I have a great friend who is sadly in the midst of coping with a separation and divorce. She was looking for ways to help her young children understand so I put together these recommendations which I've used. I thought I'd share them here as well in case anyone ever needs them for their own kids or others.
It's not your fault Koko Bear
This easy-to-understand children's story and parenting guide is intended for families where both parents plan to stay active and involved in their child's life. "It's Not Your Fault, KoKo Bear" revolves around a lovable bear who doesn't want to have two homes. KoKo's experience will help children learn what divorce means, how family life will change, and understand that the divorce is not their fault. Ages 2-7
Sympathetic to the full range of feelings that divorce produces, the authors use evocative cartoon dinosaur characters to convey their message. Chapters address such concerns as why parents divorce, what will happen to "me," where will holidays be celebrated, living in two homes, etc. the book is upbeat with a straightforward treatment of a potentially confusing, traumatic childhood experience is comprehensive. Ages 4-8
At Mommy’s house, Alex has a soft chair. At Daddy’s house, Alex has a rocking chair. In each home, Alex also has a special bedroom and lots of friends to play with. But whether Alex is with Mommy or with Daddy, one thing always stays the same - Alex is loved. The gently reassuring text focuses on what is gained rather than what is lost when parents divorce, while the sensitive illustrations, depicting two unique homes in all their small details, firmly establish Alex’s place in both of them. TWO HOMES will help children - and parents - embrace even the most difficult of changes with an open and optimistic heart. Ages 3-7.
The invisible string
THE INVISIBLE STRING is a very simple approach to overcoming the fear of loneliness or separation with an imaginative flair that children can easily identify with and remember. Here is a warm and delightful lesson teaching young and old that we aren't ever really alone and reminding children (and adults!) that when we are loved beyond anything we can imagine. "People who love each other are always connected by a very special String, made of love. Even though you can't see it with your eyes, you can feel it deep in your heart, and know that you are always connected to the ones you love. ages 3-7.
I don't want to talk about it
Children have a hard enough time dealing with their parents' divorce without getting patronizing advice from grownups who think they know better. This book speaks to children on their level, and gives them a chance to realize that although their lives will change, their parents' love for them will not. Children need to know that the things they count on the most will always be there, and this book helps reassure them that they will be OK despite what's going on with mom and dad. Ages 5-9.