Divorce for Kids

Can Crafts for the Kids!
Speak to Me

parents divorce

How Can I Deal with
My Parent’s Divorce
Hewitt
2007

An alert reader of this site sent this along. I have always had a problem with picture books that attempt to explain situations that are beyond the grasp of adults, let alone children. We have featured many on this site and I have hard time endorsing anything. I will give this book points for trying. I also think authors have a near impossible task in front of them.

The 2007 date, although old, doesn’t make it an automatic weed. Divorce, although painful and awful for the participants, isn’t as uncommon as it was when I was a child. I remember when I was in junior high one girl was so ashamed of her parents she told the story that her dad died, rather than admit her parents were divorced. (I found out through the town grapevine, years and years later.) Divorce simply wasn’t talked about.

So this book walks a pretty fine line, and does a pretty decent job trying to show all sides and not blame a specific parent. Depending on the circulation, I might be tempted to toss this one in the weeding pile just because the photography, especially of the parents, is a bit jarring for my tastes.

I would probably defer to my colleagues with more experience of what children and parents would need in this situation. I will say that I have never been asked for a book like this in 20 years. Youth librarians: please weigh in on this.

Mary

my parents divorce back cover

8 comments

  1. I can’t tell if Mom’s make up is bad or if she is supposed to look like Dad hit her. Or is Mom really grumpy and dad can’t figure out why?

    1. Yes! To me, that’s the main (and maybe only) thing wrong with this book. My first impression was to think that Mom & Dad are getting a divorce because Dad is an abuser. And that would be a whole different book.

  2. This really isn’t too bad, I think. The text on page 8 oversimplifies the process of getting a divorce a little too much, but the last three sentences can’t be said to children of divorcees too often. I would go with “It’s Not Your Fault, Koko Bear” and “When My Parents Forgot How to be Friends” over this, but if it were on our shelf already, I wouldn’t weed it.

  3. They style just doesn’t do it for me. I know it’s for kids, but it just looks too cute. The topic is so serious, but the colors and fonts make it look too cheerful. Not to mention the photography makes everyone look unhealthy. But still, I’ve seen far worse books on serious topics on here.

  4. I have a real issue with any book about divorce for kids that emphasizes the idea that both your parents still love you and want to be with you, or as this book put it, ‘parents divorce each other, not their children’. Great if you’re giving it to a kid in this situation, but sucks a lot for the kid who isn’t. My parents divorced when I was young and my father was never heard from again. (Yay! He was a butt, lol.) Even knowing this, school counselors still kept giving my siblings and me the ‘your parents still love you’ books. We laughed it off, but I knew other kids in similar ‘vanishing parent’ situations who were really screwed up by this. When joint custody, visitation, etc, are constantly presented as the way it always, ALWAYS is, many children who are in a different situation are left to feel like maybe there really is something wrong with them, and maybe it is somehow their fault. At the very least, they’re missing out on support they might dearly need.

    For that reason alone I’d look into replacing this book with a more balanced one ASAP. Additionally, now that marriage has become open to everyone, YAY!, a book with photos of more varied families would be a nice addition to any children’s section.

    1. Wow, that’s a good point. I feel the same way about sex-ed materials that make blanket statements like “girls want sex just as much as boys!!!” Well, that’s great. But what if you don’t? Then you feel like a weirdo.

      Great point about showing more varied families, too.

  5. I look at that photo and conclude that it’s all Mom’s fault. Dad looks like he’s trying to understand, and Mom looks angry.

    Or maybe it’s the kids’ fault! I hear kids always blame themselves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.