‘Mum and Dad Glue’ by Kes Gray is a book written for young children whose parents are separating or divorcing. This book serves as a useful reminder of the wider impact of divorce on every member of the family.
‘Mum and Dad Glue’ is about a boy who tries to find a pot of ‘parent glue’ to stick his Mum and Dad back together; in his eyes his parents have ‘come undone’ and he wants to ‘mend their marriage, stick their smiles back on and make them better.’ Heart wrenching material.
Nowadays, separation and divorce are familiar concepts even to children and there is an ever growing range of literature aimed at helping children to understand, and come to terms, with their situation. It is often difficult for parents to verbalise what is happening and especially to convey this to young children.
Research suggests that children often blame themselves for separation or divorce and they may find it hard to adjust to the changing living arrangements, contact arrangements and general upheaval of life as they know it.
Reading story books with your children which are gently themed about separation can be an important means of communicating on these difficult issues, and of helping them adjust.
In Mum and Dad Glue, the overriding message is that, whilst the boy’s parents may appear ‘broken’ to him, their love for him is solid and secure. It is easy to forget, in the middle of a painful break up, that for children, stability, reassurance and honesty are 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.
Ultimately, children will usually feel happy and settled if their parents are similarly happy, whether or not they are living apart. It is essential therefore to focus every effort on ensuring a divorce or separation is resolved in a conciliatory and amicable way, to stand the best chance of a positive outcome for your children.