An alternative Christmas list for those facing a family separation or divorce

What resources are available if you are going through a divorce or separation and want some help on co-parenting? What about helpful books for children during a family separation/period of change?

It is hard work managing your feelings when going through a divorce or separation. It takes real effort to find a way forward when all you feel is despair. If you are going through a period of family change, or even just want to improve things or learn how best to co-parent and put the needs of your children first, some of these books might help:-

  1. Jack and Black Cat by Helen Victoria Bishop and Simon Murray – this is still my personal ‘go to’ book. It’s a sensitive book to inspire and support young children through the difficulty of parental separation.


  1. The invisible string, by Patrice Karst– ‘this offers a very simple approach to overcoming loneliness, separation, or loss with an imaginative twist that children easily understand and embrace, and delivers a particularly compelling message in today’s uncertain times.’ One particular review, I think, sums up this book beautifully ‘this book is a beautiful way to begin to try, as parents, to instil in children the impenetrable power of the heart, the energy of live, and the flow that can be felt from the grace in every moment.’


  1. The co-parenting handbook: raising well adjusted and resilient kids from little ones to young adults through divorce or separation by Karen Bonnell with Kristin Little – ‘this handbook helps parents confidently take on the challenges of guiding children through divorce or separation and raising them skilfully in two homes. This book addresses the emotional impact of separation, conflict, grief and recovery. It also contains lots of strategies to help resolve day to day activities, create boundaries and most importantly put the needs of the children first.


  1. The huge bag of worries by Virginia Ironside – this looks at dealing with worries and anxiety. It is a great starting point to encourage children to discuss their anxieties and fears, written in a delicate and good-humoured way.


  1. Mum and Dad glue by Kes Gray – I’ve only recently discovered this book, thanks to Louisa Whitney at LKW Family Mediation who tweeted about this. It’s wonderful. ‘A little boy tried to find a pot of parent glue to stick his mum and dad back together. His parents have come undone and he wants to mend their marriage, stick their smiles back on and make them better.’ Sound familiar? Yes, many, many children carry a wish for their parents to reconcile. ‘But, as he learns, even though his parents’ relationship may be broken, their love for him is not.’ This message is so key.


I’d love for you to share your reviews on any of these books, or your suggestions as to alternative ones you have found helpful. Please feel free to get in touch with me at to share your suggestions.

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