My daughter, who is almost ten now, loves to read. Often times when it’s quiet around the house, I’ll go from room to room looking for her and find her curled up with a book on the corner of the couch. She’s learned a lot about the world through reading.
Even though she was just a baby when I got divorced, I started collecting children’s books about divorce and single parenting. When she was just a toddler, we started reading them here and there, in between Dr. Seuss and Sandra Boynton books.
I stumbled across this blog post from Mia at Pragmatic Mom where she shared ten books with single parents. I was excited to find several books on her list that I’d never heard of, even though my daughter is a little old for these kinds of books now.
Even still, we’ve got a small collection on the bookshelf… as a reminder of all we’ve been through and how far we’ve come. Here are some of our favorite children’s books that helped my daughter understand about divorce when was little:
Two Homes – I loved this book so much. My daughter never knew what it was like to have her parents married and living together. She has had two homes for as long as she can remember. This book does such a great job of showing kids what it’s like to have two homes, giving them good vocabulary for the reality of divorce, and it really focuses on the fact that kids have two homes, both loving environments.
Standing on my Own Two Feet – This book is perfect for young kids, preschool and kindergarten aged. Lots of kids whose parents are going through divorce experience sadness and feel like it’s their fault. This sweet book using repetition and rhyming to pull in young readers, with a focused message of unconditional love and removing blame.
It’s Not Your Fault, Koko Bear – This may have been my favorite book on our shelf. Divorce is hard on kids no matter when it happens. Even though my daughter was just a baby when her dad and I divorced, I wanted to make sure that she always knew it wasn’t her fault that we split up. This book does a great job of reinforcing the idea that mom and dad still love the kids and that it’s not the kids’ fault they split up. I also love that there’s an entire page of Koko Bear showing different emotions. Often times kids can’t express their emotions with words, but pointing to a picture of an emotion can help them communicate feelings better.
Mama and Daddy Bear’s Divorce – One of my favorite things about this book is how it explains that after divorce, some things will change and some will stay the same. For lots of kids of divorce, feeling like their life is in an upheaval is one of the hardest parts. This book helps work through a lot of the emotions that go along with lots of change.