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[George the Puppet]: Hey everyone. It’s George back with another story to share. So sit down, get cozy and get ready to listen. Fun 4 the Disabled is back to present today’s book: “Divorce is the Worst” written and illustrated by Anastasia Higginbotham. This book is about a boy who is struggling to cope with his parent’s divorce. Here’s Vanessa to tell you more about the book and introduce our reading for today.

 

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[Vanessa]: Thank you, George. I’m excited to share this story with you today. Tim Snoha will be reading “Divorce is the Worst” written and illustrated by Anastasia Higginbotham. “Divorce is the Worst” was published by Dottir Press. Anesthesia wrote this book and others in her Ordinary Terrible Thing series to help children navigate through common childhood issues. We hope that if you are going through a tough situation, this book and others like it will help you find a way to cope and grow. Let’s listen to the story.

[Tim Snoha]: “Divorce is the Worst” written and illustrated by Anastasia Higginbotham. For the five A’s, Norman and JoAnn.

It can come as a surprise. “We have something to tell you.”

When it does, it’s the worst. “It’s for the best.”

You may feel confused. “You’re getting me a horse? I like horses.” “Um no. A divorce.” …or betrayed. “You promised to be together forever!” “We did.” “You broke your promise!” ‘We did.”

You may want to run. “I’m going to go out now.” Uh-oh. Why won’t my legs move? “You sure you’re okay?”

You may be heartbroken. You may get angry or feel guilty. If you feel all of these ways at once, lie down. A good counselor will tell you. “This is not your fault. It is never your fault.” We don’t decide our parent’s lives, what they decide affects our lives. Divorce changes things. Ring!

You might notice your parent crying. “I’m okay, really.” You might notice them not crying. “This was not my idea, remember?!” “Well, then you should have made different choices!” You might cry over little things. “This stupid zipper.”

You might not cry- eeyah! -over big things. They might ignore you, “Hey guys, I crashed. It’s kind of serious.” without realizing it. “I made popcorn if you want some.” “I hope you remember to put your bike away.”

They might buy you outrageous gifts. “We love you so much. And since your bike is wrecked…” Whoa! Ah, they might introduce their friend. Ahhh!

Contrary to the title of this book, meeting a parent’s friend is worse than the worst, making it the absolute worst. Even if the friend turns out to be nice, sort of, later on. They have their reasons. “We fell out of love, we made mistakes, we’ve changed.”

This isn’t about you. Their reasons are theirs, not yours. When a parent who used to be like this, becomes more like this, maybe a divorce is for the best- for them. “You got your stuff for the weekend?” “Yeah.”

Divorce can feel like being pulled in two directions at once. Sometimes, exactly like that. Divorce means your parents are splitting from each other, you stay in one piece.

The end. Want to make an amazing discovery? Here’s a question to think about. What’s in your backpack? Clothes, books, toothbrush, treasure, inhaler or allergy meds. “Who put that there? Want to get them back together. Can’t see my friends when I want to. Trying to be extra good- no trouble. Whose side am I on? What about what I want?” Find any of this?

Here is what to do with all those feelings and more. “Must fix my parent’s lives. They’re always working! No one pays attention to me. I’m worried about money. I must love my parents more so they won’t be sad. Wish I could sleep in my own, real bed. I feel rejected by the parent who moved out, there’s someone new and breakfast.” Lay that burden down.

Make a special place for them out of your way. Know your troubles as well as you can. Then let them be. On days when your worries want to show, where them like flags, with pride! And when you want to help to let your fear, worry, or heartbreak float away, tell someone you trust, help. You may not control everything that happens in your life, but it’s still your life. Your story. Tell it, kid! And live it: brave and true.

Use snips, scraps, and brown paper bags to make your pages and tell your own story! You’ll need a brown bag, scissors, glue stick, and catalogs, magazines, any image that was on its way to the trash or recycle. You can do this activity even if your parents are together. Start by creating a place where you can be all in one piece. Choose the sky that mirrors what you feel. Find trees to lift you up or hide you. Trees bear witness and stand by you. Choose the ground, rocks, roots, and grass that best support you. And now you make you: dressed in scraps of clothes you’ve outgrown. Hands, head, ribbon. Hair can be any way you like.

Anastasia Higginbotham’s books about ordinary, terrible things tell stories of children who navigate trouble with their senses sharp and souls intact. Help may come from family, counselors, teachers, and dreams, but it’s children who find their own way through. Anastasia has been making books by hand her whole life as a way to cope with change and grow. You can too!

[Vanessa]: What an interesting story! Thank you, Tim Snoha, for reading.

Divorce is often a very difficult situation for everyone involved. Like the boy in this story. You may have a hard time dealing with your emotions. Remember, it’s okay to talk to your parents about how you’re feeling; you don’t have to go through this alone! Just because they are splitting up, doesn’t mean they care any less about your well-being. Comment below if you want us to read more books that cover difficult but important topics.

Watch our other book readings for more enriching children’s content. Thank you once again Tim Snoha for reading “Divorce is the Worst”. If you enjoyed this video, please subscribe to our newsletter and check out the rest of the videos at Fun 4 The Disabled Presents Children’s Books That Heal. Here’s George to close this out. Bye-bye.

[George the Puppet]: Thanks for watching “Divorce is the Worst” written and illustrated by Anastasia Higginbotham. Now wait, stop, halt. Divorce is never your fault. We don’t decide our parents’ lives, just know you’re not the reason why. And they don’t love you any less, even though things may seem they’re a mess. For you, they want the best. Oh yes.

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