The divorce process can feel like a chaotic time. It’s often a whirlwind of unexpected emotion and loss of direction. It’s hard to know where to turn and it can be an isolating period. Keeping yourself together is difficult enough without dealing with any young people involved. Often we don’t have the necessary skills or words to deal with such life changing events and trauma. Over the years we, at Maguire Family Law, have come across some useful books with advice, guidance and stories to help you through the difficulties.
Kes Gray published ‘Mum and Dad Glue’, a book for children whose parents are separating or divorcing. As a family solicitor, providing divorce advice every day, I found the subject extremely moving and a good reminder of the wider impact divorce has on families. ‘Mum and Dad Glue’ is about a little boy who tries to find a pot of ‘parent glue’ to stick his mum and dad back together; his parents have ‘come undone and he wants to mend their marriage, stick their smiles back on and make them better’. Heart-wrenching stuff, I think you’ll agree.
Due to the growing number of separated families, there is a growing range of children’s literature aimed at helping children understand, and come to terms with, their parents’ separation or divorce. These are adult concepts, difficult for children to understand. On divorce or separation, children often blame themselves, and may find it hard to adjust to having two homes (and two of everything), moving out of the family home, and possibly even away from the friends and neighbourhood they have grown up in.
Reading books together with your children can be an excellent way of helping them to adjust. In Mum and Dad Glue, the overriding message is that, whilst the little boy’s parents may be ‘broken’, their love for him is not. It is so easy to forget, in the midst of a painful break-up, that for children, stability, reassurance and honesty is key. If you are struggling to manage your own emotions, books such as this may help you to re-focus your attention on the children.
Listed below are some other books which may help:
For younger children;
It’s not your fault, Koko Bear (Vicki Lansky)
Two Homes (Claire Masurel and Kady MacDonald Denton)
I don’t want to talk about it (Jeanie Franz Ransom and Kathryn Kunz Finney)
Two of Everything (Babette Cole)
For older children;
Divorced but still my parents (Shirley Thomas and Dorothy Rankin)
The Suitcase Kid (Jacqueline Wilson)
It’s not the end of the world (Judy Blume)
The Modern Breakup (Daniel Chidiac) Relationship breakdown and dating.
To Good to leave, Too Bad to Stay (Mira Kirshenbaum) A step by step guide to help you decide.
Falling Apart in one piece (Stacy Morrison) ~This memoir is hilarious and will remind you that you can survive the process.
Healing is the New High: A Guide to Overcoming Emotional Turmoil and Finding Freedom (Vex King)