Getting Through It: Kids Talk about Divorce
Running Time: 19 Minutes
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With the divorce rate at 50%, half of the all students are impacted by divorce. This compelling video features real kids who describe their feelings about divorce and share with viewers their first-hand experiences. Divorce expert and psychologist, Valerie Raymond, reassures young teens that while things may be tough now, they will get better with time. Video segments target key problems: living arrangements, schedules, feelings of blame, getting caught between fighting parents, coping with strong emotions (anger, sorrow, acting out and more), parents’ new love interests, and blended families. The real kids describe their personal coping strategies in their own words to help viewers understand that there are practical solutions that may help in transitioning through divorce to whatever the future may bring.
video, plus teacher’s resource book, student handouts and pre/post tests in digital format
Bronze Telly Award
2015 Notable Children's Video American Library Association
This film, like several others produced by Human Relations Media, includes actors, real-life young people, and a psychologist expertly edited together to discuss a variety of topics. Middle school and high school-aged youth describe life with divorce, and actors provide background for what both the young people and the psychologist are saying. The video is divided into several sections. "Getting the News" entails first learning about divorce. "Family Conflict" talks about removing the child from a stressful situation, if at all possible. "Talk about It" offers advice and ways to ask for help. "Developing a New Living Schedule" lets the tween and teen know that balancing a visitation schedule often becomes more difficult as they get older and have more friends, activities, and commitments of their own. "New Relationships" covers being respectful to the person(s) in parents' lives, and finally "Try to See the Upside" focuses on helping children develop independence and strength. The psychologist's approach is gentle, non-judgmental, and supportive of youth in transition, and the film could be used in a group or individual counseling session. There is also a 24-page teacher's guide with activities that lists NHES standards and performance indicators for the video and print materials.
—Ann Brownson, Eastern Illinois University
School Library Journal
Highly Recommended. Hosted by Ariana Morales, this short guidance program features wordless vignettes to illustrate the stories of five young people who talk about their experiences with their parents’ divorces. Also featuring commentary from expert Dr. Valerie Raymond, Getting Thorough It covers topics including the causes of separation and family conflict, receiving the bad news, working out a new living schedule (and the challenges faced when older children want to spend more time with peer groups than parents), and dealing with inevitable new relationships. Along the way, the program offers solid advice on keeping communication open and attempting to make a breakup into a positive experience. But this is not sugarcoated by any means: the participants relate stories of feeling guilt, suffering stress from arguments, and trying to balance the wishes of both parents. Ending on a hopeful note (“whatever happens, in the end, it’s going to be okay”) this ALSC Notable Video selection is highly recommended.
A teenage host guides this program, which features the comments and experiences of five young people whose parents divorced. The youngsters, sometimes seen in black-and-white footage, tell what happened to them before, during, and after the emotion-filled breakups and talk about how they handled their emotions and conflicts. Attractive screen titles separate topics. Children often feel responsible for the divorce or harbor guilty feelings and so they sometimes try to make peace between their parents. The message that a happy family is a group effort is emphasized, and talking about problems with peers, siblings, teachers, grandparents, and other family members is recommended. Kids are reminded to try and maintain good relationships with both parents. Psychologist Valerie Raymond weighs in with suggestions, advice, and information. The firsthand experiences and advice are most reassuring for viewers facing similar situations.
— Nancy McCray, Booklist