What happens next? Information for kids about separation and divorce

Appendix 1: Activities

Activity 1: Write a Letter

Writing letters is a good way to deal with confusing feelings. You may want to write a letter to each of your parents expressing your feelings about their separation. You do not have to send the letters if you don't want to. Just putting your thoughts and feelings in writing may help you.

  • Dear Mom:
  • Dear Dad:

Activity 2: Ask Mom and Dad

If there are big changes happening in your family you probably have a lot of questions you'd like to ask your parents. You may find it helpful to make a list of questions on a piece of paper.

  • What I want to ask my mom…
  • What I want to ask my dad…

Activity 3: Draw Your Family

On a piece of paper, try drawing a picture of your family. Or draw a picture of how your parent's separation makes you feel.

Activity 4: Draw Your Family Tree

A family tree is a drawing that lists your name and the names of other people in your family. It includes older relatives and even babies. Talk to the people in your family to get more information if you need it.

On a piece of paper, write in the names of your family members, including stepparents or stepsisters and brothers.

Activity 5: Word Search

Find these words in the grid.

  • Pet |
  • Kids |
  • School |
  • Family |
  • Help |
  • Time |
  • Visit
    Custody |
  • Judge |
  • Parent |
  • Coach |
  • Home

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Word Game

Unscramble the following words:

  1. sohem = line
  2. yucsotd = line
  3. rapnet = line
  4. guejd = line

Activities Answer Key

Activity 6: Draw a Map

If you move into a new home or if you now have two homes, it helps to know where everything is.

On a piece of paper, try drawing a map or a picture that shows the place or places you'll be living. Include your school, the arena or community centre, the library and other places where you'll go often.

Activity 7: Where's my Stuff?

You may have more than one home now. Try making a list of things you'll need in each home. You can also make a list of things you'll carry with you in a bag no matter which home you're going to.

These lists will help you to remember important stuff you'll want to have with you no matter where you are.

On a piece of paper, you can make a new list every week if you want.

  • At Mom's House:
  • At Dad's House:
  • In My Bag:

Activity 8: What's Happening?

Remembering everything can be tough. Try to keep it all straight with a calendar. You could buy one or you can make one yourself. Write in where you'll be living on what days and what special events are coming up with different members of the family.

Activity 9: Where is Everyone?

Too many phone numbers and addresses to remember? Why not write down the phone numbers and addresses (including e-mail addresses) of family members so you always know how to get in touch with your parents, your grandparents, brothers, sisters and others who are important to you.

You could keep this paper with you.

  • Name:
  • Phones
    • Home:
    • Cell:
    • Work:
  • E-mail:
  • Address:

Activity 10: My Story

On a piece of paper, why not write a story all about you? Try to use at least four words from the following list of words:

  • move
  • divorce
  • family
  • court
  • love
  • arguments
  • school
  • pets
  • friends
  • feelings
  • separated
  • brother
  • sister
  • teacher
  • coach
  • mother
  • father
  • aunt
  • uncle
  • lawyers

Activity 11: Hidden Treasures

On a piece of paper, make a list of the things you like to do or things that make you feel better when you're feeling down.

Try to think of a few things that you've never thought of before.

Examples

  • Having a pet
  • Going for pizza with your big sister or brother
  • Getting e-mails from a parent you don't see that often
  • Riding your bike with friends
  • Joining the swim team or another club
  • Reading a good book from the library
  • Taking the babysitting course at school when you get older to get extra money for things you want
  • Thinking about things you want to do when you're grown up

Activity 12: What's Next?

On a piece of paper, try making a list of things you're looking forward to. For example, are you looking forward to a visit with relatives, or your next birthday, a trip you might be taking with family, getting together with a friend, a school you'd like to go to someday, learning to drive when you're older…

  • Next week:
  • Next month:
  • Next summer:
  • In two years:
  • In ten years:

Activities Answer Key

  1. sohem = homes
  2. yucsotd = custody
  3. rapent = parent
  4. guejd = judge
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