Divorce and separation is difficult for children. Everything they know to be true about the world can change in an instant. They no longer get to see both their parents at the same time. They may have to move to a new home or meet new caretakers. In some instances children have to spend more time away from one of their parents than they ever have before.
Topic: Transitioning To and From Houses
Because routine is so important to kids, this break in their routine often brings up strong and difficult emotions. Children might become overwhelmed when they have to transition from one home to the other. They may even refuse to go to the new home or become flooded with emotions, have more outbursts or be defiant on transition days. To help prepare your child(ren) for this day, I suggest reading a book like Two Hug Day.
This book is written for 0-6year olds and can be found for free online. It was created by the makers of Sesame Street as part of their “Sesame Street In Communities” initiative. The book is hosted on their “Dealing with Divorce” page. What I love about this book is it’s heartfelt way of viewing the transition day
from one house to the other. The authors give it an affectionate label, “Two-Hug Day”, a day when children of divorce get to hug both parents. The one whose home they are leaving and the one whose home they are going to. The other great thing about this book is that in reading it, you and your child(ren) can come up with some ideas to ease the struggle of switching between homes. Since it is part of the Sesame Street family, there are also endless resources available for free to be used alongside this terrific book. Read this book with your child(ren) often, as you begin to discuss divorce, especially in the time leading up to the first “Two-Hug Day” and those to follow.
Suggested activity: The Two-Hug Day Ritual
As you plan for the first “Two-Hug Day”, read this book with your child(ren) and create your own “Two-Hug Day” ritual. Make sure it is something that can be repeated every “Two-Hug Day”. This can be as simple as picking out a toy or stuffed animal that goes with them every time. It could also be more complex, including food, books, dancing or music. The book offers some suggestions as well. The key is to involve your kids. Extra points for making it fun and creative.
If your child is struggling to work through a recent divorce or separation, it is also important to know when to get help. You do not have to support them alone. Counseling can be a great way to help your child cope with big feelings that divorce and separation bring up. I am here to help. Contact Ellie Today!