When parents of young children divorce, explaining the concept of divorce is often a great challenge. Books can help with this, in part because they give parents a script to follow, concepts to go along with the words, and pictures that give kids a concrete visual image to go along with the words.
Mama and Daddy Bear’s Divorce, by Cornelia Maude Spelman is a great book about divorce for young children. The story is about “Dinah” (a bear,) who loves her family but tells us that: “…one day, something sad happened. Mama and Daddy said they were going to get a divorce.” Dinah talks about her feelings (sad and scared) and some of her inner questions. She talks to her parents about her feelings, and both parents reassure her that they will always be her mama/daddy. As the book progresses, she describes how she spends time with both parents separately. Her parents make some mistakes, but the theme of parental love and involvement persists. The book concludes by saying that after time she feels less sad, and that her parents and sister will always be her family. It’s a peaceful and positive ending.
I highly recommend this book, available at your public library, or from amazon here.
“When I Feel Angry” is a children’s book by a therapist, Cornelia Maude Spelman. She’s also the author of “When I Feel Sad,” reviewed earlier here. When I Feel Angry is also aimed at the younger crowd, from apx 2-9 or so years of age, depending on your child’s reading and interest level.
The main character of this book is a rabbit. She talks about times when she feels angry:
“I feel angry when I have to stop a game at the best part and clean up my room, or when we finally go swimming it rains.”
She describes how anger feels:
“Anger is a strong, hot feeling. When I feel angry, I want to say something mean, or yell, or hit.”
She elaborates on the different between a feeling and an action taken in response to a feeling (did I mention the author is a therapist? ;^) )
“But feeling like I want to is not the same as doing it. Feel can’t hurt anyone or get me in trouble, but doing can.”
And then our little rabbit tells kids how she handles her angry feelings:
“I can take deep breaths and blow the air out, hard, to send the anger out of me. I can make my anger cooler by running, riding my bike, or doing something I really like to do.”
The last few pages acknowledge that sometimes anger is a healthy response (yea!) an covers three more important points: sometimes things can’t be changed, sometimes it’s “me” that needs to change, and sometimes it’s “you” that needs to change. (again, this is a very healthy message about anger!)
So, consider this another ‘highly recommended” book to keep in your child’s library. If you’d like to buy this book, you can click on the picture of it below–it’s a link to the book’s page on Amazon.
In their book Unplug the Christmas Machine, authors Jo Robinson and Jean Staeheli say that kids (deep-down… sometimes way deep-down) want the following 4 things for Christmas, and I definitely agree.
- A relaxed and loving time with their family.
- Realistic expectations about gifts
- An evenly paced holiday season
- Reliable family traditions
What a list, huh!?! Surely this is a “Christmas list” that any parent would love to get!
Note: The book (Unplug the Christmas Machine) is a great
one. Click on the link below to read more or to purchase it. FYI, the
quote above is reprinted with permission from Alternatives for Simple
Living – SimpleLiving.org – 800-821-6153.