A Grip on Grief: How to Help Children Cope with Loss
- Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Getting Involved Again. The children’s self-esteem is being restored. They are starting to be involved in activities again, and they are not as withdrawn. They desire to deepen their healthy relationships and want to walk away from unhealthy ones.
Caring About Others. The children’s pain has been replaced with sensitivity and caring, and they begin to think about other people’s needs as well as their own.
One morning after church, a kindergarten Sunday school teacher described an event involving Nicole, one of the children whom we had met during a recent session of “Just Me & the Kids.” “In our Sunday school class is a little friend of Nicole’s whose parents are getting a divorce,” the teacher said. “Today she crouched in a corner crying. Nicole put her arm around her and said, ‘I know it’s hard because my parents are divorced, too. But remember, it is not your fault.’” Nicole was caring about others. She was healing.
Communicating at School. Your children’s schoolteachers need to know what is happening in your home. Divorce is devastating for everyone involved, and children need the support of those at school.
Communicate with your child’s teachers. Share the telltale signs of stress your child may manifest. Let them know that many behaviors may continue throughout the school year and how important it is that the child not be isolated for misbehavior. Emphasize how much you want to be involved in your child’s progress.
* * * * *
Remember Chad from the beginning of this story? A year after his participation in “Just Me & the Kids,” Chad, his brother and his mom attended a single-parent family retreat. It was a joyful reunion for this family and the leaders of our ministry. While roasting marshmallows beside a campfire, Chad asked if he and his brother could sing a duet. Under the starry skies of Missouri, two small voices rang out bold and strong, singing the melody “Our God Is an Awesome God.”
As we listened, there was not one among us who did not marvel about the depth of God’s unconditional love and faithfulness in our lives. That moment reminded us to never give up hope, to always be encouraged and to never forget that “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). That’s a promise that can help anyone get a grip on grief.
The Center for Single Parent Family Ministry was incorporated as a non-profit corporation in 2003, led by a Board of Directors and supported by an Advisory Council. Today, we humbly follow where God is leading in order to bring about hope and healing in the lives of single-parents and their children, the modern-day widows and orphans (James 1:27).
Publication date: August 28, 2012
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