When Mom and Dad Separate by Marge Heegaard

© 2006 Jennifer Wolf, licensed to About.com, Inc.

The Bottom Line

This is an excellent resource for parents who want to help their kids work through the emotional upheaval of a divorce or separation. What is so unique about this workbook is that it has plenty of open space for kids to document their emotional journey with illustrations and examples from their own personal experiences. This allows parents to do more than just talk about what divorce means or tell their kids that everything will be okay. This workbook goes beyond talking to provide tangible ways for kids to express themselves constructively and move toward coping with change in a healthy way.


  • Children get to illustrate this book with their own pictures.
  • The book helps children understand the concept of divorce.
  • Helps children recognize and identify their own feelings.
  • Includes suggestions for communicating with mom and dad.
  • Sets a positive tone for dealing with changes in life.


  • The book is designed to be completed in stages.
  • If you skip sections, the full effect may not be achieved.
  • Children may resist doing "lessons" with mom or dad.
  • Some kids just don't like to draw, so they may resist the activities.
  • Going through the activities without an adult may not achieve the desired result.


  • Step-by-step activities to help kids accept change.
  • Kids get to illustrate their own drawings.
  • Helps parents introduce difficult conversations related to divorce.
  • Helps kids identify and work through their feelings.
  • Helps kids distinguish the end of marriage from the end of their family.

Guide Review - When Mom and Dad Separate by Marge Heegaard

This is a great workbook to complete with your kids as you talk about their feelings and concerns related a recent separation. It will help to open the discussions you want to have with your kids about sensitive issues such as:

  • Why parents disagree
  • That it's okay to love the other parent
  • What to do when you feel angry and disappointed

In addition, the activities in the book build upon each other to culminate in a positive outlook for the future of your family. Whether you intentionally complete every activity in the book or just choose a few to work through with your kids, this is a valuable resource for any family in transition.

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