Divorce isn’t easy for adults to deal with, but when you’re a child dealing with your parents divorcing, it’s even harder. One, because if it’s a toddler or a preschooler, he or she will most likely not even have the language capacity to discuss divorce in depth. Two, because even older kids can’t know/shouldn’t know the reasons behind a marriage’s demise.
Ultimately, all kids are left with are the end results. From that, they’ve got to learn a new way of living and understanding the world than before. And while adults have many different “changes” in their lives after a divorce, kids have even more—from two homes to potentially, losing a parent, gaining a stepparent and much more. So, how do we help kids cope with divorce?
One of the best tools is literature.
Picture books on divorce and children’s books about divorce are excellent resources to help kids of all ages deal with this tough change. It starts the conversation and or sometimes, continues the conversation when kids have questions that they might be afraid to ask mom or dad.
Read on to view some of the best books on divorce for toddlers, preschoolers and beyond:
These picture books try to capture the feelings that very young ones may have with the changes of divorce.
It’s Not Your Fault, KoKo Bear, by Vicki Lansky and Jane Prince
A great book to help little ones understand what divorce is and that it is not their fault!
Divorce Is the Worst, by Anastasia Higginbotham
This picture book uses humor and honesty to explore all the difficult feelings a child may have about their parents’ divorce.
Two Homes, by Claire Masurel
This is a story about how life goes for one child for divorce—in a positive way. Ultimately, wherever the main character goes, (mom or dad’s house) he is loved.
As kids get older, so do their communication skills. These two picks are a bit more complex than the previous choices, making them better suited for kids who are in the early elementary years of school.
Dinosaurs Divorce, by Laurene Krasny Brown and Marc Brown
A comprehensive story, it hits both why parents divorce and how life can be afterward, from two homes to meeting a parent’s “new special friend.”
What Can I Do?: A Book for Children of Divorce, by Danielle Lowry
The main character in this book for kids on divorce tries to stop her parents from divorcing. When they divorce anyway, she goes through many feelings, but in the end, learns how to cope with the change.
Older kids may have more questions—and insight into divorce, but it doesn’t make it easy on them. These books can help address the complex change divorce can bring to a family.
A Smart Girl’s Guide to Her Parents’ Divorce: How to Land on Your Feet When Your World Turns Upside Down, by Nancy Holyoke
Part of the American Girl series, this guide is well-suited for girls ages 10 and up.
Divorce Is Not the End of the World: Zoe’s and Evan’s Coping Guide for Kids, by Zoe Stern and Evan Stern
Straight from the “horse’s mouth,” two teens of divorce wrote a book to help other kids going through the same situation.
Mom’s House, Dad’s House for Kids: Feeling at Home in One Home or Two, by Isolina Ricci Ph.D.
Written by a therapist, this book gives older kids and their families tools to help with divorce.
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