Thursday, June 5, 2014

A Good Book to Read With Your Child

Cover art copyright (c) Annick Press. Used with permission.

Mom and Dad Don’t Live Together Anymore

Text by Kathy Stinson

Art by Vian Oelofsen
Annick Press, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
(c) 1984, 2007 

Reviewed by Laura Harting

           This is a colorfully and realistically illustrated book for young children (pre-school and early elementary) about parents who are separated.  The young girl in the book shares her thoughts about her parents living apart and what she likes and does not like about it.  This book is  written simply, from the child's perspective, and shares what is going on in this child’s mind about her parents’ separation.

            This book could be a good conversation starter for parents who are separated and want to know what their young children think about them living apart. I would recommend a parent reading this book with his or her child and then asking what the child thinks about Mommy and Daddy living in two separate places.  It would be a great help for a child to think about and articulate what they like about Mommy’s house and what they like about Daddy’s house

            On one page in the book the child wonders if Daddy wants to marry someone else and on another page the child wonders if she will get married and "get apart" when she grows up. These pages open up the possibility for parents to talk about other partners in their lives and to ask their child what they wonder about

            I like Mom and Dad Don't Live Together Anymore as a “read with your child” book because of the opportunity it creates to ask about your child’s thoughts and hear what your child is thinking. It is always good to take time and open up opportunities to listen to what your child is thinking about your divorce.  

Laura Harting, LCSW, is a child and family therapist in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.

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