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5 Books to Help Kids Understand Divorce


Written Exclusively for It's Over Easy by Divorce Coach Prudence Henschke

Divorce naturally brings up lots of questions and concerns for children. As a parent, knowing how to approach the inevitable conversations around divorce can be tricky. That is where books can help.  In this article, I'll share some of the latest books for kids about divorce. 

Books on divorce and family restructuring serve as a useful tool for explaining to children what they can expect when their parents are getting divorced. Depending upon the child's age, a parent can even use a book like this to open up a conversation about the changes occurring in the family. Reading to our kids, or if they're old enough, allowing them to read about divorce on their own and return with questions, can help kids normalize what they are feeling and experiencing. Books about families separating also offer an opportunity to organically start conversations within your family about what is happening.

Here are a selection of helpful books dealing with the topic of divorce targeted at younger children:

  1. Max’s Earthquake Divorce by Rachel Brace [Ages 4 – 7] Rachel is an Australian psychologist who works with children and families experiencing divorce. Her book focuses on the range of emotions a child might experience when their family changes because of divorce. The book helps children recognize, understand, and name their feelings and realize there is no right or wrong way to feel. Rachel also shares at the conclusion of the book some tips for how parents can emotionally support their children through a family separation.
  2. When your Parents’ Divorce by Kimberly King [Ages 4-10] Kimberly is a child-development professional and certified early-childhood educator. Written from the perspective of a young girl, Kimmy, the book offers an honest account of the realities of divorce and what children might feel and experience. The book includes an interactive journal for children to process their thoughts and experience.
  3. Living with Mom and Dad by Melanie Walsh [ages 3-7]. A lift the flap book exploring simple concepts such as a child’s two homes, two bedrooms and basic changes to their lives. The take home message is that although there are changes through a separation, the love of mum and dad (and the extended family) doesn’t change. Another great book dealing with similar themes is Two Homes by Claire Masurel.
  4. Was It the Chocolate Pudding? by Sandra Levins [Ages 2-6 years] Children often think a divorce is their fault and in this story the children believe a messy chocolate pudding incident is the cause of their parents’ separation. The book provides re-assurance to children their parents separation is not their fault and explores the relationship the children enjoy with their parent’s post-separation. The book includes a Note to Parents from Jane Annunziata, a clinical psychologist with advice on how to explain separation and divorce to your children and how to help them cope.
  5. Dinosaur Divorce by Laurie Krasny Brown [Ages 4-8 years]. This book has stood the test of time, having been written over 30 years ago. Rather than a story format, the book is a guide to some of the key themes in divorce including why parents’ divorce, common feelings and how to process them, having two homes, celebrating holidays and special occasions, telling friends and living with a new step-parent and siblings.

About the Author

Prudence is a Certified Divorce Coach with over 14 years of experience as a Family Lawyer.  In her role as a Coach, she specializes in helping working mothers feel supported, calm and confident as they navigate the practical and emotional challenges of a break-up or a divorce. You can connect with her via The Index and on her website