended ages: 4-8
Kids have a tendency to blame themselves when things go wrong between their parents, but this book – through comic strips featuring dinosaurs – emphasizes that this situation is never a child’s fault and that everything will be OK. Brief chapters address topics like why parents divorce, adjusting to new living arrangements, what holidays may be like, and what to expect if Mom or Dad remarry and have more children. The graphics in Dinosaurs Divorce depict a range of feelings, from anger to sadness, guilt to confusion, and the text simplifies some very tough topics and makes them far more accessible for parents and children alike.
Recommended ages: 3-7
Through simple, straightforward statements, the young boy in Standing on My Own Two Feet is reassured during his parents’ divorce, knowing that Mom and Dad will always love him even if they don’t always get along with each other. Unconditional love is the focus in this book, and it is stressed that the child is absolutely not to blame for the divorce. This is a great choice for preschool kids, providing an empowering message to help kids cope with the changes that occur in their life because of divorce.
Other picture book recommendations for young children whose parents are experiencing a Michigan divorce: It’s Not Your Fault, Koko Bear (by Vicky Lansky), Let’s Talk About It: Divorce (by Fred Rogers), and My Family’s Changing (by Pat Thomas).
It is our goal to help you navigate all of the questions and difficulties you may encounter as your marriage comes to an end. Discuss your Macomb County, Michigan, divorce questions with Femminineo Attorneys. Contact us to schedule your no-cost initial interview.