USING BOOKS TO TALK WITH
CHILDREN ABOUT DIVORCEUniversity
Sara Gable, State Specialist, Human Development and Family Studies
Kelly Cole, Extension Associate
Children's books about divorce can help them work through the issues they
face. Reading books can give children a way to express their emotions and
discuss issues that they may not otherwise be comfortable talking about.
Parents also may benefit from these books by learning common things that
children of divorce experience.
- It's not your fault, KoKo Bear
By Vicky Lansky
This book is designed for parents and children ages 3 to 5 years to read
together. Each page provides a large picture to show what is happening in
the story and includes messages for parents. The messages for parents help
make a connection between the story and what happens to children in real
families. KoKo Bear faces situations that help him learn what divorce means,
and that he is not to blame for the divorce. He is helped to talk about his
feelings, and is told that he is still loved by both parents. Daily events
that children and parents may have to face differently due to divorce are
presented and problems are solved through talking, sharing, and special
- Dinosaurs Divorce: A guide for changing families
By Laurene Krasney Brown and Marc Brown
Little Brown and Company
This award-winning book is designed for parents and young school-aged
children to read together — at least the first few times. Stories are
presented in a cartoon strip pattern and organized around topics that are
recognized as important for children experiencing the divorce of their
parents. Issues such as why parents divorce, living with one parent, having
two homes, telling friends, parents' new partners, and celebrating special
occasions are discussed. Solutions to problems that may come up are seen
through the actions of the dinosaur children and their parents. A table of
contents and a glossary are useful for children who may chose to re-read
specific stories. The artwork is very appealing to children.
- How do I feel about: My parents' Divorce
By Julia Cole
Copper Beach Books
This book is written for older school-aged children with some reading
skills, but should be read at least the first time with a parent so that the
child may ask questions. The table of contents outlines the topics covered
in the book: what is divorce? why does it happen? difficult feelings, and
feeling O.K. A variety of photographs of different children and cartoon
illustrations expand on the text to show that everybody lives in a situation
that is unique. Children will gain an understanding that they are not alone
in having their parents divorce and that there is more than one way that
problems may be faced or solved. Pictures of daily life events and hassles
show the reader that situations can get better.
- Pre-Teen Pressures: Divorce
This book, written for pre-teen readers, covers a wide range of issues, some
of which may be applicable to your family situation. Because this book deals
with a wide range of topics, you should read it before going through it with
your children. This book discusses common changes that take place for
divorcing families. A variety of families are presented to show that there
are many reasons why marriages end (affairs, violence/abuse and alcoholism).
A variety of family stories are used to show that individuals adjust
differently, make different decisions and move on to new relationships at
different speeds. Photographs are used and include colorful titles. Divorce
is presented clearly as an event that is shared by many families who deal
with it in a variety of ways. The children's roles in their adjustment to
divorce are emphasized.
2002 University of Missouri.
Published by University
Extension, University of Missouri-Columbia.
Article was base on Using
Books To Talk With Children