Parents must navigate an additional level of complexity when they go through a separation or divorce. Instead of focusing solely on what’s best for them, they must make decisions based on what is best for their child or children.
There’s no “right” way to parent through a divorce, but it is important that you and your partner work cooperatively to ensure the kids still have a safe, stable and loving environment to live in. Divorce will be difficult on the kids at first, but, provided they are given the love and care they need, they’ll adapt to and thrive in their new situation.
Every child will react to divorce differently, and some strategies may be more effective than others. However, if you are looking for a bit of guidance on how to help your child through divorce, these books are excellent resources, and have really helped some of our clients get through a difficult time with their kids. If there’s a title missing from this collection, please let us know!
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Title: The Truth About Children and Divorce
Author: Roberty E. Emery
Why we like this book: Dr. Emery, researcher, therapist and mediator, reminders parents that if they’re going to fight, make sure it’s for the kids and not over them. The author has professional and personal experience (he too is a divorced parent) which makes the book very accessible. Dr. Emery considers multiple types of relationships parents may have with each other after a separation, and offers co-parenting solutions for cooperative, distant and angry parents.
Title: Helping Your Kids Cope with Divorce the Sandcastles Way
Author: M. Gary Neuman with Patricia Romanowski
Why we like this book: This book does a wonderful job of offering parents ways that they can take a potentially turbulent event, and turn it in to one that brings them and their child closer together. Included are dozens of detailed, age-appropriate activities the reader can try with their child when they are feeling angry, sad, or don’t quite know how to express their emotions. Plus there’s an excellent section on how to build a good co-parenting relationship, even when it seems impossible.
Title: Putting Children First
Author: JoAnne Pedro-Carroll
Why we like this book: What do children really worry about when their parents go through a separation? Is there more to what they are saying? What can a parent do to ensure their child doesn’t lose their resilience? Dr. Pedro Carroll answers all of these questions in this book, and provides age-appropriate “sample scripts” that parents can work from. She also includes real advice she’s heard from children on how parents can make the divorce process better for them.
Title: The Good Divorce
Author: Constance Ahrons
Why we like this book: The Good Divorce dispels common divorce myths, including those that relate to children and families. Dr. Ahrons incorporates many positive personal stories, including some of her own, that help readers understand that a good divorce is possible, and that families might change after divorce, but they don’t stop being a family.