As a child of divorce and a custodial parent of a blended daughter, I have experienced firsthand the confusion, frustration, and anger felt by children in co-parenting relationships. With nearly 900,000 new divorces each year in America; moms, dads, teachers, counselors, grandparents, and social workers can become numb to the emotional turmoil divorce, separation and shared parenting arrangements have on kids.
Where Am I Sleeping Tonight? by Carol Gordon Ekster
Carol Gordon Ekster, a 30+ year veteran school teacher who has been featured in Who’s Who Among American Teachers, nails the emotional child’s perspective in her children’s book, Where Am I Sleeping Tonight? Witnessing and dealing with blended kids first hand, Carol saw the temperamental and disorganizing effects divorce has on children. Her book puts into kids’ language the turmoil and eventual resolve that children experience.
Meet Mark and Evan, two elementary school brothers who wake up each day wondering if they are at Mom’s or Dad’s house. Three years ago their parents got a divorce. These brothers now spend shared time in two very different homes. They still struggle with their feelings about the breakup as Mom has remarried. The rules and routines are different at each residence. Problems start to escalate as Mark, the older 4th grader, begins forgetting his homework at the other house. Mrs. DeMott expresses concern to the parents, and suggests to Mark “the importance of making lists and being organized.” Empowered with the idea of creating a “reminder board” at each house, Mark creates a check-off list for both himself and Evan. While riding home on the school bus with Evan, Mark has an epiphany and realizes he is not alone. Finally coming to grips with his parents divorce, Mark takes responsibility for his assignments and looks out for Evan as they both adjust to a two household family.
Where Am I Sleeping Tonight? is a MUST READ mid-elementary bird’s eye view of a child’s perspective of divorce. It is designed to be an encouragement to children in shared parenting situations and an eye-opening read for their parents and educators.
Did you grow up in a blended family? From your childhood perspective, what was the most confusing part? What other children’s divorce reading material you recommend?