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Parents who are looking for a children’s literature book which covers the sensitive issue of divorce or separation, they may not find a book that offers matter-of-fact, positive or child-centered as Two Homes by Claire Masurel. The book revolves around the major character Alex. His parents are divorced, but they take turns to take care of him. When he is at his mother’s house, he is proud of his soft chair. When he visits daddy’s house, he cannot get over his rocking chair (Masurel, 14).
Alex is proud of visiting both homes because in each home he owns a personal bedroom and has a battery of friends to play with (Masurel, 20). Alex has no regrets visiting either his mother or father because he feels loved equally in both homes. “Two Homes” focuses on what can be gained when parents divorce rather than what is lost. The book has sensitive illustrations which depict the uniqueness of each home and the small and childish details establish Alex’s comfort in both of them.
The book will not only help children cope with divorce, but it will also help parents to embrace the changes that come with divorce with an optimistic and open heart.
Over the last 30 years, the idea of divorce has considerably changed. For a long period of time, divorce was considered a taboo and couples who went through divorce tended to be shunned by society. Over the years, just like the idea of same-sex marriage, the idea of divorce has been accepted by many Americans as normal, and it is no longer stigmatized.
According to statistics, 50% of the couples in their first marriages would end up in a divorce and those in their second marriage, 60% would be divorced. According to the 2010 census report, 2.8% of all American adult married males are separated while 10.6% are divorced. 3.5% of women are separated, and 12.8% are divorced.
Since the rate of divorce is on the increase, the number of families that have been faced with this social dilemma has also increased drastically. It is therefore important for those involved in the curriculum to inject pedagogy in children literature that is sympathetic to both the parents and children who have undergone divorce. It is extremely important, especially for children to understand the divorce process and therefore it is imperative for those dealing with the children’s pedagogy to understand the correct material which involves divorce that is out there to read for children.
One of the best forms of bibliotherapy during and after the divorce process is the use of children’s literature. Bibliotherapy helps the children, who mostly are the victims of divorce, to understand that they are not alone. It also helps them to cope with the skills employed by the character in the fictional book and hence gain a better grasp of the reality, ideology, and beliefs. Bibliotherapy can be used to help the children to accommodate and do away with such feelings as shame, guilt, or fear which is associated with the changes that children experience when the parents undergo a divorce. According to Lukens, 23, there are two categories of bibliotherapy. The first one is clinical and involves a counsellor. The second one is referred to as developmental bibliotherapy which is carried out by a teacher in a classroom. According to May 18, when teachers use children literature, they help them gain a clearer understanding of a sensitive situation that they find themselves in. children literature is therapeutic since it provides such children with the perspective they would function on. In the case of a divorce, children literature plays the role of comforting children by helping them understand the adult motivation. It assists them to realize that their feelings about a break-up in their family are normal and it is not their responsibility to mend the broken family or shoulder the guilt (Rudman 32).
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