The statistics are alarming. Divorce rates have climbed across the globe over the past few decades. It’s estimated that 48 percent of American and British children live in divorced single-parent homes by age 16.
In addition, research has found that kids struggle the most during the first year or two after the divorce. Although divorce creates great distress to the entire family, younger children can be impacted the most. Amy Morin, LCSW, writes in her article, “The Psychological Effects of Divorce on Children: Take steps to help kids bounce back faster” (Amy Morin, 2019) that young children often struggle to understand why they must go between two homes. They may worry that if their parents can stop loving one another that someday, their parents may stop loving them.
Peter Johnson has experienced the life-changing reality of divorce and guiding his two small children through this emotional rollercoaster. An actor and film director, Peter wrote The Cow on Two Farms: A Children’s Guide of How to Cope with Divorce and Separation as a creative way to remind his children that fatherhood does not end with divorce and to help them live with the fear and confusion of a divided household.
Peter explains, “I want children to see the benefits of living in two homes. I wanted my children to understand that I loved them, and we were going to remain a family despite the separation. It was important for them to know that this experience does not necessarily have to be a scary memory but a childhood adventure where they feel loved and share a few laughs with their loved ones.”
He continues “Many have asked me why I chose a farm as the main setting and cows as the main characters? My father was the owner of a beef cattle farm in Tennessee; I guess a farm and cows are a warm and positive part of my childhood memories.”
When Cathy the Cow is confused about having to visit her father on another farm, she learns an important lesson about love that survives separation. Author Peter Johnson uses farm animals to help children understand what it means to live in two homes when their parents are no longer together. View a brief trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-tz0UO2c4E
The Cow on Two Farms can be purchased online at LuLu.com and Amazon.com.