Divorce with Children

     The library has children’s materials to help divorcing parents deal with their children’s questions and fears.  There are two types of these materials:  first, books written for the parents, to give advice and comforting tips to the stressed parents.  Second, there are books written for children, to teach these young ones about divorce and to reassure them concerning the changes happening in their environment. This column lists those written for parents.
     Arguing after divorce is very common, however, expert Philip Michael Stahl states, “the children will suffer.”  To help divorcing parents with this, he has written Parenting after divorce: a guide to resolving conflicts and meeting your child’s needs. Far from idealism, this book shares many real-life examples and lists the 12 most common mistakes with practical suggestions.  Customer reviews all give it five stars!
     The criticism offered on the book The switching hour: kids of divorce say goodbye again by Evon Flesberg is that it is too brief.  Flesberg has apparently found a critical area of need for many children in this nation.  Widely acclaimed, his book gives the children’s point of view of divorce and custody arrangements through letters and quotes. Then she offers guidelines and helpful ideas.  With an estimated 20 million children in broken families, this book is an important and valuable one.
     Neither overly pessimistic nor idealistic, Robert Emery’s book The truth about children and divorce: dealing with the emotions so you and your children can thrive offers potential custody schedules, scripts for talking with children in various ages and parental situations (including affairs). Having experienced this himself, he offers a unique perspective and great practical ideas.
     With 60 five star reviews, Divorce poison: protecting the parent-child bond from a vindictive ex by Richard Warshak may be the most popular of the books in this list.  Warshak recognizes that conventional counseling would tell people not to respond or do anything in response to criticism, but Warshak says this can cause more difficulties and serious emotional fallout.  After describing various types of attack, he suggests ways of responding, both individually and with professional help.
     One of the most common requests heard in the Carnegie Library reference department is for the “book of Michigan divorce forms.”  While we also own copies that check out, the reference desk has this book available for use there in the department, in case all other copies are checked out. One version has forms for families with minor children. The book’s actual title is The Michigan divorce book by Michael Maran. Individuals can photocopy these forms on library photocopiers for 10 cents a copy.