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If you’re recently divorced, separated, or in the process of either of these, you already know how tough it can be for your child to deal with. Your young child most likely doesn’t understand exactly what’s happening, but they can tell there are changes occurring. Even young toddlers know when there are changes happening between their parents and in their household.
It can be difficult for you because you aren’t sure how to explain what’s happening to your child. Some people may think their kids are too young to understand so they don’t tell them anything. Some feel like talking about it will make it worse for their kids. For others, the grief or pain you’re going through makes it difficult to talk about it at all.
Although it can be really difficult to discuss with your child what separation or divorce is and what it means for your family, it’s a discussion that needs to happen. Talking with your child can help lessen the confusion they may be feeling. Young kids view the world as though the world revolves around them, (don’t worry this is developmentally normal). But this means they often feel as though they have done something to cause one of their parents to leave. They may also think if they change their behavior somehow, (like “being really good” or “keeping their room clean every day”) that this will get the other parent to come back.
Even though it may be hard to talk about, it’s beneficial because you’re reassuring your child that it isn’t their fault. It helps them to not feel responsible for the family dynamic changing or like they can do something to “fix” it.
A great way to help children cope with divorce or separation is by reading books with them. If your child is hesitant to talk with you about what’s happening, reading books may be the conversation starter they need. You can point out what the character is feeling and ask if your child is feeling similar. You can point out how the characters cope with the changes happening within their family. Then you can discuss what coping skills your child may find helpful.
This is a huge, complex subject and you may not know what to tell them or how much to tell them. Reading children’s books about divorce can help break down a difficult subject into an age appropriate way for your kids to understand.
20 Best Children’s Books About Divorce And Separation
My hope is to provide you and your child with books that can help ease the emotions or confusion your child may be experiencing. Separation and divorce aren’t easy for any family to go through. But one way to help your child understand this complex topic and cope with the changes, is by reading children’s books about divorce and separation.