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Question of the week: Why don’t kids of divorce come to Sunday services consistently?

 
 

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For weeks, I’ve been posting questions of the week. These are questions that have been asked by children’s leaders and ministers. If you have a specific question about children of divorce you’d like answered, email it to me at ljacobs@dc4k.org, and I’ll answer it.

This week’s question:  Why don’t divorced kids come to Sunday school consistently?

When children visit the other parent every other weekend, for the most part, they will miss Sunday school on those weekends. To the children, every other weekend becomes their “consistent” schedule.

Sometimes, visitation schedules can vary, so children might be in attendance for a month and then gone for a week. This might be due to noncustodial parents’ work schedule. When they don’t have to work on a Sunday, they want to spend time with their children.

Another reason children of divorce might have an inconsistent schedule is the divorced parents might be struggling and barely able to manage their weekly schedule, let alone get up on Sunday mornings to bring their children to church. Keep in mind that many single parents work extra jobs to survive financially, so they might maintain a six-day work week. Some single parents even have to work on Sundays.

Or children might have a noncustodial parent who picks them up sporadically when he feels like it with no schedule at all.

Because of split homes, grandparents have trouble finding time to squeeze in a visit with the kids. Many will invite children of divorce to their homes on the weekends. For these kids, once a month becomes their consistent schedule. Or they might be in a single-parent family where the parent lives with the grandparents. In this case, the child may come every week as the grandparents bring the child.

Whatever the reason, remember these kids need your love and your attention when they are in your midst. They need to know they matter! They need to know they belong whether they come once a month, twice a month, or every Sunday.

 

This article is updated and adapted from an article originally published on the Kids & Divorce blog on July 29, 2013.

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4 thoughts on “Question of the week: Why don’t kids of divorce come to Sunday services consistently?

  1. Good afternoon! The director of our weekday ministry asked me at lunch if I knew of any books to help families with preschoolers know how to help families who are going through a divorce. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Hi Carol, I hate to refer parents of preschoolers to any particular book. The reason is every child is at a different developmental level and I wouldn’t know how much the child might be able to understand. The other reason is books for kids come and go so fast. Most publishers only print so many books and when those books are sold out, there aren’t any more printed. The best thing would be to go to Pinterest and type in books for preschool children about divorce. They will need to preview those books very carefully as many are written for older elementary age children.

        • There are so many books for elementary age children. You can preview many on Amazon and see what they are about. Very few are Christian related though. We do have a read aloud storybook we use in DC4K called “Stories for Kids in Divorce.” It has questions at the end of each story to stimulate conversations with the child. You can order the book on our website https://www.dc4k.org/bookstore

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