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Posted December 8, 2013

When Parents Divorce and Separate
Author: Lynn Cassella-Kapusinski
Pauline Books and Media. Boston, Massachusetts. 2013. Pp. 242

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

When Parents Divorce or Separate: I Can Get Through This helps children navigate their experience by affirming and explaining the ideals of the Catholic faith while drawing on the expertise of family counseling professionals. Giving honest voice to a child's losses, this book provides a safe space where kids 8 to 12 can address hurts and discover paths to healing with renewed hope.

An Excerpt from the Book:

Divorce Solutions: How do I take Action?

Veejay's mom walked into the kitchen carrying several filled bags. "Can you help me with the groceries?" she asked him, then waked quickly back outside.

Veejay threw down his pencil. It always annoyed him to be interrupted when doing his homework. He got up and walked outside.

Mrs. Sandeep stood by the trunk of the car. She picked up three grocery bags. "I need you to take these in right away and put everything in the refrigerator," she said.

Veejay walked over to his mom without saying anything and took the bags. He was still mad at her for not letting him stay up later during school nights. He walked back to the kitchen and started putting items in the refrigerator. One more order, he thought. It isn't fair at all.

After a few minutes, Mrs. Sandeep walked back in with the rest of the groceries. "Thanks, Veejay,: she said.

Veejay was angry, but continued putting away the groceries.

"What would you like for dinner?" Veejay's mom asked. "There are leftovers . . . or we could have samosas."

"It doesn't matter, "Veejay said. "I'd rather she gave me a choice about my bedtime like Dad does, he thought.

"Let's have samosas then. Aren't they still our favorite?" Veejay's mom asked. "I'll have the leftovers tomorrow for lunch." She took out a frying pan from the cabinet by the stove, then got the ground meat from the refrigerator.

She acts as if going to bed at 8:30 is no big deal, Veejay thought. None of my friends have to go to bed that early. His heart pounded against his chest. He felt as if his whole body was on fire.

"You're always giving me order!" Veejay suddenly blurted out.

"Excuse me?" Mrs. Sandeep said.

"I'm sick of it. All you care about is what you want, not what I want."

"Are you talking about your bedtime:" his mom asked.

Veejay stormed out of the kitchen.

"Veejay, this conversation will have to wait until after dinner," she called after him.

Later that night, after Veejay finished his homework, he looked at a handout that his school counselor had given him about how to communicate with parents. He didn't want to admit it, but looking over the tips Veejay realized he had made some mistakes --- maybe more than a few.

It was 8:25. Frustrated, Veejay shoved the handout back in his backpack and turned out the light. But he couldn't fall asleep. Part of him wanted to talk to his mom about his bedtime, but another part wanted to forget about her and just find a way that he could live with his dad for good. Veejay lay quietly in bed thinking. He even asked God what to do. A few moments later, Veejay realized something. My mom will always be my mom, no matter what, he thought. It's not right for me to push her out of my life just because I'm upset about something.

Veejay got out of bed. He took a deep breath and walked down the hallway to his mother's bedroom. The door was open. She was sitting in a chair, reading a book.

"Mom?" Veejay said softly, "Are you busy right now?"

"No," she said and put down her book. "What's on your mind?"

"I can't sleep," Veejay said.

"What's wrong, Veejay?" she asked

"It's about my bedtime," Veejay said. "I want you to hear me out on this."

"Okay," his mom said.

Veejay sat down on her bed. "The reason I'd like to stay up later is because, after doing my homework and chores, there's hardly any time left over for things I want to do."

His mom nodded, as if she understood.

"And, when I go to bed at 8:30, I end up staying up till 9 anyway, because I can't fall asleep that early. So, it's like I'm wasting that time. And Mom, nobody else at school goes to bed that early anymore."

"Hmm, I didn't realize that," Veejay's mom said.

"How about we try the later bedtime and see how it works out: I guess as long as you get up in the morning. . ."

"Really?" Veejay interrupted with excitement. "That'd be great!" He looked at the clock on his mom's nightstand. "That means I have fifteen more minutes. What's the book you're reading?"

Veejay and his mom talked about the book, then Veejay went to bed and slept soundly. He and his mom started a ritual of talking every night before Veejay went to bed. He looked forward to having that time with his mom. He also felt better knowing that he could do something to solve some of the problems he had since his parent's divorce.

Table of Contents:

A note to the reader

A note to parents

1. Family

2. Crummy feelings

3. Separation and divorce

4. Divorce problems

5. Divorce solutions

6. Caught in between

7. Anger

8. God

9. Forgiveness

10. When a parent stays awar

11. Dating, stepparents, and stepfamilies

12. God's plan for marriage