By Gianna Huesch
Divorcing parents inevitably fear the effect their relationship breakdown will have on their children, and there is no denying that separation and divorce will have some impact on your children. It’s normal that kids will experience some negative emotions like anger, confusion and sadness. But instead of feeling guilty that your child will experience such emotions, you can help alleviate the impact on them by taking advantage of the many resources that are available to help support kids through the process.
Books are one such powerful resource you can share with your children to help them understand how separation and divorce may affect them.
Children of different age groups experience divorce and separation differently so the choice of book will depend on your children’s ages. Whether it’s colourful picture books for the younger ones, or novels for the older kids, books on relationship breakdown are often written by child psychologists and backed up by research, and often contain targeted messages, conveyed subtly, to provide advice and help them to learn coping mechanisms.
Expressing concepts in simple ways, such books can help kids come to terms with what has happened and help them manage their fears for the future. Books can be enormously useful in helping children understand and process their feelings, as well as reduce the sense of isolation a child may be feeling, as they are able to relate to fictional characters going through similar experiences, such as now having two homes and two of everything.
Apart from offering straightforward explanations of what a divorce is and what the consequences might be, many books also offer practical suggestions for what kids can do to help themselves feel better. The books will often gently help kids understand the fact that they can’t mend their parents’ relationship and that while their parents’ love for each other may be broken, their love for the child is not.
Further, books can offer you tips for how to talk to your kids about your divorce, and act as prompts to open up discussion with them about how they are feeling about the changes taking place in their lives.
Here are two websites we like which offer a great list of age-appropriate books to help your kids through the process:
Do you need assistance with your divorce or other family law matter? Please contact Cristina Huesch or one of our other solicitors here at Alliance Family Law on (02) 6223 2400 to arrange a cost-free, no-obligation first conference, to see how we can help you.