Divorce can be hard on kids


In working with kids, I have found varying levels of resiliency with coping with divorce. Most kids that go through a divorce will have needs over time to be addressed. Here are some ideas and resources.


Great resources for parents-

Guides, Concepts, and Models

SMILE: An educational program for separating and divorced parents with minor children

Helping Kids Cope with Separation and Divorce



Separated fathers: Fathers, Separation and Co-Parenting

Divorce: A Parents’ Guide for Supporting Children (NASP)


The Parenting Plan

Impacts on kids

The Effects of Divorce on Children

Long-term Effects of Divorce

Phone Apps

DIVORCEWORKS is designed by two psychologists with 3 decades of experience working with families going through separation and divorce. The app helps people cope with this transition mindfully and in a sane manner.

Teacher Resources

Practical tips for educators


Kid Resources

Appreciating the child’s point of view and position is important.

Divorce Brings Many Changes

Divorce is about loss — loss of the family as the child has known it, sometimes even the loss of a familiar home and often many other changes. Loss sometimes brings deep sadness and anger. One thing we can give children is the right to feel — the right to feel sad and angry…the right to feel pain…along with the security of knowing that they still do have adults in their life that will care for them and love them.

The Importance of Rules

Children want to know that some things will not change. They need to know there will still be rules. Rules help them feel secure and loved. Especially if children feel omnipotent, they need firm rules. Even though they may fight the rules, they really do feel more secure knowing that adults are in charge.

Expressing Feelings

Encourage children to use words like “I’m mad” or “I’m sad” when they’re having a tough day. That’s so much better than lashing out at other people or damaging things. One of the most important uses of language is expressing feelings.

Suggest physical activity, like pounding play clay, running in the yard, digging in a pile of dirt, or playing at a playground — all of which can help children drain off some of the tension of angry feelings. You could also encourage drawing pictures, talking to and for a puppet, or making up stories.

Read together children’s books about divorce. Hearing about other children who are dealing with divorce and talking about pictures in a book can often encourage children to bring up their own feelings and concerns.

Even though divorce can be hard to talk about, whatever we can talk about often becomes more manageable. Children need to know that the divorce is not their fault — it’s because of a problem between the grownups. Source

Resources for children

Alpert-Gillis, Linda, and Bernadette Melnyk. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches Never Change. Rochester, N.Y.: University of Rochester Medical Center, 1993.

Grindley, Sally. A New Room for William. Cambridge, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 2000.

Lansky, Vicki. It’s Not Your Fault, Koko Bear: A Read-Together Book for Parents and Young Children During Divorce. Minnetonka, Minn.: Book Peddlers, 1998.

Stern, Zoe, Evan, and Ellen. Divorce is Not the End of the World. Berkeley, Calif.: Tricycle Press, 1997.

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