Helpful tip #4 for starting the school year: Encouraging words



Many children in single parent homes are going to need encouraging words to get off to a good start this school year. This is especially true if the parents separated this past summer. Their minds could be swimming with questions. The last thing they want to do is try and concentrate.

Or perhaps they spent the summer with the other parent, grandparents and cousins they don’t get to see often enough. Their minds are back in that other place.

Another scenario that could cause a disturbance in their brains is if one of their parents started dating someone over the summer. If the new person in their parent’s life has kids that makes it even harder to accept.

Or it could be they had a hard time last year and the start of a new school year is sending them into a panic.

How can you power up and encourage kids of divorce?

  • Listen to their stories.
    Let kids tell you their stories. Listen to what they are struggling with in their life. Sometimes just telling an adult about missing the other parent is encouraging.
  • Affirm them with empathy.
    “I imagine it was hard to leave your grandma and your cousins.” Remember they don’t want to hurt the feelings of the parent they are with now so they try and keep everything bottled up inside. Give them opportunities to talk.
  • Access their needs.
    Ask them what they need. “What do you need from me to help you get started this school year?” Perhaps they need a backpack or new crayons. Help them find the school supplies they need to get started.
  • Ask them questions about their classes at school.
    Give positive feedback when you have it. “You have Ms. Smith? Oh I heard from Jessica that Ms. Smith is a really fun teacher. You will like her.”
  • Pray with them.
    Ask a child if you can pray with them about school and then do it right then. Or have prayer sheets available where kids list their prayer needs. Be sure to follow up in a week or two and ask about how God answered their prayers.
  • Share your life.
    Children like to hear about how God works in your life so take a few minutes and share with a child of divorce about what God is doing in your life.
  • Provide the Word.
    Give children encouraging scripture passages. Text them, email them, mail them a card or hand them a post it note with the scripture on it.
    “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
    “As soon as I pray, you answer me….” Psalm 138:3a
  • Praise their efforts.
    You can do this by describing what they did. “You went to school everyday this past week and you did all of your homework? Wow, seems like you are off to a great start.”
  • Give them attention.
    Sometimes this is as simple as always greeting them with a high five, a fist bump or a hug.
  • Love them unconditionally.
    Tell them you love them. Show them you love them. Be the hands, feet and voice of Jesus Christ.

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had,” Romans 15:5 (NIV)

What are you doing to encourage the child of divorce to get started off to a successful school year?


DC4K blogs posts are great to use in training children’s leaders and volunteers and they are free.  Subscribe to the DC4K blog here.

Want to learn more about how to start a DivorceCare for Kids group for the hurting children in your community? Click here.



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