Divorce coach, blogger and author Tara Eisenhard has experienced divorce both as a child and a spouse and she’s now packed her experience and wisdom into The D-Word, Divorce Through A Child’s Eyes.
The D-Word is written for parents who are facing divorce and ideally they would read this before talking to their child about divorce.
It follows 12-year old, Gina through a whole year as she learns about her parents’ divorce, experiences her father moving out, moves to a new home herself, becomes estranged from her father, meets mom’s new boyfriend and the family eventually reconciles.
Everything is portrayed as Gina sees it – the conversations she has with her mom, the conversations she has with her dad and perhaps most insightful, her mother’s phone conversations she overhears. Gina only hears what her mother is saying in these, and the reader and Gina are left to fill in the other side.
It is easy to see from these how a simple misunderstanding or misinterpretation snowballs and compounds. Tara skillfully demonstrates the harm that can happen when one parent is unable to separate their own emotional pain and allows that to influence their parenting decisions both consciously and subconsciously.
The story that Tara weaves leaves the reader experiencing all the confusion and contradictions that Gina faces, and the peacekeeping and care-taking responsibilities she assumes in her desire not to hurt her mother. The contrasts between Gina and her brother are a useful reminder that each child has their own relationship with each parent and each child, and indeed each parent experiences family differently.
There were plenty of times I found myself grimacing and tensing up while reading passages and I couldn’t stop myself from mentally re-writing the scene hoping for a better outcome. Parenting is hard work. Parenting after divorce is often even harder work and as much as you know the basic co-parenting 101 advice, such as not bad-mouthing your ex, following this comes down to the details. The D-Word gives you these details tied to the real world situations you and your family could be facing.
The D-Word is an easy read but don’t be deceived, reading it will be an investment in your child’s future.