From the 2010 Word & World Lecture Series at Luther Seminary, in this presentation Elizabeth Marquardt addresses The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce. This whole lecture is worth the time to listen to, but make sure you don’t miss the last half which is a Q&A session with the audience. Ms. Marquardt is an important voice, I would argue the most important voice, today on the topic of the impact of divorce on children’s faith.Hope 4 Hurting Kids Divorce and Modern Family Help Center. Continue reading
If your kids are like mine, they like to look at themselves in the mirror. They like to make funny faces, and when they were younger it was uncommon to find them in the bathroom making themselves laugh by what they saw in the mirror. Mirror Mirror is a fun game that builds on that to help kids learn and practice what emotions look like. These are the important “See It” and “Mimic It” phases of the The Super Simple Feelings Management Technique.
Items Need to Play
You don’t need much to play this game. All you need is
- A mirror (one on the wall is fine for one child, but if you’re playing with a group you might want hand mirrors).
- A list of emotion words (our Hope 4 Hurting Kids Emotion Cards or the My Feelings Workbook are great if you need help.)
Stress Balloons are a unique homemade alternative to the traditional stress ball that you can make with a child while talking to them about what is causing the stress in their lives. The instructions below use flour to fill the balloons. Use can also use rice, small beans or sand. These stress balloons can be a valuable soothing tool in a child’s Coping Tool Box.
What You Need to Make Stress Balloons
- A package of balloons.
- Flour (2/3 of a cup to a cup for each balloon)
- Funnel (or a water bottle)
- Pen or pencil
- Sharpie Marker
How to Make Stress Balloons
The Mood Meter is a fun craft to build and gives kids a chance to gauge how they’re feeling at any given moment, and over time. Your mood meter can be as simple or as involved as you want and is a nice alternative to a traditional emotion chart. We borrowed this wonderful idea from Education.com and encourage you to check out their website for more great ideas.
What Do You Need to Make a Mood Meter
Use your creativity to make your own personal mood meter. The following represents what we did:
- White poster board.
- Compass (helpful for getting your circle right)
- Construction Paper (you can match the emotions you are including in your charge, but you will definitely want a darker color to use for the arrow).
- A metal brad/fastener.
- Markers or crayons
Two weeks ago, we began a series called “A New Way of Looking at the Spiritual Impact of Divorce on Children.” In that series, we started looking at a new report from Melinda Lundquist Denton of Clemson University titled, “Family Structure, Family Disruption, and Profiles of Adolescent Religiosity.” First, we talked about how divorce impacts a child’s spiritual development. Last week, we looked at a new typology for thinking about children of divorce when it comes to their faith. Today, we conclude the series by looking at the results of the study, whether divorce has a negative or positive impact and what it means for churches and children of divorce.
The Basis of the Study
This study was based on data collected as part of the National Study of Youth and Religion – a telephone survey of 3,290 teenagers which began in 2002-2003. During Wave 1 (2002-2003), 3,290 teenagers aged 13 to 17 were asked a variety of questions. Those teens were resurveyed in 2005 (Wave 2) when they were between the ages of 16 and 21 and again in 2007/2008 (Wave 3) when they were between the ages of 18 and 24. The results for kids included in all three waves (2,185) formed the basis of this analysis.
The Color Wheel of Emotions provides kids and teens an artistic outlet for exploring their emotions. It also provides a golden opportunity to talk about those emotions with them. Although a simple exercise, the Color Wheel of Emotion hits on most of the aspects of the The Super Simple Feelings Management Technique – particularly the “Talk About It!” component. And, the best part is, you don’t even have to be a good artist to do it. The color wheel above was done by my (at the time) 13 year old daughter Lyndsey.
- White piece of paper or poster board.
- Colored pencils, crayons or markers.
How to Make a Color Wheel of Emotions
Over the last couple of weeks, we have looked at Lazy 8 Breathing and Triangle Breathing as effective tools for beginning to teach kids about deep breathing. Deep breathing is a key skill to have in the Please Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff coping skills toolbox. The Breathing Sphere can be used along with the techniques from either method to further reinforce breathing skills in kids.
How Does the Breathing Sphere Work
This activity may require spending some cash if you don’t have a sphere lying around, but we found it to be a very effective tool in helping kids to visualize their stomach expanding and contracting as they engage in deep breathing. They come in all sizes from a small one that expands from 5.5 to 12 inches, a large sphere that expands from 9.5 to 30 inches to this super large one that expands up to 4.5 feet. Obviously, the bigger you go the more expensive they get. I won the one shown above on a family vacation to Gatlinburg a few years back.
The idea is simple. Have the child hold the sphere. As they breathe in, they should expand the sphere. Have them hold the sphere open as they hold their breath, then have them slowly contract the ball as they breath out slowly through their mouth.
About the Book
When Dinosaurs Die is part of the series of books by Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown that also includes Dinosaurs Divorce – A Guide For Changing Families which we also highly recommend. It is a colorful and well written explanation of death and grief designed to help give kids who have lost a loved information about what is going on.
Who Is This Book For?
This book is aimed primarily at kids in first through third grade though younger and older kids who have experienced a death will most definitely benefit from reading the book or having it read to them.
Our Synopsis of the Book
Last week, we began a new series called “A New Way of Looking at the Spiritual Impact of Divorce on Children.” In that series, we started looking at a new report from Melinda Lundquist Denton of Clemson University titled, “Family Structure, Family Disruption, and Profiles of Adolescent Religiosity.” Last week, based on this study, we talked about how divorce impacts a child’s spiritual development. Today, we will look at a new typology used in the report when thinking about children of divorce (or anyone else) when it comes to their faith and religious practice and how it impacts your church. On Wednesday we will look at the results from the study based on this new typology.
In order to test the spiritual impacts of divorce on Kids, Denton first sets forth a framework that acknowledges that when it comes to religion, teens (and people in general) fall much more along a spectrum than they do in one or two groups. So, she proposes that we think of religious adherence and spirituality along a spectrum which includes five distinct points known as the Five “A’s.” Each of these A’s represents one point on the spectrum, and teens for purposes of this study were grouped into one of five categories:
- Avoiders, or
Respondents were classified into each category based on their responses to multiple questions in the areas of: Continue reading
Last week we looked at an easy way to help kids learn deep breathing called Lazy 8 Breathing. Triangle breathing is another simple way to teach kids how to breathe as a means of coping. The triangle breathing method adds the additional step of holding in the breath before exhaling as explained further below. like Lazy 8 Breathing, you can find a triangle in a picture or simply have the child make a triangle on a piece of paper.
How Does Triangle Breathing Work
Have the child trace the triangle with their finger. The speed will vary depending on the size of the triangle, but try to have the child trace it in such a way that tracing each side takes about 3-4 seconds. It might help to count out loud as the child begins the exercise in order to help them get into a rhythm. As the child traces the first side of the triangle, they should breath in deeply through their nose. As they trace the second side, they should hold the breath in. As they trace the final side, have them breathe out slowly through their mouth. Together Lazy 8 Breathing and Triangle Breathing serve as a great introduction to breathing as a coping skill in the Please Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff coping skills toolbox.