Helping children come to terms with the separating of their family is one of the hardest aspects of divorce for parents.
Making the best arrangements, striking the right chord and finding the words to comfort and support are all part of what families go through at this time.
Fortunately when looking for additional support there’s a whole library’s worth of books to help children understand they are not alone in going through divorce. From picture books for very young children to novels for teenagers, there’s something suitable for every age range.
Many have common themes – such as divorce is not a child’s fault and that life will get easier. But it’s also possible to find stories that relate to specific issues that children might face, like joining a blended family or believing that an irretrievably broken marriage can be fixed.
Here’s a selection of some of the books that have been recommended over the years and some new to the market. Clicking on the book’s title takes you through to where it can be bought, but all are available from good booksellers.
Out in paperback/ebook this week, written by primary school teacher Caterina Hughes.
This book tells the story of Ralphie, an orange and black dolphin. He is special and rare and longs for a normal family like his friends. For those children (and their parents) who have separated families.
A colourful, comforting picture book that explains what divorce words mean, why parents divorce, how to live with one parent and visit the other and much more about separation. Part of the Dino Life series. Age 3-7.
A read-together book for parents and young children (age 3-7). Vicki Lansky reminds us that parents divorcing is not the child’s fault and reassures young readers that that their parents still love them and will take care of them.
In Kes Gray’s book a little boy tries to find a pot of parent glue to stick his mum and dad back together because they have come undone and he wants to mend their marriage. Age 3-8.
Author Pat Thomas is a psychotherapist and counsellor and helps children to face their fears, worries and questions when their family is going through a break-up. This picture book for younger children has frequent ‘what about you?’ questions to encourage children to explore their own feelings. Age 6-8.
Rosie tries to keep her divorcing parents together but none of her plans work. Life improves when she meets and shares experiences and helpful ideas with other children in a similar position. By the end of the year, Rosie has learned many good answers to the question, ‘What can I do?’. Age 8+.
When her parents announce that they’re going to get divorced, it seems as if Karen’s whole world will fall apart. Gradually, she learns this isn’t going to happen – and that divorce is not the end of the world. Age 9+
Jacqueline Wilson’s novels frequently have family break up at the heart of their stories. The Suitcase Kid – Andy aged 10 – spends one week with mum’s new family, one week with dad’s – and that’s far from easy. Age 9+.
Lincoln and his mum have escaped from an abusive relationship he doesn’t want to discuss. Instead he concentrates efforts on his fictional stories…until a nosey girl starts asking lots of questions. Age 8-12.
→ Have you got any recommendations for books on children and divorce for other families? Let us know and we’ll share them – firstname.lastname@example.org
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→ Here are some of the ways Merrick Solicitors can help when your separating family includes children.
I WILL BE ETERNALLY GRATEFUL. AMANDA MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE HER ONLY CLIENT AND HOLDS YOUR HAND TO GUIDE YOU THROUGH