Helping children to understand divorce is perhaps one of the hardest aspects of divorce. After you have sat down and explained that their parents won’t be living together anymore, what comes next?
Your children might have questions straight away. These might not be easy to answer, and you might not know the answers yourself. For example, they might want to know where they will live before you’ve even had a chance to decide if you’re going to sell the family home or who will have parental responsibility.
The first step is to offer some reassurance and let them know that you are always ready to talk about it when they have questions. If you want to help young children to understand the concept of divorce, there are books you can use as a guide. A book can also be helpful for older children who want to explore the topic on their own.
Here are just some of the books suitable for all ages that can help to introduce the idea of divorce, answer questions, and reassure children that they aren’t alone.
Dinosaurs Divorce By Laurene Krasny Brown and Marc Brown
This adorable dinosaur picture book helps to answer some of the many questions young children will have when their parents are getting divorced. From where they will spend holidays, to what it’s like to have two homes. This book is perfect for children aged 3-7 who want to explore the idea of divorce in a safe place.
Two Homes By Claire Masurel
This child-centred picture book will help children aged 3-7 understand what it’s like for your parents to live in two different homes. It shares some of the positive takes that they can look forward to. By presenting the changes in a positive light – you get two sets of everything – it can help to add a level of excitement to the changes. But don’t worry, this book doesn’t gloss over things.
The Invisible String By Patrice Karst
This picture book isn’t directly about divorce, but it is a heart-warming story that will help children to cope with being away from a parent. The story is perfect for children aged 3 and up. The book is all about the invisible strings that connect us, and it introduces the idea that every time the child thinks of a loved one, their string gives their heart a little tug. This can be perfect for preparing young children to be away from one of their parents more often.
A Smart Girl’s Guide to Her Parent’s Divorce By Nancy Holyoke
This book is perfect for older girls who want to feel in control. This book is a collection of letters written by young girls whose parents are going through a divorce. The book answers their questions about everything from shared custody to their parents remarrying. It’s perfect for girls aged 8 and up to help them explore what divorce will mean for them. If you are parenting smart and independent young girls, this is the ideal book to give them a feeling of control.
The Suitcase Kid by Jacqueline Wilson
This classic Jacqueline Wilson book is about a girl who splits her time between her mum and dad’s houses. Both parents have remarried, so it also explores the topic of blended families. This book may help children aged 8 and up to explore their feelings and process some of the challenges that may lay ahead. Jacqueline Wilson is a world-renowned children’s author who tackles some of the biggest issues a child might face with ease. Other titles that might be of interest include Candyfloss and Clean Break.