What impact will divorce
What adults and kids are saying about
'My Journey My Journal'
"Getting a copy of My Journey My Journal for my daughter has turned out to be a blessing in so many ways. Thank you so much for putting together such a great tool for kids going through divorce. Thank you!!
Lori M, Parent & Divorcee
"My dad gave me my journal and it has helped me
understand what divorce is and it has helped me through some hard times."
Bethany, age 8
"I have used and seen many divorce books for kids and yours really stuck out to me because it allows kids to express feelings and takes a closer look at what they are going through in a fun and interactive way."
S. Paxton, Elementary School Counselor
"My parents divorced last year and a family friend gave me the My Journey My Journal. I really like it because it is all about me and what I am feeling."
Kevin, age 10
Mom and Dad had just called me, my two younger brothers and my older sister into the living room because they had something to talk to us about. I was ten at the time. And although I knew Mom and Dad had been arguing
off and on (mostly on), I was not expecting what my Dad was about to say.
We all quickly settled in and dad wasted no time in getting to the point:
"Your Mom and I have decided to get a divorce."
Were the words that came out of my father's mouth.
I started to cry and then my dad said, "Why are you crying? There's nothing to cry about."
Mom quickly and sternly responded with "Really? There's nothing to cry about?"
Have you ever cried to the point that it is uncontrollable and it seems that you are inhaling more than exhaling? You keep trying to catch your breath but all your body wants to do is cry. Your body and mind are desperately trying to understand what is happening and control itself at the same time. A task that is overwhelming. That is how I was during the rest of the 'family meeting.' All I recall is trying to wipe away the tears and keep from running out of the room and house.
My dad ending up moving out and my mom got full custody of all four of us kids. For the next several weeks or so there were so many questions I had about how this happened and if I was the reason. Did I do something that caused this? I mean, after all, dad was my hero and I was his big-little boy who wanted to be by his side every moment of the day! What did I do to drive him away?
But there was no one to talk to.
Dad went from being my hero to hardly ever coming around so I couldn't talk to him. Actually, the only time he ever talked to me outside of the 'family meeting' about the divorce was when he introduced us kids to a woman he was dating.
He pulled me aside and asked, "What do you think of her?"
I replied with my own question. "Why can't you and mom get back together?"
"Well, Everett. I asked your mom if we could get back together but she said, 'No.'.
Mom was so stressed out from finding a job, moving to a new town, and explaining everything going on that I didn't want to be another stress to her with all my questions.
I couldn't talk to friends because I was too embarrassed about the divorce. After all, it was just a short year ago when my dad was a Senior Pastor of his own church and now divorce. So I kept everything inside and never talked to anyone about the divorce and all the emotions and questions I had. No one. I had no outlet to express all of the emotions, questions and fears about the divorce that overwhelmed me. It all stayed inside getting buried with each day that passed.
In the next four years we bounced around to four new towns which means four new homes and four new schools. Which also means four new neighborhoods and having to make new friends and explain once again why dad was not around. All this time I still had no one to talk to and no way to express how I was feeling. I still wished my dad and mom were together.
Without even knowing it, I was becoming a statistic!
sexual acting out? Yup.
substance abuse? Every weekend.
conduct disorders? Just ask mom.
problems with school? Grades don't lie.
delinquent behavior? The police were starting to know my name.
I was becoming a statistic that no parent wants their child to become. Early in high school I started drinking, skipping school, bad grades, getting in trouble at school, joining a 'gang', smoking pot, lying to my mom, etc. Without going into much detail, I am sure you get the picture of where things were heading. I was even dropped off at school one day in a police car after they had picked me up and questioned my about a burglary in the neighborhood. Though I was just skipping school and had nothing to do with the break-in, all my friends thought I was sooo cool for being dropped off at school in a police car. Mom didn't think it was cool.
The real heart breaker that opened my eyes was when I had somehow stumbled my way home in a drunken stupor one night. It was the summer between my Freshman and Sophomore year in high school. My mom came to my room with a glass of water and looked me in the eyes and said, "Everett, don't hurt me again." And then she walked away. At this point it had been 5 years since the divorce and we had never talked about it. We just moved on.
why a journal?
Having gone through divorce as a child and then putting my own children through divorce, my heart was being tugged in a direction to help kids going through this main event. At the encouragement of a very dear friend and co-worker I started to research divorce and its effects on kids. I soon found that there are some very shocking stats about the effects on k.i.d.'s but there was not much out there to help kids. With the help of a small team, we were able to create a program for kids called 'I'm a k.i.d.'. Close to 1000 kids have gone through the 7 week program and out of that experience we created My Journey My Journal: a journal for kids going through divorce.
Child and family psychologists and counselors recommended...
that the #1 thing kids need as they go through divorce is a way to express their thoughts and feelings and ask questions. Part of that expression is a parent, friend or relative being available to just listen and be there for support. Another part of that expression is a personal journal that helps them with their feelings and questions.
My Journey My Journal was created with the kid in divorce at heart. While most books for kids in divorce are all about teaching the kid about divorce, the My Journey My Journal is all about letting the k.i.d. express how they feel about what is going on.
Topics covered in My Journey My Journal include:
- finding out
- my fault? (sample page here)
- changes (sample page here)
- before & after
- two homes
- plus much more!!
With fun and interactive pages covering a wide variety of divorce topics related to kids, the k.i.d. is able to go through the journal on their own and at their own pace or, if they choose, with a parent, relative or adult friend. We have even had older siblings go through the journal with their younger brother or sister!!
Also, the journal has been put together so the k.i.d. can either start at the front and work their way through or they can jump to different pages, depending on what they are dealing with on that particular day. There is even a section in the back for the k.i.d. to look back years down the road and reflect on the whole journey.
The biggest point we want everyone to know, especially the k.i.d. using the journal, is that the My Journey My Journal is all about them! Their feelings! Their questions! Their fears! Their emotions! Their hope!! Them!!
M. Gary Neuman has one of the best quotes regarding kids and divorce. He says, "one day your child will grow up and look back on their child-hood as a loving, joyful time touched by divorce instead of a once blissful state forever destroyed by divorce."
But we must be proactive. We as adults, especially the parents, cannot stand on the sideline just watching as the child tries to navigate on their own through the turmoil created from a choice that is beyond their understanding and control. An adults choice has brought chaos and confusion to the child's once predictable, stable world. Please understand this point: even if that stability was a façade in the adult world, it was real in the child's world.
As stated earlier, The My Journey My Journal is the perfect avenue for kids in divorce to express and share their thoughts, feelings and questions! Get one now for each k.i.d. in your life and then watch them
start to open up and grow!