A Story of Divorce
by Sophia Recca
Mend: A Story of Divorce is the first in a series of graphic novels written by young adults for their peers.
Sophia, the fourteen-year-old author and protagonist, tells the heart-wrenching story of her parents’ divorce. She was just nine years old, happy and enjoying life with her mom, dad, and little brother in Las Vegas, Nevada. Unexpectedly, one night, a violent argument disrupted her sleep and shattered her life. The next morning, her parents told her the dreaded news—they were getting divorced. Her dad was moving to California, while Sophia and her brother would stay with their mom.
Any child who has experienced the trauma of divorce will understand Sophia’s reactions: First, she blamed herself. But then, she remembered a note a teacher once wrote on her report card, and was inspired to focus on bringing both parents back into her life. Even if they could not be under the same roof, she thought, they could still share in caring for her and her brother.
Sophia’s story will resonate with children (and adults) who have faced a split in their family, or who have friends dealing with divorce. The book includes helpful advice for parents, as well as a special Teacher’s Corner page.
Zuiker Press is proud to publish stories about important current topics for kids and adolescents, written by their peers, that will help them cope with the challenges they face in today’s troubled world.
Mend: An Intoduction
A few questions for the Recca family
Mend Photo Montage
Why did you agree to do a book about divorce?
What is the book’s message for parents dealing with divorce?
What is the book’s message for children dealing with divorce?
Why is your divorce story such a great one?
What is your hope for parents and kids dealing with divorce?
Why is a book about divorce important for kids and parents?
Five Parent Take-Aways About Divorce
Your child needs “both” parents. Not the most liked in the moment.
The knee-jerk reaction for adults who get divorced with kids is to wage war through the kids. This is a huge mistake which will have dire emotional ramifications. The best thing to do early in the divorce is to reassure your child that both parents will continue to be in their lives, settle on a custody schedule, and honor it with consistency.
Deep down, the child will think it’s their fault. Remember that.
Sad, but true. Children don’t have the emotional maturity to process their parents divorcing. The default answer inside their minds will be “it’s because of me.” Constant reassurance that the split has nothing to do with the child cannot be overstated. The sooner you alleviate this from the child’s heart and mind, the better.
Act like the adult, not the child. They need parents now more than ever.
It’s human nature. Divorce usually brings out the worst in the adult. The stress of financial and emotional warfare will keep the parents in constant “battle mode.” Easier said than done, but it is important to put the children first and act like an adult. Whatever you do, do not wage war by using your children as a “messenger” to hurt the other parent. Keep the kids out of the middle.
“Co-parenting” is for the benefit of the child, not you. Act as if…
“Co-parenting” is just that. Parenting together to establish consistency and peace between both households. It is important for parents to support each other in front of the children. Learn to say “Yes” more than “No” and put your child’s needs first rather than your own. Co-parenting will set the child’s mind at ease that they still have both parents in their lives for the long haul.
The damage you do now to them will last a lifetime. Learn to count to 10.
Keep the mudslinging and parent critiquing at a zero. No, make that a negative zero. If you find yourself hearing something from your child that “came from the mom” or “from the dad,” bite your tongue and count to ten. Children, sometimes, find themselves reporting or relaying messages from the other household. Although you may be fuming inside, you’ll just have to learn to “table it” until you can speak the other parent directly. And never in the presence of the child.
ABOUT THE EXPERTS
Denis Scinta is a family lawyer who’s been practicing law for over 47 years in the Greater Amherst area of Buffalo, New York.
The National Writing Project focuses the knowledge, expertise, and leadership of our nation’s educators on sustained efforts to improve writing and learning for all learners. NWP, the nation’s foremost network for teacher professional development, is proud to support the Zuiker Press initiative.
Our plan to help children with our graphic novels is simple. We raise private funding from people, companies, and foundations who care about children. Those donations allow us to make them available to teachers, counselors, and school libraries and to spread the word about these compelling true stories to school districts that need these books.
We also provide downloadable guides to each book for teachers as added resources, often at no charge to the teachers.
Do you want to save a child’s life? Our graphic novels do just that by healing and providing hope to those who need it most. Reading is power. Your gift will be designated to support the Zuiker Press School Book Fund, and with your generous gift, more schools will be able to take advantage of the important work that Zuiker Press is doing to help young people tell the stories of their resilience in meeting the challenges that young people face today.