Modern Family Matters

The Power of Words: Book Recommendations to Help Children Process Divorce

August 15, 2022 with Portia Y. Clare Season 1 Episode 64
Modern Family Matters
The Power of Words: Book Recommendations to Help Children Process Divorce
Show Notes Transcript

Join us as we sit down with Educator and Author, Portia Y. Clare, to discuss the power of books in helping children process divorce and changing family dynamics, along with specific book examples for parents to consider.

If you would like to speak with one of our family law attorneys, please call our office at (503) 227-0200, or visit our website at

If you would like to learn more about Portia, or are interested in purchasing her award-winning book, "Best Friends Forever: A Puppy's Tale", you can visit her website:

Portia's recommended list of books include:

  • My Body Sends a Signal: Helping Kids Recognize Emotions and Express Feelings by Natalia Maguire and Anastasia Zababashkina
  • My Family’s Changing: A First Look At Family Break Up by Pat Thomas
  • Dinosaurs Divorce: A Guide For Changing Families by Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown
  • Two Homes by Claire MacDonald Denton
  • I Have Two Homes by Marian De Smet
  • Divorce Is Not The End Of The World by Zoe and Evan stern with Ellen Sue Stern
  • Mom and Dad Love Me The Same by Melissa Torres
  • Two Homes Filled With Love by Steve Herman
  • When Parents Separate by Dawn Hewitt and Ximena Jeria
  • Mum and Dad Glue by Kes Gray and Lee Wildish

Disclaimer: Nothing in this communication is intended to provide legal advice nor does it constitute a client-attorney relationship, therefore you should not interpret the contents as such.

Welcome to Modern Family Matters, a podcast devoted to exploring family law topics that matter most to you. Covering a wide range of legal, personal, and family law matters, with expert analysis from skilled attorneys and professional guests, we hope that our podcast provides answers, clarity, and guidance towards a better tomorrow for you and your family. Here's your host, Steve Altishin.

Steve Altishin  0:02  
Hi, everyone. I'm Steve Altishin, Director of Client Partnerships at Pacific Legal. And I'm here today with Educator and Author, Portia Y. Clare, to talk about how books can help support children dealing with the emotional impact of their parents going through a divorce. So Portia, how are you doing today?

Portia Y. Clare  0:49  
I'm doing very well Steve. It's wonderful to be with you today.

Steve Altishin  0:53  
Well, I am so happy. I've been pretty excited about this Facebook Live for a long time. So before we get started though, can you tell us just a little bit about yourself?

Portia Y. Clare  1:04  
Sure. Well, as you shared, my name is Portia Y. Claire and I am a teacher. I've been teaching for 31 year, and I'm beginning my 32nd year in a couple of weeks. I am also a children's book author, new children's book author. I am excited about being here because I have an opportunity to share something that will help children and that, for me, is everything. I teach, simply put, because I love children. And having an opportunity to share things that will help children and their families is everything. I am an only child I am the daughter of the late Randolph George Claire Jr. and Jane Easterling Clare. I was raised in the Bahamas, I have dual citizenship. I am American and Bahamian and I just love children.

Steve Altishin  1:56  
I love it. I love it. Well then, this is perfect. 

Portia Y. Clare  2:00  
Yes, sir. 

Steve Altishin  2:02  
So let's kind of start about, you know, as a family law firm, we understand that divorce is an emotional time. I mean, for everybody, obviously. So let's just talk a little bit about emotions and what their impact can be, especially on kids.

Portia Y. Clare  2:23  
Yes well, a divorce is something that is not easy for children. Children crave families, children love their parents, and they think the world of their parents, and they want to have that relationship with both mommy and daddy. They enjoy the safety of having both parents in their homes or having to spend time, even if their parents are separated because of work, they enjoy spending time with family in general. But when there is a divorce, it can be very confusing for children. Over the years, I've taught children who have gone through their parents having a divorce and expressing how they feel about that has been challenging for them. Oftentimes, we will see some silence, some withdrawing from activity, sometimes we'll see some anger, or frustration that comes from something that doesn't seem appropriate at the time, because they're challenged with sharing exactly how they feel. Now, of course, I'm speaking of children who are between the ages of five and nine, because that's where my life's work has been. I've actually taught some 10 year olds as well. So smaller children are a bit challenged with expressing exactly how they're feeling. And you might see something that's termed 'acting out'. Or you may see behavior that's completely unusual for a child. And I think they're doing the best that they can to express their confusion, their sadness, their anger, about their parents separating. They don't want to have to be different in any way, and they don't want mommy and daddy to be in a different space. They want things to stay the same. They want the routine that they know, because they feel comfortable with that. So it's unsettling for them. But the good news is that we do have ways to help them through that process. And hopefully they will be okay as we continue to share those things with them.

Steve Altishin  4:38  
Oh, that's, that's wonderful. And the kind of support that comes from schools, maybe in communities, I imagine that that's really important for kids.

Portia Y. Clare  4:47  
Absolutely. Our families are I guess the best community for our children, and also our schools. Oftentimes our children, if we really think about it, there's a lot of time that's spent in the school house. So having the support of your school, the teachers, the administrators and the other people who work in the building even, is essential. I think for children who were challenged with parents who are divorcing, or some other unforeseen, potentially traumatic event in their lives, having adults who can tell the child, we're here for you, you're going to be okay. It's not your fault, you didn't do anything wrong. And you're going to have help, we're going to be here for you. And if you want to talk to us, we're here, if you want to share something with us, were here. There have been people in the community who might do things with children, and may be able to speak with them in a way that a parent cannot to help them. Of course, those teachers and those in the building should speak with parents regarding that child, because a parent needs to know that a child is comfortable with another person or that the child is expressing concern, so that we can communicate with the parent and become a bigger community and help that child to work through this process. So community is everything, even a church community, extended family, grandparents, aunts, uncles, older cousins, can be helpful when a child is experiencing divorce. Absolutely.

Steve Altishin  6:30  
Oh my gosh. It's interesting. It's an, I don't know if I would call it a new phenomenon, because I'm old, but I remember going to grade school, and going through six years of grade school and one time having an acknowledgement about the kid whose parents were getting divorced. I mean, it was just not talked about.

Portia Y. Clare  6:52  
That's right, and it's becoming the rule rather than the exception now. And that has been my experience. Over the years, there's been more and more children coming to school, with parents who have been divorced, or who are getting divorced, it does not change how a child is affected by it. I think there's sadness each time because they're having a challenge with understanding what's happening. And the first thought in their minds is, I've done something wrong. Maybe it's because of me. And we have to get them to recognize that, no, sweetheart, it's not you. And all is going to be well, you didn't do anything wrong. And you're still loved by both mommy and daddy.

Steve Altishin  7:38  
That's so cool. So we're here to talk about books. And I know we're gonna talk about some books you recommend. But before we get into specific books, you know, can you talk a little bit about how children's books in general can help support kids whose parents are going through divorce or separating or, you know, suddenly living in two households?

Portia Y. Clare  8:02  
Absolutely. Well, the beauty of a book is that it actually is a safe place for children. Because as they're reading a story, they can become a part of that story. And if they're not comfortable with talking with anyone yet about the subject at hand, the book allows them to express themselves through thought and maybe even out loud as they're reading it. They can relate, make connections, and they can hear in many instances when they're reading, that things are okay, or they're making connections, or that's what I'm going through right now. Or that's what my friend said, or that's what my friend is experiencing. So a book allows children to have a safe place to express feelings and emotions. And I love that authors are writing on topics that are very much relevant, and real life, and that children can read independently. The other good thing about books is that they can be shared with children, by their parents or any other significant person in their community. And that bonding time of reading that book can also open up a safe place for children to be able to express their feelings, because they're listening to the story. And perhaps as they're reading, there are questions that they might have, and they may feel comfortable with asking those questions with that adult. So it's an excellent opportunity to communicate and to give children a safe place to share exactly what they're going through. And they can return to it over and over again. The second time they read it they may hear something different. And isn't that just the way with adults? As we read something initially we gain something from that reading. When we read it a second time, we gain some additional information. So there are treasures for children.

Steve Altishin  10:09  
I think that's wonderful. And there are so many different kinds of things going on with kids. 

Portia Y. Clare  10:17  

Steve Altishin  10:17  
You know, for some it may be the two households and getting used to that, for some it may be, like you said, maybe it's my fault, whether my parents still love me. All these different kinds that probably all have books that relate to those kinds of issues. So, you know, going about that, let's kind of start with some books that you would recommend.

Portia Y. Clare  10:40  
Absolutely, it would be my pleasure. Well, I want to start with a book called, My Body Sends a Signal. And it says, helping kids recognize emotions and express feelings. Because this book, actually, while it doesn't speak directly to divorce, it talks about emotions, and it talks about feelings that children experience. And as you read the story, children will find ways that they can relate to the character in the story. And not only that, this author has placed in the back of this book some games, there are actually pages that can be cut out, and you have some cards that allow children to express their feelings. They can tell stories using the cards that are here and showing the emotions that are on those cards, they can have conversations with their parents, and point and share. This is how I'm feeling right now, and maybe explain why. And there's also a guide about how to read this book with your children. So I wanted to start with this because it talks about what we began our conversation sharing, it talks about the different emotions that children experience, and this is beyond children who are just in their primary grade years. Divorce affects children who are in high school, and affects young adults as well. So that I thought was an excellent place to start, I really highly recommend this book to you, My Body Sends a Signal by Natalia Maguire.

Steve Altishin  12:18  
I love that, I love that. And just before we get into another book, I want to make sure that the people listening know that either at the end of this, we will give information, or you can give information to contact you, or to contact us, regarding where to find these books and the list of these books. I mean, these these are meant to be shared.

Portia Y. Clare  12:44  
Absolutely, absolutely, I think they will be very helpful to children and their families.

Steve Altishin  12:50  
So what's another book you'd recommend?

Portia Y. Clare  12:53  
Another one that I would recommend is called My Family's Changing. It's a first look at family breakup. And I have a little blurb here that I want to share as quickly as possible. It says, this picture book aimed at young children is ideal for parents and children to read together, and a great starting point for discussions about what divorce can mean for a family and ways to adapt to a new way of living. And it talks about divorce very frankly, and simply. And it is a guide to reassure children that their experiences are shared by others. They're not alone. They're not the only one whose parents are getting divorced. And I think sometimes children struggle with that. It's just me, and they don't know how to handle that. And this book will help a parent through that process.

Steve Altishin  13:47  
I love that for two reasons. One, you know, that it shows other people, other kids, but also the kind of the guide thing. One of the big things that happens in divorce is the just the uncertainty. That's scary, and so knowing what may be coming can be helpful, I guess.

Portia Y. Clare  14:08  
That's right. That's right. And it's something that a parent can read, I guess, if you're moving to that state, or if you're in that state as well, and you can go back to it. And hopefully, because initially your child may not want to even have this conversation--I don't want this, I don't want this--but if it's there, and they can access it, and it's something that's on their reading level, perhaps they will pick it up and perhaps you can try and share it again and then have conversations with it. Some things will take time and we have to work with children and respect how they are feeling. We have to have real conversations with them. But we have to recognize that they have a timeframe and they need to be able to feel their feelings and have have a say, if you will, about when we're going to move forward with this conversation. I think that that shows a bit of respect for them as well. And I think that's important for children.

Steve Altishin  15:11  
Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Again, the kind of, everyone gets divorced, I mean, it's not just you getting divorced. And that just leads me, because you sent me a list of the books, and the one that kind of struck me, and with what you're kind of saying, is well, apparently even dinosaurs get divorced!

Portia Y. Clare  15:30  
And that's the one that I want to share next. Absolutely. It's called Dinosaurs Divorce, a Guide for Changing Families. And the author is, well, this is a husband and wife team, Laurie and Mark Brown. Can you see that? 

Steve Altishin  15:47  
You bet. 

Portia Y. Clare  15:48  
Okay. And it says, with cute dinosaur characters that child readers will find fun and engaging, this book is a fantastic roadmap for the early days of divorce. It teaches a child how to talk to friends about their parents divorce, the practicalities of living in two different homes, and how to adapt to a blended family. So divorce is more than just a child being separated from Mom and Dad. But actually, parents may choose to marry or remarry, and they may remarry someone who already has children. So that is a topic of discussion as well that children need to have. You might not just be visiting Daddy or Mommy by themselves, Daddy and Mommy might remarry, and they may remarry someone who has children also. All of those things need to be discussed with children.

Steve Altishin  16:42  
Well, yeah, living in two homes. I mean, especially when the homes are maybe not just you and your parents.

Unknown Speaker  16:50  
Absolutely. Absolutely. That's an adjustment itself.

Steve Altishin  16:55  
Yeah. Are there any books you recommend about kids living in two homes?

Portia Y. Clare  17:00  
Absolutely. There's one that's called that very name, Two Homes by Claire Maduro. And this particular book I loved because it walks you through a child's perspective of living in two places. It's a simple story about a little boy named Alex, his parents are recently divorced. And he lives in homes that are different. But what it really wants children to understand is that he is loved by both of his parents. He has a place in both of those homes that are just his own. It's a very sensitive and thoughtful book. And it talks about concerns a child might have with having two different places to live. It shares what's similar, what's different. I have this here, I have that there, they're both mine. And in both places I am loved. It's a wonderful story. 

Steve Altishin  17:59  
Oh that is a wonderful story. 

Portia Y. Clare  18:02  
We also have another one that talks about two homes as well.

Steve Altishin  18:05  
Oh, let's do it!

Portia Y. Clare  18:07  
This one is called Two Homes Filled with Love, and this is written by Steve Herman. I'm hoping that you all are seeing what I'm sharing. Can you see that? 

Steve Altishin  18:19  

Portia Y. Clare  18:20  
Okay, wonderful. Now, this book is about a little boy named Drew. And Drew has a dragon named Diggory-Do, and the dragon helps him during this story. It says that Drew and his dragon, Diggory-Do, on this uplifting story, help a friend during the most difficult change in life when his parents live apart, and now he's living in two homes. It's an essential book to help discuss and explain to children the hard but important topic in the simple and appropriate way that children could relate and understand. It's a very good tool for parents. And it's also something that teachers can use in the classroom as well to help children cope with parental separation with a breakup or divorce and teach them that, whether living in one home or two, they are always loved and supported. And that's a very important message for children, particularly young children.

Steve Altishin  19:21  
You can't have too much of that. You can't have too many books that say that. There are great books about, you know, I'm gonna say not fanciful, but you know, stories like dragons and dinosaurs, and then there are also books that are like, you know, it's just a kid talking about divorce, matter of factly.

Portia Y. Clare  19:46  
Absolutely, absolutely. There are a few like that that I have in my hand. And I'm going to look at this one next that's called, I have two homes. And you can see it's written in first person, and this is written by Marian De Smet. And what's happening in this story is the little girl is taking the reader through the two homes in which she lives, I have this in this home, I have this in that home, I do this in this home, I do that in that home. And what you're finding is you're doing the same things in the different homes. But the bottom line is that wherever that child is, the child is loved. When there are activities that she does, maybe a sporting activity, both of my parents are there, they're still supporting me, at my recitals or at my soccer games, they're there for me. But I live in two different places, a lot of people have one of everything, I have two of everything. And as you read this, you realize, you know what, it's going to be okay. Because the bottom line is this, I am loved, wherever I'm living, the love that my parents have for me remains. If I'm at Daddy's house, Mom is still loving me. If I'm at Mommy's house, Dad is still loving me.

Steve Altishin  21:11  
I just think, again, it's just a different kind of point of view. Each of these are the same, a lot of those same things, but from all kinds of different points of view. 

Portia Y. Clare  21:23  

Steve Altishin  21:24  
And some may resonate more with a kid than another. Like you just talked about, it's a beginning, it's not an end.

Portia Y. Clare  21:24  
That's right. 

Steve Altishin  21:24  
In fact, I think you have a book like, divorce is not the end of the world.

Portia Y. Clare  21:39  
Divorce is Not the End of the World, and this particular book that you're referencing is actually written by children, or older children, who experienced divorce. They actually had parents, this is by Zoe and Evan Stern, and it was written as a guide for children. They went through their parents having a divorce, and so they wrote a book for children that are their age, or other children who are going through divorce as well. Now, I think this would resonate well with students who are probably high school age, or perhaps a little, maybe middle school age, I think it's an excellent resource. For them, it's something that they can read independently. And they're recognizing that the authors of this book have gone through what they are currently experiencing, or what they will experience. So I think this will be essential for children who are a bit older, and I think parents would appreciate this book quite a bit.

Steve Altishin  22:40  
And gosh, that's important, isn't it, that a parent who's looking to get some books for their their kid, or their kids, recognize sort of the age and adaptability of the books. That makes a difference, doesn't it?

Portia Y. Clare  22:40  
It does, it really does. And the next book that I'm showing you, this book is about an eight year old. And it's called Mom and Dad Love Me the Same. The little boy in this story's name is William and he is eight. And it says that he has a lot of anxiety, his parents tell him they're getting a divorce, and he's worried about how his life is going to change. And so over the course of a year, he experiences many differences, and many similarities. He explains his observations to the reader. So this is an eight year old, walking the reader through what is happening with him. And it's helping children who are his age to understand divorce. And after all, the most important thing is what we've been saying, mommy and daddy still love me. Even though they may feel differently about one another, they do not feel differently about me, and it is not my fault. So this is written with a child's perspective for a younger child. So I love, I really love, how these authors have come up with different ways to communicate with children. This is a book where a child will feel safe reading, my friend William, he's the same age as me. He's close in age to me, and he's telling me about things that I'm experiencing now or I'm getting ready to experience. Oftentimes, as a teacher, we recognize that while we're trying to teach, children don't get it when we say it, but when we pair them with a classmate, that classmate has a way of allowing them or helping them to understand the concept. And this book is doing that same thing. I didn't share the author, please excuse me. This is Melissa Torres who has written this story.

Steve Altishin  24:45  
Oh, it looks like a great story.

Portia Y. Clare  24:46  

Steve Altishin  24:48  
And these books are not, I guess, necessarily meant to be read just one way. I mean, it's like, here's the book, go ahead and go read it. But a lot of these are, it feels like, with the parents.

Portia Y. Clare  25:06  
Absolutely. And the ideal, I think, would be that a parent and a child are sitting and reading it together. It would be absolutely wonderful if both Mommy and Daddy were reading it with them. But the hope is that when the children are by themselves, or when they have a moment away from mommy and daddy, that they know that this book is still there, and they can go back to the book and spend some time on it. There may be a particular part of the story that stood out to them, and they want to read that part again. And so having that book in the house, after having read it with a parent, allows the child again, to maybe express some of those feelings. Remember, we talked about emotions and the timing of it all. And when a child is ready to share, perhaps that child will feel led to pick up the book and read it by him or herself, or with a sibling because you know, not every child who's a part of a divorce is an only child. You know, sometimes there are multiple children in a home, different ages. So maybe the siblings will share the book, one with the other, and talk about things amongst themselves. But having it there gives them the opportunity to go back to this resource and talk maybe just with themselves, or maybe as I said, with a sibling, and kind of walk through their feelings a bit more. And then the hope is that they would come back to mommy and daddy and maybe have some questions. Or maybe share, Well, this is how I'm feeling right now. Well, the book talked about this, it didn't tell me about that. Well, what's going to happen here? That's what we want. We want a line of communication. We want our children not to go within themselves and not talk. We want them to come and ask questions and feel free to do that. And I think that books are a way to kind of bridge that opportunity.

That makes so much sense. It's not just, kind of, go internal and all by yourself, but jump to talking about stuff. I think you had a book that was even like part of a series of books, I don't knowi if they're all on the subject, but I think one of them, isn't it about like, what happens when parents do separate? 

Yeah, exactly. It's called Questions and Feelings About When Parents Separate by Don Hewitt. Can you see that? Sometimes we have pets, you know, what happens with my pet? Sometimes I have a pet in both homes. Sometimes my pet travels with me when I travel to Mommy's house or to Daddy's house. So this book, called When Parents Separate by Don Hewitt, it says part of the Questions and Feelings About series. This picture book was produced in collaboration with mental health and emotional well being charity chums to provide a starting point for parents and children to explore the child's feelings about divorce, focusing primarily on processing new and uncomfortable emotions. When Parents Separate is an excellent resource for dealing with the psychological challenges of divorce. There's so many questions, what am I going to do with my pet?  Which house does Santa Claus come to? Where do I-- so many questions! How is it possible for me to continue doing both things? These are books that are helping parents to answer those questions for children.

Steve Altishin  28:54  
I love that. I love that. And you talk about how sometimes kids feel at fault. You know, I broke it, how do I fix it? Are there books that can kind of can get to that?

Portia Y. Clare  29:14  
Well, I think that some of the books that I've already shared with you are actually dealing with that situation, where a child is feeling as though my parents are divorcing because of me. It's something that I did wrong. And the children are expressing, My parents are explaining to me that, No, it's not what I did. Or another book might be saying it's because parents sometimes fall out of love with one another. Maybe they did initially enjoy talking to one another and doing things together, but then as time passed, they don't enjoy those conversations as much anymore, or they don't smile together as much anymore, or they don't enjoy doing things together anymore, but it's not because of me, it's because of something that's going on with them. And I think that's expressed quite a bit in most of these books. And that's essential for children to understand, it's not your fault. And some of the books are talking about parents getting angry, and sometimes taking the anger out on the child. And perhaps speaking with a tone that's a little bit harsh, but it is not because of what the child has done, it's because the parent is sad also about what's going on, and it's difficult for the parent. So it's not easy for any person, but it is particularly challenging for the children. So I liked the way that the books are expressing the kinds of emotions that can be experienced by children and their families. Sometimes children get angry at their parents, some of the books talk about that, and then they have a tone with mommy and daddy, because I'm mad at you, because you're deciding to leave me and change everything that I know, and everything that I want. And then that will lead to a conversation. So there's so many different ways that children can relate to the characters in the stories. And that's what I was talking about books providing that safe place. That's me, you mean, somebody else actually feels that way, that actually can happen? I think that's important for children to know that they're not the only ones who are experiencing that. And these authors have done an excellent job of giving children an opportunity to see themselves within the pages of these books. 

Steve Altishin  31:41  
Wow, these were really, really great recommendations.

Portia Y. Clare  31:45  
And there's one more that I want to share with you.

Steve Altishin  31:48  
I'm ready.

Portia Y. Clare  31:49  
And it's by Melanie Walsh, and it's called Living with Mom and Living with Dad: My Two Homes, and it's basically telling you the same thing that the others are, that your parents don't live together anymore. So sometimes you live with mommy, sometimes you live with daddy, these are the things that I do with mommy, these are the things that I do with daddy, these are some things that we still do together. You know, how do we celebrate birthdays? What am I going to do at my birthday time, you know, maybe we'll be at Mommy's house and Daddy will come. Maybe it will be at Daddy's house and Mommy will come, maybe you'll have two different birthdays, you'll have one at Mommy's house, you'll have one at Daddy's house. There's so many different things that occur, but it allows children to realize that your life will continue, your parents will still love you. And you'll be okay. And in most instances, our children have both of their parents in their lives still, after a divorce. There are times when that is not the case. And that's a conversation that parents will have to have as well, that things are different and they may never be the same again. But having these books to read with your child opens that door for a conversation that helps them through what they're experiencing. If these books do not discuss the particular things that parents are experiencing with their children, with their divorce, they may help with drawing out that conversation, and mommies and daddies saying baby, we'll work through it together. This is new for both of us. This is new for all of us. But the one thing that we want you to know is that you're loved. And the love that we have for you will never change. Where you live might change, where you go to school might change, how you go about your daily routine might change, but you have me. And you have that community of people that we talked about initially. There's a support system in place that is here to let you know that you haven't done anything wrong, that you are precious, that you are priceless, that you are loved. And you are supported. And I think that's the message that all of these books share.

Steve Altishin  34:11  
That's wonderful. Just before we go though, I do want to kind of hit on one thing, because you are a children's book author. 

Portia Y. Clare  34:20  
Yes, I am. 

Steve Altishin  34:21  
I would imagine that there are even books that aren't about divorce that can be helpful. I mean, there's a range of books that cover different emotions that may come in, or looking to the future, I mean, I imagine that you don't necessarily have to just look at divorce books.

Portia Y. Clare  34:40  
Absolutely. Absolutely. We started with a book that was talking about our feelings and our bodies are showing emotions and sensing different things. The book that I have written is walking children through grief. In divorce, there is a sense of loss, and in death, there is a sense of loss. The title of my book is Best Friends Forever: A Puppies Tale. This is a story about a little girl who received a puppy for her fourth birthday. And that puppy became her very best friend, they did everything in the world together. And their family moved some years later, and the puppy had to ride in the luggage compartment of the plane. When that plane landed, the puppy was sick, the puppy was falling down, and other things were happening, and they discovered that the puppy had epilepsy. And epilepsy does not have a cure. And so her parents had to help her walk through the process of understanding that eventually, this puppy that she loved so well is going to pass away. And that's a conversation that's dealing with loss, just as divorce can feel like a loss, it's a loss of 'my normal' for children. And so this book, like you're sharing, like other books, can hit on some topics that relate in some way to what a child may be experiencing for divorce. And I hope that my resource of care will be helpful for children who are going through grief and loss of a pet.

Steve Altishin  36:21  
No question, no question. And we are out of time, but I really want to take some time to also maybe tell how people can get a hold of you if they have questions about this, or just about books, or want to talk about your books?

Portia Y. Clare  36:38  
Absolutely. You may contact me through my website, which is, and you can find that information about me there. And you can order an autographed copy of my book from my website as well.

Steve Altishin  36:53  
I love it. I mean, having gone through a couple of dogs, I look back and go, God, we really could have used that.

Portia Y. Clare  37:04  
Oh, absolutely. Yes, I think adults can relate to it as well. And the other thing I wanted to share before we go, though, is that these books might be written for younger children, but you know, what I found, even as an adult or even as a teenager, children's books actually help grownups as well. They're simply written and they're easy to understand. So they're not just for children, and they're going to help mommies and daddies as well.

Steve Altishin  37:32  
There are about three books I read to my kids a lot, and I still refer to them, as I'm talking with adults about situations because they were great books, like The Sign of the Seahorse.

Portia Y. Clare  37:51  
Absolutely. Absolutely. That's the beauty of books.

Steve Altishin  37:55  
I agree. That's the beauty of books, you know, and like you said, you never can get too much. I have to admit, I am going through my eighth, I think, reading of Lord of the Rings now. 

Portia Y. Clare  38:08  
I understand, I understand.

Steve Altishin  38:10  
Oh my gosh. Well, thank you. Thank you so much for bringing your knowledge and all of that great experience to talk about this. Thank you so much.

Portia Y. Clare  38:19  
Thank you for having me. I have thoroughly enjoyed it and my hope is that parents will be helped by what we've shared today.

Steve Altishin  38:25  
Oh I know they will. And so everyone, thank you as well for showing up today. If anyone has further questions again on today's topic, you can post it here and we can get you connected with Portia. And until next time, stay safe, stay happy, be well.

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