Ministering to Children of Divorce

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ACCOMMODATING KIDS
When we help strengthen the parents, we also strengthen the child.
As children see their parents thrive as singles, children will feel
more secure. But don’t stop there. Plan special ways to make your
program a healing place for children.

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Plan a children of divorce support
group.
This group can meet the same time as an adult
group meets. Address emotional and practical issues in these
sessions.

Work to create warm, inviting
classrooms.
Remove attendance posters so children
don’t feel bad about their absences. Mail any class projects,
lessons, or student pages to the half-time students ahead of time.
Also consider contacting the child’s Sunday school teacher in the
child’s other church. Find out what they’re studying and
incorporate it into your lesson time. This will help the child feel
important and will allow you to reinforce lessons for the
child.

Drop curriculum that can’t stand
alone.
If your curriculum is designed so that each
week builds on the previous one, don’t use it with half-time kids.
They’ll feel lost and left out. Use curriculum with lessons that
can stand alone from week to week.

Inform kids of upcoming events. Try to
schedule events to fit a part-timer by finding out when the child
is likely to be present. Don’t add to the child’s anxiety or guilt
if the child must miss an event. Instead of saying, “We’ll miss you
next week,” say, “I hope you have a great time with your Mom next
Sunday.”

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Ministering to part-time kids is challenging, but it’s also
rewarding. These children need your love, and their parents are
hungry for healing. Help children feel less like pawns and more
like valuable people in their new family structures and in the
family of God.

Brian Dykes works with children at his church in Greenville,
Michigan.

     

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