Sunday, March 29, 2015

When a Parent Has a New Partner

Do You Sing Twinkle?

By Sandra Levins
Illustrated by Bryan Langdo
Magination Press/American Psychological Association
Washington DC, 2010

Reviewed by Laura Harting

Twinkle is the song that Mom always sings to this young boy and his brother every night after reading a book and tucking them into bed.  When Mom remarries and two stepsisters join the family, this child wonders if Mom is sharing this nightly ritual with the  girls. Thinking about this makes for a grumpy morning and a very bad day.  After listening to all of their son's sad and angry feelings, Mom and Dad come up with some good solutions to what originally seemed like insurmountable problems.

This book for preschool and early elementary age children is less about divorce and more about remarriage. It specifically deals with how remarriage creates more changes in a child's life. The book offers strategies for parents to help a child cope with the changes. It encourages the child to share feelings with parents. At the end of the book are two pages of notes to parents about helping children through remarriage, encouraging parents to be receptive to their child’s feelings.

This is a good read-along book for the young child (age 4 to 8) but should only be read when a parent has a new partner and is either contemplating remarriage or has already remarried.

Laura Harting, LCSW, sees young clients at her office in Paoli, Pennsylvania.


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