What happens next? Information for kids about separation and divorce

Chapter Eight: Nothing is perfect, but…

Pearl’s birthday present

Pearl in her bedroom writing in the diary her sister Daisy gave her for her birthday

Twelve-year-old Pearl was feeling really down. Her parents had split up a few months ago. She didn’t see her dad as often as she wanted and she missed his jokes. Her mom was busy working or doing stuff around the apartment. On top of all this, Pearl was having a bad time at her new school. She was sure her teachers didn’t like her and some of the girls at school teased her. She tried to ignore them but she couldn’t. She cried a lot instead. Everything seemed to be wrong.

Pearl decided to talk to her sister, Daisy. Daisy told Pearl that she wrote in a diary nearly every day. First, she wrote down all the horrible things that had happened or that had bugged her that day. Then, she wrote down one good thing. Daisy said it made her feel better to find that one good thing. Daisy’s story helped Pearl realize that even small things can count as good things.

Soon after their talk, Daisy bought Pearl a birthday present. It was a big notebook to use as a diary. Now Pearl writes down the bad things and at least one good thing every day.

The first good thing Pearl wrote in her diary after she got it was "I’m lucky to have my sister Daisy to talk to".

All kids have good days and bad days. Sometimes when parents split up it can seem like there are lots of bad days. It can even seem like every day is a bad day.

It can help to do what Pearl did and find something good to think about. For example, Pearl realized that it was a good thing that she was able to keep her cat after the divorce. She also thought it was good that her aunt let her make cookies the last time she visited. And, she counted it as extra good that her older sister was letting her listen to some of her music. Pearl was also thinking about joining the swim team at school and thought it would give her a chance to have more fun.

If you can never think of anything good to write down and if you stay in a very sad mood for a long time (a few weeks), it is important to tell an adult you trust how down you are feeling. You may need to see a doctor for some help.

Nothing is perfect but… some things are good!

Why was the music teacher unable to open his classroom door?

Answer: Because his keys were on the piano.

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