An interactive workbook designed to help kids deal with separation and divorce.
This volume from Nightingale (Building Resiliency, 2018) draws on her experience as a psychologist and family therapist. She offers a series of illustrated exercises that aim to help children of separation and divorce work through various aspects of chaotic events in their lives. They’re peppered with affirmations, such as “It’s okay to keep on loving both your parents” and “Do you know that crying can sometimes make grownups feel better, too?” It presents a kid-friendly frame story in which a beautiful mermaid and a strong knight fall in love and have four children: Constance, Arletta, Newton, and Spartacus. After a while, tensions grow when the mermaid wants to return to the sea and the knight wants to stay on land: “everything seemed to upset both of them, and they complained about each other,” Nightingale writes. The book offers a series of scenarios involving each child as they experience their parents’ split, and this narrative device allows the author to effectively explore different reactions, including withdrawal, moodiness, anger, and resentment. Each section offers discussion questions (such as “Newton wondered WHY about many parts of his parents’ divorce….What things have you wondered WHY about?”) and pages of exercises (such as “Draw a picture of something special at your mom’s house”). Nightingale’s experience and empathy make the book invaluable for parents who may have read adult books about divorce—including, possibly, the author’s own—but want a similar resource for their kids. The author’s decision to create four fictional children, instead of one, is wise, as well, as it increases the likelihood that a child will find someone relatable in these pages.
A broad-minded and engaging activity book to help children work out their feelings.