Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every little kid who had divorcing parents showed up in your class stress free? There would be no fighting, arguing or yelling. All the kids would want to be involved. They would want to form community and care for one another. The group would ooze kindness.
Impossible you say? I beg to differ. Many children who live in divorcing and stressed out families don’t know how not to be stressed. It is their way of life and, like we’ve said before, they will bring that chaos and stress with them. However, there are things we can do to alleviate some of their stress.
I want to share a few important tips I have learned down through the years.
- Always, and I mean every time, have someone at the door to greet each child and do so with a hello ritual. That might be a high-five, fist bump, hug, handshake, elbow bump or just a “Hello (insert child’s name). So glad you are joining us today.”
- Put on your most joyful face. Joy is contagious so feel free to share your joy. There is always more where it came from.
- If you don’t have a joyful face – fake it. Even faking joyful and happy feelings will help a child with a neuron-to-neuron connection. It’s called mirror neurons.
- Be prepared in advance and have everything in the room you will need and things laid out in an orderly fashion. When you leave the room, the children think you are leaving them for something more important. Nothing is more important than the children.