Question of the week: I have a divorcing mom asking me to talk to the dad about their child’s behavior. Should I intervene?


49370811 - unhappy woman in conversation with friend or counsellor

As a children’s minister, you need to decide if you are going to minister to the child or to the adults. If your goal is to minister to the child, then I would explain to the mom that your primary concern is for her child. Tell her you:

  • Will walk closely beside the child
  • Are in prayer for the child
  • Will be happy to find some parenting help for single parents
  • Will mentor her child
  • Will love her child
  • Will be there for her child and her single-parent family

Of course, there are going to be many variables, such as how close you were to the departing parent.

  • Did the father go to your church?
  • Is the dad open to discussion?
  • Is the dad a believer?
  • Is there any hope for the marriage to be reconciled?

If you don’t know the dad and you go to talk to him, the entire situation could blow up in your face. He could become belligerent about a stranger telling him how to discipline his child. More than likely he loves his child very much. He may try to discourage his child from coming to your church.

It would be better if you worked with the mom on how to discipline her child. Give her helps on how a child acts and reacts about the divorce. Encourage her to go to DivorceCare and put her child in a DC4K group. If you don’t have these at your church, go to and put your ZIP Code in the search engine and find a church near you that does host these two very important programs.


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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4 thoughts on “Question of the week: I have a divorcing mom asking me to talk to the dad about their child’s behavior. Should I intervene?

  1. As a Licensed Professional Counselor who has worked with children of divorce for many years, I have a few thoughts. How would you feel if a stranger gave you unsolicited advice? I think it could backfire and make things far worse for the child. If the mom and/or dad ask for help, then you can give it to them or refer them to a professional. Give the child loving and kind support. Reassure the child that he is not alone. It usually gets better with time. Teach the child to say , “I love you both, I don’t like to hear bad things about (the other parent ). And, pray for kindness and forgiveness in the attitudes of all family members. Some things I have told parents are: Please love your child MORE than you dislike your ex! I also tell parents that putting your anger aside will greatly reduce the chances of teen suicide, school failure, drug addiction and teen pregnancy. Hope this helps.

    • Wonderful advice Barbara. So glad you are a personal friend and I can rely on you to post the truths people need to hear. Thank bunches.

  2. Triangulation like needs to be avoided. It is not healthy for your ministry and leaves you and your organization open to subpoena. While it is appropriate to help mom keep the child away from her issues with dad, there are professionals with specialties in co-parenting counseling who are best suited to teach her helpful methods of communication with dad.

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