Children’s books can help your children learn it’s okay to struggle, be different, and go through many of the challenges they’ll go through during their lives. Big, complex issues like divorce can be boiled down to a friendly, bite-sized story to help your child contextualize and understand their situation. That’s why you’ll want to pick up one or two of the books on this list. It can help your child look at the experience positively or at least understand it better.
1. Dino Life Guides: Dinosaurs Divorce
This lovely series of books is a go-to for many parents as it helps children go through a myriad of life’s challenges, from things as simple as “meeting Parents’ New Friends” all the way to, of course, divorce. Kids love dinosaurs, meaning they’re much happier to follow along with such content and then can relate to the dinosaurs’ situation on their own.
2. My Family’s Changing
This book, by psychotherapist Pat Thomas, is a great book that helps young children find the words to talk about how they feel. This can be one of the biggest challenges for young children since they don’t even have the words to put together what they’re thinking or feeling yet. The book even comes with prompts so that you can use it to start a discussion.
3. Two Homes
This book is a great tool to help young children understand what it’s going to be like after the divorce. Showing that there’s a future beyond that big scary D word can help kids feel better about their situation since they know what to expect. Living with Mum and Living with Dad is another great book with the same content by British writer Melanie Walsh if you’d prefer a more modern update.
4. The Big Book of Families
One of the most difficult things for kids going through a divorce is that their family dynamic is changing, and it can feel like a be-all or end-all situation for them because of it. Show them that families come in so many different shapes and sizes and that all families are valid with the Great Big Book of Families. This can also help kids understand and relate to their friends who may not have the standard Mom/Dad set up at home, either.
Finding Reading Material For You
Helping your child understand divorce and what it means is a key step. However, if you want to continue your goodwill and build a happy, healthy environment for your child, you’ll need to master the art of co-parenting together, and this means finding some reading of your own that is appropriate to your situation. Learn some valuable lessons in a Two Healthy Homes co-parenting class about how to be around your ex and use as many of the resources as you can. With more information on how to handle the emotions and everything that comes with a divorce or separation, it can help you navigate this difficult time. The same can be said for children’s books – they are appropriate for them to equip children with the knowledge they need to handle their feelings.
Don’t Forget You Need to Talk, Too
Books can be a great way to start a conversation, but they can’t actually be the sole substitute for the many hard talks you’ll need to go through. Use the books listed above as starting points, and go from there. You’ll likely need to have several conversations and continually work to adapt your co-parenting approach so you can find an approach that helps your children thrive best. Attending a class as mentioned above can help in this regard.