Family

Before there was a Hope 4 Hurting Kids, we were helping kids from divorced homes and other types of modern families under the names Divorce Ministry 4 Kids and I Am A Child of Divorce. While the number and types of kids and teens that we help has expanded, our commitment and passion for helping kids who have experienced the loss of family disruption has not. Here you will find the vast (and expanding) library of information and resources dedicated to all sorts of modern families and other family issues. If you want to limit your search to one area, please click on one of the options below.

Misconceptions About Children of Divorce
5 Misconceptions About Children of Divorce and Their Families
In order to minister to children of divorce, we have to understand them. Unfortunately, many people who minister to children hold some common misperceptions about children of divorce and their families. They might not realize the extent to which these children are hurting. Or they might not be able to relate as some kids deal with sadness and depression as they try to hide their feelings or other kids who act out because they simply don’t understand what is happening in their families. The following are five misconceptions about children of divorce and their families people have shared with me: ...
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Nesting
Nesting and the Child of Divorce
Nesting is a term often used by family courts, lawyers and divorcing parents. It means the parents continue to share a residence after the divorce for the sake of the children. The parents stay at the family home with the children when it is their scheduled visitation time. The other parent stays someplace else during that time. The thought behind this premise is that staying in the family home will make the transition from the intact family to the divorced family easier on the children. All I can say about this idea is the verdict is still out on whether ...
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Empathy and the Child of Divorce
The Power of Empathy and the Child of Divorce
What is the difference in the two closely related words empathy and sympathy? Empathy is the ability to mutually experience the thoughts, emotions, and direct experience of others. It goes beyond sympathy, which is a feeling of care and understanding for the suffering of others. When I empathize with a child of divorce, I’m sharing some aspect of what they are experiencing. When I sympathize, I’m recognizing they are suffering and I feel sorrow for them but I don’t necessary feel or understand the experience. Empathy = sharing one’s pain. Sympathy = sorrow for one’s pain. I know some of ...
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Happy New Year
Is It Really a Happy New Year for the Single Parents in Your Church?
Single parent gets depressed just thinking about the up and coming year. It has been a heavy burden just surviving this past year and now another one looms in front of them. What can you do? How can you help? How do we minister to the single parent in a positive light and help them see the up and coming year as a transition year; a year where things are going to get better and they can draw closer to God, their children and others? Describing a “transition year” to a single parent might go something like this: It is ...
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Power of Words
The Power of Words
Words can be powerful when they are used in the right context. Usage of kind words can motivate children. Unkind and cruel words can hurt children. Think of the child of divorce who comes from an abusive home. Maybe the child wasn’t abused, but the spouse was - or there was a lot of shouting and crying. The words the child heard, even if the child was asleep, can negatively affect them for the rest of their lives. You should not underestimate the power of words. In some states there is actually a law called, “In the Presence of Child.” ...
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Devotional for Children’s Ministers
A Devotional for Children’s Ministers Who Work With Children of Divorce
Why do we work with the many hurting children in our congregations? I have often thought about this issue. This really pricks my heart at holidays and special times of the year. I know most of us work with the hurting children because we love the Lord and we want to further the kingdom. But, what is the motivation year after year. I came up with the following devotional for children's ministers with thoughts about why we do what we do. First For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be ...
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Smooth Stones
The Smooth Stones of God’s Word
We can learn a lot about adults in the lives of children of divorce when we look at the story of David fighting the Philistine, Goliath, in 1 Samuel 17:38-46. We pick up where King Saul tried to dress David in his adult clothes. The scriptures say, “Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. ‘I cannot go in these,’ he said to Saul, ‘because I ...
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Sleeper Effect
About That Sleeper Effect
Many children of divorce appear to breeze through the divorce at the time the divorce happens. Many of these are little girls who identify with their mothers. They will hide their feelings and say and do the things they think the adults expect and want from them. However, the divorce experience remains alive - but as memories that they push to the back of their minds. Little boys tend to express their frustrations and tear through their feelings using sports and active behaviors. Their negative thoughts about the divorce of their parents appear to fade away. As girls grow into ...
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Tornado
Take Cover! Take Cover! There’s A Tornado!
Everyone knows about the tornado that hit Moore, OK this past week. You have all seen the many news articles, Internet stories and news people’s accounts. I posted an article earlier in the week “Talking to Kids about the Tornado in OK” so I don’t want to repeat that information. I’d like to concentrate on talking to kids of divorce. Kids of divorce are in general fearful after the divorce. After a parent moves out for some reason the children experience undue worry about their safety. They worry the parent they live with might leave them. They worry about the ...
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Rites of Passage
Children of Divorce and Rites of Passage
This past weekend my step-grandchildren were visiting us. The eleven year old can’t wait until she turns twelve years of age. Know why? So she can get a Facebook page. She also can’t wait until she is sixteen so she can get her driver’s license. Her parents are smart in declaring rite of passage of certain things. Many kids in our world today are impatient and can’t wait or don’t understand the rite of passage. Wikipedia describes rite of passage as: “…a ritual event that marks a person’s transition from one status to another.” A rite of passage helps a ...
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Collections
Why Collections Are Important to Children of Divorce
All kids like to collect things. Rocks, bugs, jewels, stamps, coins and other small items become important to children. Sometimes the items are silly fun things while other times there might be a purpose to the art of collecting certain items. Some children turn their collections into a hobby. Boys who collect baseball cards or other sport memorabilia are a good example of collecting as a hobby. Children of various ages collect all kinds of items. My five-year-old grandson is into collecting “rocks” right now. What he calls rocks are actually glass jewels I put in my aquarium but to ...
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Unseen Side of Parenting
The Unseen Side of Parenting in a Divorced Home
We all know there are many issues a single parent has to deal with in a divorced home. However, there is also an unseen side of parenting alone and living in a single parent home. A friend of mine dealt with one of these unseen circumstances this week. Since it is the beginning of summer, it is time for her daughter to visit her other parent. This is just like thousands of kids are going to do this summer. However, right before time to leave, her daughter got sick. Her daughter wanted to stay home and be in her own ...
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