Our age, mental state, living circumstances, proximity, our ability, or allowance to communicate our feelings and relation to the couple encompass how we react and cope with divorce. Let’s say a lot goes into someone’s initial reaction to divorce and how it could affect them later in life.
For children, parental discord can have lasting adverse effects like poor relationships, anxiety and undeveloped communication skills that last into adulthood. This is especially true for children whose parents pit them against their other parent. When parents are constantly bickering about their spouse, and knowingly or unknowingly passing this information onto their children, the child unconsciously chooses sides. These frayed relationships can be challenging to repair.
The other factor that equates to different reactions is age. The older a child gets, the more they understand about the world around them. It’s likely as children age that at least one of their friends is a child of divorce. For young children, divorce can be tough to understand or even comprehend. They don’t understand why daddy or mommy isn’t home anymore. Why am I living in two homes?
The following five books can help your children better understand the score of divorce. This understanding, allowing them to communicate their feelings without judgment, living a healthy lifestyle yourself and maintaining an amicable relationship with your ex-spouse can help your children grow and develop healthily.
1. A Brand New Day: A Banana Split Story, by A.S. Chung
This book, a National Indie Excellence Award winner, provides the story of a young girl who focuses on the best aspects of hanging out with both parents who just happen to live at different houses. The book provides children a silver lining (the good times), like getting a banana split to cope with their parents’ separation.
Age range: three to six
2. Was It The Chocolate Pudding? A Story For Little Kids About Divorce, by Sandra Lewis
Sandra Lewis’ book reinforces that while the children might initially think the divorce is their fault, it most definitely was not. In this book, the two young brothers end up making a mess in the kitchen with chocolate pudding. During this event, their mother leaves out of the blue, leaving the children to think that their mess caused their mom to skip town. The book illustrates that their parents’ divorce was because of an adult issue and had nothing to do with the chocolate pudding mess.
Age range: four and up
3. Emily’s Blue Period by Cathleen Daly
The focus of this book is to point out that it’s okay to have emotions. After her father is out of the picture, the young girl in this book is having trouble coping with emotions she isn’t used to dealing with like resentment, sadness and finally, acceptance. She begins to paint and discovers that painting is her outlet to deal with these complex emotions in a healthy way.
Age range: Four to seven
Sometimes children aren’t ready to talk, so allowing them to express themselves is a great way to help them cope with a difficult situation. Be patient and provide opportunities because when children are ready to open up, they will.