Divorce is never easy for children. While the parents must cope with loosing a partner, the child is witnessing their family break up, and this can threaten their sense of security and stability. Kids relay on their parents for almost everything, and once they separate, the child is left feeling anxious and uncertain about what will happen next. Young children in particular may internalize the divorce and blame it on themselves.
In order to help them work through their fears and concerns, it will be essential for the parents to have more than one honest talk with their child. How they explain the divorce will depend on the child’s age and temperament. Books can often be a useful tool when trying to help a child understand this difficult change. Below is a collection of diverse children’s books that parents and professionals have recommended to us. If you think we’re missing any titles, please let us know!
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Toronto’s Experts in Family Law and Divorce
Title: My Family’s Changing: A First Look At Family Break-Up
Author: Pat Thomas
Why we like this book: My Family’s Changing is a simple and colourful book that would be appropriate for children who are under six years old. The author, a psychotherapist and counselor, writes the book as though it was made specifically for the child, and has included questions throughout. This encourages the child to explore their own feeling about divorce. There is also a small glossary at the end, and a short list of “further readings” for children and parents.
Title: Two Homes
Author: Claire Masurel
Why we like this book: Two Homes features a child named Alex. It depicts the main character’s daily experience as a child with parents who are no longer together. It was created for children between three and seven years old, and emphasizes the fact that kids can still enjoy a happy loving childhood after their parents get divorced.
Title: Dinosaurs Divorce: A Guide for Changing Families
Author: Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown
Why we like this book: Dinosaurs Divorce keeps potentially complex language simple, and covers many topics including why parents divorce, celebrating holidays and how to tell friends about your parents’ divorce. It addresses a wide range of emotions that kids may experience, and encourages them to let their parents know that they’re feeling mad or sad. This book would be suitable for kids ages five to ten.
Title: The Invisible String
Author: Patrice Karst
Why we like this book: The Invisible String takes a very simple approach to overcoming the fear of loneliness or separation. It does not mention divorce specially, but it can certainly help children who are feeling worried about loosing one or both parents. Siblings would appreciate this book because there are twins as main characters. This book would be suitable for any child age ten and under.