Social Stories for Divorce

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Divorce can be really hard for students to think about and make sense of. This lesson provides you with some social stories that help you talk about divorce with students in different contexts.

Talking About Divorce

Whether you are teaching a child whose parents are getting a divorce or a student who knows someone else who is getting divorced, divorce can be a difficult theme to address. Many students feel very anxious that divorce is their fault, or they might be sad, angry, or simply confused about what the divorce means or what will happen next.

Though there is no one right or wrong way to talk about divorce with children, it can help to have clear and simple language that teaches them what divorce is and how they can work through the challenges often associated with divorce. The social stories in this lesson give your students explicit language and strategies for talking about divorce.

Social Story: If Your Parents Are Getting a Divorce

Last week, my parents told me they are getting a divorce. That means that they will not be married anymore. I know that my parents still love me no matter what, but they are not in love with each other.

After my parents get divorced, my parents will always love me. They will start to live in different houses, and I will have a room and a home at each of their houses. After my parents get divorced, lots of things will change, but they will always be my family.

My parents getting a divorce is not my fault. Sometimes my parents get angry at me, but that does not have anything to do with their divorce. Their divorce is because of grownup problems. It is not because of me.

I feel sad and angry about my parents getting a divorce! I know it is okay to have these feelings. When I start to feel sad about the divorce, it helps me to snuggle my teddy bear and think about all the people who love me. It also helps to tell my parents my feelings. I say, 'I feel sad!' They know how to help me feel better.

When I am feeling angry about the divorce, it helps to use words to say, 'I feel so angry right now!' It helps to take deep, slow breaths or run really fast around the park.

Most of all, it helps to remember that my parents will always love me. Even though they are getting a divorce, they will still be my family.

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