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Draw Your Family + A Child of Divorce = Paper Ripped to Shreds

Issues Kids Deal With / Spiritual Formation //

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A kindergarten child was asked to draw a picture of his family. The child started the picture and then ripped it to shreds. The picture above is what was left of the child’s original drawing.

An assistant in the room thought the child was being disrespectful and out of control. She was ready to punish the child.

When ministering to the children of divorce it’s about having empathy for these children and understanding that sometimes we might need to tweak how we respond to various situations. The picture above is a great example of having empathy and understanding where a child is coming from.

The teacher understood immediately what was going on. She knew the parents were divorced. She scooped up the child and the picture and moved him to another area. She then gave the child a piece of paper, folded it and told the child to put himself in the middle and to draw his mom’s family on one side and the dad’s family on the other side. The child had no problem with that. Imagine if the teacher had not had empathy for this child. It would have been difficult to develop a relationship with him for many weeks to come if at all.

Imagine in one of your church classes or in VBS if someone took time to explain to the child of divorce they understood what was happening?

I had one person at a conference tell me when she asked her group to draw their families that one child refused to even try. She said she was clueless how to help. The child got angry and upset. This lady didn’t know how to help or what to do so the child stayed angry. I imagine this child also felt left out for the rest of the class time.  She says next time she will try this and is sure that it will work much better than how she handled it last time.

What about  you? What will you do when a child of divorce refuses to talk about or draw their family?

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About the Author

Linda has been a children’s ministry director, developed DC4K (DivorceCare for Kids, dc4k.org), operated a therapeutic child care, and has extensive experience at successfully accommodating challenging behaviors. She currently serves as the DC4K Ambassador and Professional blogger at http://blog.dc4k.org.