Edutaining Kids .COM                        2009 Holiday Gift Guides for Kids
Guide to Children's Products for Fun & Learning

 

Book Review:    Juggling Act: Handling Divorce Without Dropping the Ball (A Survival Kit for Parents and Kids)

Related Links
 

This "survival kit" contains books, a calendar with stickers, and a divorce communication tool--all designed to help make the difficulties that often accompany a divorce a little easier to handle. 

This kit contains:

  • A book for parents entitled Speaking of Divorce: How to Talk with Your Kids and Help Them Cope
  • A book for children of divorce called What in the World Do You Do When Your Parents Divorce?: A Survival Guide for Kids
  • A divorce communication tool, The Mom & Dad Pad
  • A calendar for kids to construct, called the Keep Track Calendar for Kids, along with Keep Track Stickers to be used in the calendar.

Speaking of Divorce is designed for parents of children approximately ages 7-12 who are about to, or in the midst of, divorce. It is filled with practical advice on how to handle divorce in a gentle manner, reminding parents always of the benefits of civility and cooperation. It focuses on children's needs for stability and love, support, and permission to love both parents, amongst other things. A nice feature of the book is sections that provide parents with "words you might use" to answer common questions, address issues kids might be wondering about silently, and to ask children questions in order to open up communication. The book addresses possible scenarios, such as a setup in which one parent has abandoned the family, a new adult coming into the mix, a long-distance move, and more. Speaking of Divorce is direct and optimistic in tone, reminding parents that handling a divorce in a gentle and open manner will make all of the difference. 

What in the World Do You Do When Your Parents Divorce? is intended for children whose parents have broken up. Answers to common questions and concerns, as well as frank but gentle advice, are included in this thoughtful book. Quotes from kids in similar situations are added throughout. Issues like dealing with anger, managing living in two homes, missing (or not missing!) parents, the role of grandparents, dealing with parents who are keeping secrets from each other, parents dating, stepparents, and more, are addressed. It's informative and easy to read for children approximately 9 and up. This book is especially helpful to have on hand for kids who tend to keep things to themselves.

The Mom & Dad Pad is a pad containing forms for parents to use to communicate with each other about the kids, and even includes envelopes to be used for delivering the pages. There are 25 forms altogether, each with carbonless copies, and they contain sections for notes about practical issues like scheduling, school and medical reminders, and transportation. Space for communications about the children's social and emotional life is also included. These forms may not apply to all divorce scenarios, but they do serve as a gentle reminder that communication about the kids should be direct and positive, and that this communication is probably best done in this less personal way rather than on the phone or in person.  

The Keep Track Calendar for Kids is a fun make-yourself calendar that includes stickers to mark special days. The stickers include traditional ones designed for marking days on the calendar when there are holidays, birthdays, or special activities. What makes the set of 400 stickers different is that they are uniquely designed for children whose parents are divorced and have time-sharing arrangements. These read either "Mom" or "Dad", or mark transition days from Mom to Dad, and from Dad to Mom.

This calendar/sticker set was especially helpful for a 6-year-old tester who was having trouble understanding the time-sharing arrangement made between her parents. Although parents can simply mark a calendar in pen, this tester enjoyed placing the stickers on the calendar herself, and proudly declared, "these stickers are perfect for OUR family!"

By Roberta Byer and Kent Winchester. 

Pros:
  • Practical advice.
  • Encouraging and positive.

 

Cons:
  • Somewhat costly.
  • The Mom & Dad Pad is not for every family.

Back to Book Guide

Published: 2001 By: Free Spirit Press Ages 8-up  
 

 

Our Rating:

A-

To Buy this book:

Buy Juggling Act: Handling Divorce Without... at Amazon.com

 
Reviewed March 2002   Comments? Email us.
 

Guides to:  SoftwareVideos - DVDsBooksToysMusic,  & Video Games
Guides by Age:  ToddlersPreschoolersKids 5-8Kids 9-up, Families
Index to All Reviews    Index to All Articles
Shopping Guide   Family Internet Guide

What's New   Contact Us   About Us   Search
EdutainingKids.com Main