Keeping siblings of divorce together at church events, Part I




God’s design for children is for them to depend and rely upon their parent. For instance when they wake in the middle of the night and they are scared they run to their parents. Their parents are the trustworthy adults who lead their family.

When a divorce happens children can no longer turn to the parents as a unit. When it’s time to go to the other parent’s home the kids go alone.  No matter how much they rely on mom or dad, that parent can’t go with them to the other home. The same thing happens when it’s time to leave that parent’s home. As kids travel back and forth they begin to rely on each other to fill an emotional need.

They rely on each other to get them through tough times. When one parent introduces them to their new love, it is the rare child who will go home and talk to the other parent about it. Most kids talk to each other.

Many older kids actually become a surrogate-type of parent to younger siblings. Younger siblings cling to older siblings and older siblings worry about their younger brothers and sisters.

We bring them to church and immediately separate the siblings. Everyone goes a different direction most of the time. But what if there could be times when siblings could worship together and pray together at church?

Siblings don’t have to sit together all the time but it would be good if they could at least see each other. Kind of keep an eye on each other. Would it really hurt if the older sibling visited the younger sibling’s class occasionally? Or how about in VBS, some of the games were mixed ages?

In DC4K, DivorceCare for Kids, we mix age our groups. In other words all elementary age kids are together in one room. This way brothers and sisters are allowed to heal together. Many times you’ll hear them talking about different situations. A conversation between a brother and sister in one of our groups went like this,

The brother, “You thought it was your fault our parents got divorced? I thought it was my fault”

The older sister, “Maybe it wasn’t either one of us. Maybe like the video said, it wasn’t our fault at all. It is between our parents and it is an adult problem!” And they both gave a sigh of relief.

Many of these kids of divorce will end up in a blended step family. In a mixed age group they have a chance to get accustomed to older and younger kids. One fifth grade boy, who was an only child, adopted a kindergarten little girl as his little sister. It helped him in his healing when he could reach out and help her.

What are your concerns about keeping siblings together at church events?


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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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