Kathleen J. Smith, Attorney at Law

Books can help young children understand and cope with divorce

When you told your children that you and their other parent are getting a divorce, you may have gotten a variety of reactions. Older children may have bombarded you with questions or expressed their frustration or sadness. However, young children sometimes do not know how to express what they feel and may have a limited understanding of the concept of divorce.

Young children, especially those between the ages of 6 and 11, may benefit from exposure to age appropriate books about divorce. These books are often crafted to help children make sense of the changes divorce is causing in their lives. Books can also help children to understand their own emotions about the situation. If you read with your children, you can use the topics addressed in the books to spark more personalized conversations with your children about their experiences.

Books to consider

There are many books parents can choose from, but some to consider, include:

  • “It’s Not Your Fault, Koko Bear,” by Vicki Lansky, which may help children ages 3 to 7 identify and express their feelings about divorce.
  • “Two Homes,” by Claire Masurel, which may help children ages 3 to 7 explore the idea of having two homes and understand that both parents still love them.
  • “My Family’s Changing,” by Pat Thomas, which addresses how divorce affects members of a family and invites kids ages 4 and older to consider changes they are experiencing in their own family.
  • “Divorce Is Not the End of the World,” by Zoe and Evan Stern, which was written by kids to serve as a practical divorce guide for kids ages 8 and older.
  • “Mom’s House, Dad’s House for Kids,” by Isolina Ricci, which is a divorce guidebook written by a therapist for children ages 10 and older.

Divorce can be difficult for anyone to adjust to, especially young children who may not yet have the understanding and communication skills that would help them cope. Consider using books about divorce to help them build the understanding and skills they may need for the changes ahead.

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