Positive steps that make a HUGE difference to a child of divorce




Afraid of making a mistake with the child of divorce?

Many children’s leaders have shared that they tend to hold back or shy away from children of divorce simply because they are afraid of making things worse for the child.

Next time you face such fears, think to yourself, “How much worse can anything be than to watch the two people in the world you love the most split up and live in two separate households?” The worst thing you can do is to do nothing at all.

Here are just a few easy to do tips.

Pray for the Child of Divorce
At the top of the list has to be prayer. God’s guidance is paramount if you want to positively impact these children.

Search for Ways to Help
If at all possible take a few minutes to watch and study these children. Watch the interactions between the child and the parent. Be careful not to be judgmental but look for ways you can intervene to make things better between the parent and child.

Make a Connection
Sometimes these kids need someone to recognize they are troubled and stressed. It might be a pat on the back, a hug or even something as simple as a fist bump or high five.

Touch is important to these children. Many are starved for adult attention and touch. We forget that many of their parents are at war with each other. They are distracted and probably unaware they are not hugging their children regularly. Or maybe dad is the one that always did the fist bump and now dad is gone.

For my own son one of his dad’s friends and a deacon in our church reached out. Every Sunday he would put his hand on my son’s shoulder and say,

“Hey Son, how you doing son?” 

When Brian told me about it I asked how long Mr. Harmon had been doing that. He said,

“Oh, for many months now. And he does it EVERY Sunday.”

I don’t know to this day if Mr. Harmon knows how much he helped my son simply by taking a few seconds to connect with him.

Help Them to Feel Safe
Children who don’t feel safe may have challenging behaviors. Help these children feel safe by telling them they are safe when they are with you. Use the story of how the shepherd in the twenty-third Psalm takes care of his sheep and how he keeps them safe. Tell the children that you will be their shepherd and you will keep them safe.

Offer Choices
Children don’t get divorced – adults do. However, many times the child feels like they got the divorce. Everything is out of their control. For these children let them know you care by giving them choices. These choices should be very matter of fact types of choices.

“Do you want to sit at this table or the one at the back of the room?”
“Do you want to hang up your coat or keep it on?”

While these kinds of choices may seem silly to you, to a child of divorce they say, “You matter!”

Children of divorce need to belong

Many of theses children are shuffled from one living environment to another.  Children have told me they don’t feel like they belong anywhere. Children need to feel like they belong. They need to know that people remember their first and last names even it that name is different from the mom or dad that brings them to church. What better place to help feel like they belong than in God’s house?

Reach out today with these simple and practical tips and make a HUGE difference to the child of divorce.


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