Divorce has been said to be one of the most stressful events in one’s life. What happens if kids are involved? How might one begin to explain about divorce to them? Here are five books which I hope will support this time.
1. The Divorce Helpbook for Teens by Cynthia MacGregor
MacGregor knows that divorce can be especially tough on teens, and her warm and friendly guide offers a helping hand to teens struggling to answer the tough questions when their parents divorce: Why do parents get divorced? How will the divorce change our lives? What can I do to feel less depressed? Who can I talk to about my problems? What’s going to happen next? How do you tell absent parents that they don’t visit enough? How do you say “no” to parents who want you to carry messages to, or spy on, the other parent? What is there to talk about when you visit a parent who’s moved away?
“Here is a book that is as helpful to teens as to their parents. From the emotional to the pragmatic aspects of divorce, both will benefit from these insights.” — Vicki Lansky, author, Divorce Book for Parents and It’s Not Your Fault, Koko Bear
“Reminds teens that divorce is between the parents and in no way is the fault of the children. It also advises the teenager how to build a support group from among friends, relatives and others.” — Mark Roseman, PhD, Deputy Director for Child Access, Children’s Rights Council
“Teens will find reassurance and common sense ideas on how to feel better, how to understand the crazy things parents do when they fall out of love with each other, and how to talk…about all the changes.” — Hugh R. Leavell, PhD, Marriage and Family Therapist
2. My Parents Are Divorced Too: A Book for Kids by Kids by Melanie Ford, Steven Ford, Annie Ford, and Jann Blackstone-Ford
Three stepsiblings in a blended family discuss their experiences and those of friends with divorce and remarriage. Three kids share with others their hard-won wisdom on divorce. The book deals honestly with tough issues, and addresses questions that are uppermost in the minds of children whose parents are divorced or divorcing.
Melanie, Annie, and Steven Ford pack lots of simple truths and “I have been through it” advice into this wise little book about their struggles and triumphs through their parents’ divorce. Now in its second edition, with more insights and humor from cartoonist Charles Beyl, this is the guide for kids with divorced parents, from some of the best teachers around – kids like themselves!
3. Now What Do I Do?: A Guide to Help Teenagers with Their Parents’ Separation or Divorce by Lynn Cassella-Kapusinski
In Now What Do I Do? author Lynn Cassella-Kapusinki offers a workbook for teens that helps them flush out their feelings and fears. The author writes with a style that teens can easily relate to without feeling talked down to.
The empathetic tone of Now What Do I Do? helps teens confront and define their losses, guiding them through their grief and other difficulties that can result from their parents separation or divorce, whether the breakup is recent or years in the past. Each chapter includes exercises and activities that can be done alone or with friends.
Now What Do I Do? helps teens: Remove feelings of guilt; Know the steps to emotional recovery; Improve communication with parents; Reexamine family ties; Avoid the parental war zone; Deal with anger; Find comfort in faith and friends; Learn to forgive.
“This guide rings with authenticity and truth. It deals with all the feelings: blame, grief, anger and faith in God.” — Antoinette Bosco
4. The Divorce Workbook for Teens: Activities to Help You Move Beyond the Break Up by Linda Schab
It’s tough being a teen, even in the best of circumstances. But when parents divorce, teens are faced with an additional set of practical and emotional issues. This book gives them everything they need to get through their parents’ divorce and keep it from taking a long-term emotional toll.
In this book, teens will learn how to:
- cope with the grief, fear, and anger that accompany divorce
- adjust to having two homes and changes in financial status
- assert their right to be teens, to separate from their parents’ problems, and to love both parents
- not get caught in the middle of battling parents
- understand that the divorce is not their fault and overcome feelings of guilt
Research tells us that teenagers in single-parent families and in blended families are 3 times more likely to need psychological help and that boys are more likely to become aggressive and girls are more likely to experience depression as a result of divorce. While this sounds like a grim picture, it’s important to remember that there is help and that divorce need not leave a painful legacy. The Divorce Workbook for Teens helps teenagers come through their parent’s divorce emotionally and psychologically intact.
5. Keeping Your Life Together When Your Parents Pull Apart: A Teen’s Guide to Surviving Divorce by Angela Elwell Hunt
Interspersed with a story of how two teens deal with the break up of their family, Angela Hunt explores the feelings, emotions and family turmoil that comes with such a life-changing event for children. She reassures the young reader of the validity of their feelings with wisdom, hope and guidance from the Bible.
“Creatively deals with the burdens unique to children of broken homes.”— Beverly LaHaye, president of Concerened Women for America
“A good book…will help kids cope, or help parents to help kids cope.”— V. Gilbert Beers, president of Scripture Press Publications
“Captivating, practical, and down-to-earth. A rare Christian resource.” — Paul Fleischmann, executive director of National Network of Youth Ministries
Let me know what you think of these resources and/ or if you have any others to add to this list.
About Dr. Martha Tara Lee
Surrounded by friends who were sexually inhibited and struck by dire lack of positive conversations around sex and sexuality in Singapore, Dr. Martha Tara Lee set out to make a positive difference in embarking on her doctorate in human sexuality before launching Eros Coaching in 2009. Today, she remains dedicated to working with individuals and couples who wish to lead self-actualised and pleasure-filled lives.
She also holds certificates in counselling, coaching and sex therapy, and her fourth degree – a Masters in Counselling in May 2018. In practice for more than nine years, she is the only certified sexuality educator and certified sexuality educator supervisor by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Singapore.
Often cited in the local media, Dr. Lee is the appointed sex expert for Men’s Health Singapore, and Men’s Health Malaysia. She was recognised as one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women Under 40′ by Her World in July 2010, and one of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011. She is the host of weekly radio show Eros Evolution on the OMTimes Radio Network. She has published three books: Love, Sex and Everything In-Between, Orgasmic Yoga and From Princess to Queen.
Martha works with individuals and couples in private coaching sessions, and conducts her own workshops. She takes prides in making sure all her workshops are also fun, educational, and sex-positive. This comes easily to her because even though she is extremely dedicated and serious about her work, she fundamentally believes that sex is meant to be fun, wonderful, amazing and sacred. As such, this serious light-heartedness has shone through again and again. For her full profile, click here. Email her here.