A House Divided

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These stages of grief are normal. Children
need the freedom to talk about their feelings and thoughts. Give
them guidance in how to make good and healthy decisions even when
their feelings are spinning out of control. Just as kids
experiencing the death of a parent often ask some profoundly
spiritual questions, children experiencing divorce also have
questions. Many kids wonder “Where is God when I’m hurting?” and
“If God can do anything, why didn’t God stop this from
happening?”

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Support groups, such as Linda Sibley’s Confident Kids groups,
can help children ponder these questions in a non-threatening
environment while learning valuable life skills that may be
missing. Confident Kids groups require that as a child meets with
others to share her experiences, at least one parent attends a
separate adult group. That way kids and adults can learn skills to
build healthy new family units. This also has two primary benefits
for the parent. First, it offers parents the opportunity to feel as
though they’re focusing on something positive for their children’s
healing. And second, it gives caretaking parents a chance to find
their bearings while adjusting to their new marital status.

A small group opportunity for children in the process of divorce
recovery is best offered at a time that doesn’t single out children
from other ongoing ministries they might be involved in, such as
Sunday school or midweek programs. Instead, make the opportunity
available when other programs aren’t competing for kids’
attention.

Single-Parent Families’ Needs

While not all single-parent families are born from divorce, most
single-parent families experience similar needs. As kids are trying
to find their balance in this new world, parents are trying to cope
with a laundry list of day-to-day issues. These issues fall into
four main categories: children, vehicles, households, and
finances.

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