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Author reaches out to kids whose parents are divorcing

Author Yuri Tiru Pillai Schneider hopes parents who are divorcing prioritise their kids’ well-being. (Muhammad Rabbani Jamian @ FMT Lifestyle)

PETALING JAYA: Divorce is a traumatic experience. And it’s not just true for the adults involved but for the children who now find themselves thrust into a situation they are not familiar with.

They may have questions that never get answered as their parents are too preoccupied with navigating the changes in their own lives.

However, parents owe it to their kids to make the transition as smooth and painless as possible – more so when a new partner enters the picture.

Through her second children’s picture book, “Two Turning Three”, author Yuri Tiru Pillai Schneider, 35, aims to raise awareness about the importance of putting a child’s well-being at the forefront of a divorce through healthy co-parenting arrangements.

The book tells the story of a single father, Papa and his toddler son, Ian. Through visually appealing illustrations and easy-to-understand language, the book shows Papa’s life as a single father as he balances his career, cares for his son and transitions into a relationship with a new partner.

“I used very simplistic terms to help parents illustrate the split in a better way,” she said, adding that the book is meant for children aged three to eight years old.

This is a prequel to her first book, “Two Homes, One Family”, which depicts Ian’s story of dividing his time between two homes and calling two women his mother.

Both books are based on true stories as Ian is the author’s stepson and Papa is her husband, Sven Schneider.

‘Two Turning Three’ is based on the real-life experiences of the author’s husband and his son from a previous marriage. (Muhammad Rabbani Jamian @ FMT Lifestyle)

“When I released my first book, many of my readers who grew up as children in divorced family backgrounds felt like they didn’t have anything that helped them transition,” she said.

“So, they were very lost at that time and most of them struggled until adulthood and even in their marriages as well. They asked if I could write a book that explains in detail, right from the beginning, what divorce is to a child,” she added.

So, she asked her husband if he would be comfortable in telling his story and she was delighted when he agreed.

The couple also thought it would be a good opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of a father figure in a relationship, especially after a divorce, as they don’t get as much attention as single mothers.

Recalling her experience of writing the book, Yuri said that she got to know her husband better. His father passed away when he was very young.

“I didn’t realise how much losing his dad impacted his perspective as a father today. Upon delving deeper, I found that the loss actually created his commitment and love towards his own son.”

Using simple language and illustrations, the book aims to help children better understand the concept of divorce. (Muhammad Rabbani Jamian @ FMT Lifestyle)

She gifted the first printed copy of the book to her husband on Father’s Day. She also recalled a particularly touching response from Ian who is six and a half years old today.

“When he first read the book, he said, ‘Papa was there when I was zero years old, and I will always remember to love Papa even when I am 100 years old.’

“Conceptually, he understands what happened to him. And when he grows up, if he is ever in doubt, he can refer to this,” she said.

As to what she hopes to leave her readers with, she shared: “My main hope is that the book will neutralise the tone of divorce. Obviously, you cannot make it positive. My bet is to just make it neutral.

“Let’s not antagonise anyone for choosing to divorce because you only have one life and you want to live it to your fullest,” she concluded, adding that she also hoped her book would reach families who needed it the most.

“Two Turning Three” is priced at RM35.

Or purchase both “Two Turning Three” and “Two Homes, One Family” at RM50, inclusive of postal charges throughout the Klang Valley.

To purchase the book(s), send Yuri Tiru Pillai Schneider a message via Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.