Little Diva, Little Dude and I are pretty settled in our new place and our new routine ... but it has taken some time. I know that I was thrown for a loop with the lack of day-to-day routine and time away from them. Being relocated to another neighborhood and sharing walls with neighbors has been an adjustment, but I've surived. I'm sure that they've struggled with the same changes and modifications to our schedule -- Even though they haven't expressed it in such words.
I decided to visit our local library's online catalog recently and reserved several books on separation and divorce to read with the kids. Little Diva really enjoyed looking through them and I know that she (and I) related to several of the points made in the stories. Little Dude sat down with us and listened and understood the basic concepts, but was not old enough to understand some of the points made.
The books helped the kids understand that separation and divorce is not there fault. As much as we have reinforced this with the kids, these books helped get that point across.
"Feelings Only I Know; Mom and Dad Are Getting Divorced" by Susan McKenna was filled with beautiful illustrations. This was Little Diva's favorite story that we read. She enjoyed looking at the drawings that got their point across, as I read the words to her. It also includes a parental guide.
The book touches on how the parents will no longer have to SHARE the child during their time together ... that the time with each parent will be intimate, special and unique. It also mentioned how living in two households just maximizes the opportunities for neighbors, friends and family members. There are just that many more people to love you! And, I couldn't agree more.
"Cosmos' Mom and Dad are Moving Apart" by Annie Thiel was a cute story that Little Diva read word-for-word. The quirky, cartoonistic illustrations were funny, but filled with emotion. The story touched on the parents' emotions quite a bit and how that made little Cosmos feel. The book also touched on Cosmos relating to friends on the playground who had divorced parents. Little Diva appreciated that, as she developed her own "support system" at school (her words, not mine!).
The book was a really good "visual aid" for Little Diva. The pictures really helped her identify and relate. There was a map of Cosmos' neighborhood with his Dad's house marked -- with mom's apartment spotted right around the corner. It discussed how the child would go back and forth between two residences and showed the bedrooms in both homes. Similar set-ups, similar things -- yet different. Toys, clothing, LOVE ... in BOTH homes! It also showed how Cosmos sat down with mom and dad and went over a month calendar and parental schedule -- when he would be with both parents.
She really enjoyed the family photos at the end of the story ... reassuring the child that their parents would always be there parents forever and ever. The child grows and the family grows with it ... forever and ever.
"You and Your Parents' Divorce" by Katherine Krohn was not of too much interest by Little Diva (almost age 8). This book would be better geared toward a pre-teen. I think it would be a great resource for a middle-schooler, as it is lengthy and detailed.
There are five chapters:
1 - What Exactly is Divorce?
2 - It's Not Your Fault
3 - Finding Friends Who Understand
4 - Please Don't Put Me in the Middle
5 - Adjusting to Change
Even though Little Diva and Little Dude aren't currently old enough to appreciate this book, I did. It was good for me to review the information on my own and remind myself why I'm doing what I'm doing and what other changes I need to make ... for them, for me, and my relationship with their father.