This series is co-written by Linda Ranson Jacobs and Wayne Stocks. Linda has drawn on her years of experience working with children of divorce in a childcare setting, in churches and in developing the Divorce Care for Kids (“DC4K”) curriculum for churches to identify and explain some major issues when it comes to ministering to children of divorce and to explain how those issues were addressed in the DC4K curriculum. Wayne has drawn on his years volunteering in children’s ministry and his work with children of divorce to provide some practical advice on how these issues can be addressed in a weekly children’s ministry environment. Together, we hope that this series will help children’s ministry workers better minister to children of divorce and help those who volunteer in divorce ministries like DC4K to better anticipate and deal with issues unique to children of divorce.
Choice and the Child of Divorce
For the child of divorce, it is important to allow them to make choices. Choices empower a child who feels like everything is out of their control. Most of us, as parents and children’s ministry leaders, agree that kids shouldn’t make major decisions about their lives. However, for the child of divorce, whose very life has been interrupted by the crisis of divorce, it is different than for a child who has a loving mother and father in the home. Children of divorce feel powerless and vulnerable during and after their parents have separated.
For many children of divorce not only have they lost the comfort of a loving home and family, they may have lost both parents to the divorce war. While having distracted parents may be temporary until the divorce battle has been waged and settled, it is none-the-less very disturbing to the child. Children need adults they can trust to help them navigate through a crisis and the very adults they need are the ones that have caused the crisis.