February 8, 2021
Speaking with your young children about your divorce can be challenging, especially when they are not really sure what divorce is. We compiled 5 videos that may help your little one understand what divorce is, how it will affect them and their life, and provide reassurance that things will be okay.
This Sesame Street video provides a short and simple definition of divorce for children who do not know what it is. In this clip, Elmo and friends draw pictures of their homes and Abby draws both of her homes, the one she lives in with her mom and the one she lives in with her dad. There are also clips of real kids who are going through the same thing as Abby. This video is a good introduction to divorce for children who are confused and need some clarification.
Sesame Street also offers:
In this clip, Abby realizes there is another character who she can relate to. Birdie, who also has divorced parents, and Abby sing a song together about their parents and their different houses. The song has a line “they live in different places, but they both love me” that can offer reassurance to your child if they are struggling with the reality of separation.
Abby delves into her story on Sesame Street and shows what happened when her parents told her about their divorce. Abby explains that even though things were changing and she now lived in two houses, she knew her parents still loved her. Abby and her story help normalize divorce and can make children feel less alone knowing there are other kids in the same position as them.
Many parents find that working with a mediator can help achieve an amicable divorce where the children are put first.
“I Have Two Homes” is a comforting tale about a child of divorce who learns that there is a bright side to having their parents separate. Even though there are things she misses from each home, like her cat and the other parent, she realizes there are some benefits to her new life and that she will experience just as much love, if not more, after the divorce. This is a great video for children who are still adjusting to their new life.
The following clip is the first of four parts in a “Jelly Bean Jungle” series about divorce. This includes conversations, songs, and uplifting messages about the love and happiness that can exist even after a divorce. Additionally, it stresses that parents should remember to continually be there for their children at every step of the process. This clarifies terms and tackles tough conversations about being a child of divorce and provides insight for parents as well as their children.
When children do not fully understand what divorce is, it can make it difficult to talk to them about your own divorce and the changes that are going to happen in their life. We hope the videos we gathered can help your child understand what divorce is, how their life may change, and reinforce that both of their parents love and care about them.
About the Authors
This post was written by Katie Neill and Elan Cohen. Katie and Elan are currently students, trained mediators, and Program Assistants as part of an internship at MWI.