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Hope 4 Hurting Kids

We are in the process of updating all articles and information from this site and moving them to their new home. 

You can find an updated copy of this article on Hope 4 Hurting Kids using this link.

Is Divorce With Kids Selfish?

In this insightful article, Lee Block explains why divorce with kids is selfish.  She explains:

Divorce is selfish by necessity when you think about it. No matter what, someone gets hurt. If it isn’t you, then it is your kids and if it isn’t your kids, then it is your ex, but in the end, someone has to pay the price. The question is, who can adjust the best?

If you work with children of divorce, it is important that you understand the perspective of the parents as well.  Reading this article will give you a glimpse into the head of one divorced mom.  Reading through the comments will reveal a wide variety of excuse making and pent up anger.  Either way, it will be very educational.

Click here to view the article.

imageWhen a marriage breaks up and a divorce occurs children have to adjust to a lot of changes. Sometimes it means moving to another place to live or living in two homes. It also means many children have to give up a pet.

If the primary parent has to move to a smaller place or an apartment, the family pet may not be allowed. Even if it is a co-parenting situation, then a child may have to leave their pet behind on the week they go to live with the other parent.

Children get attached to their pets and kids of divorce get even more attached when they experience the break up of their family. I’ve had kids tell me their pet becomes their constant companion. They will talk to their pet and share their deepest thoughts with their pet. They also like talking about their pets. I’ve even had kids request prayer for their pets.

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imageWelcome back as we continue our “Sunday Morning Strategies” series designed to help you to accommodate children of divorce and children from single parent homes in your Sunday morning children’s ministry. Today, we start to tackle one of the most visible issues you will likely face in your ministry in deal with children of divorce – discipline issues.

Children of divorce live in a world where they feel like they have no control over anything. Oftentimes, that leads to them acting out or lashing out in their behavior. They misbehave as a means of getting attention and as a way of exerting the little bit of control they do have left over their lives. You have likely seen these discipline problems in your ministry and dealt with these kids, yet you may never have realized that the root of these problems was in dealing with family disruption. In the coming weeks, we will look at specific things you can do and techniques you can use in terms of discipline and children of divorce, but before we do that, it’s important to step back and take a broader view of the issue of discipline and children of divorce.

What Is Discipline?

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What’s Your Story?

Wayne Stocks —  In Family Types February 7, 2014

Once-upon-a-timeMy mother died days after I turned six years old.  For six years, my father raised myself and my three brothers by himself to fulfill a promise he had made to my mother.  When I was twelve, my father remarried and we plunged head first into the world of step families.  At the time, it all seemed so very normal to me at the same time all the while knowing that my family was different.  There were some struggles and some hard times, but that’s family.  That’s my story.  We all have a story, and for those of us who did not grow up in “traditional families” often have stories marked by loss, pain and longing for something we felt like we should have had.  It’s not always all bad though.  Sometimes our stories are also marked by perseverance and overcoming.  We want to hear your stories.  More importantly, we want other people to hear your stories.

Do you fit into any of the following categories as a kid?

  • Growing up or grew up without a father?
  • Growing up or grew up without a mother?
  • Live or lived in single-parent home?
  • Live or lived in a step-family?
  • Live or lived with unmarried cohabiting parent?
  • Have gay parents?
  • Have step or half siblings?
  • Live or lived with your grandparents?
  • Live or lived with an aunt, uncle or other relative?
  • Live or lived with a friends’ family?
  • Growing up or grew up in foster care?
  • Growing up or grew up in some other environment other than with your natural married parents?

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Some of the very first articles published on included statistics on marriage and divorce and the impact on children. Over the years we have featured a number of articles including more detailed statistics related to the impacts of divorce and child living arrangements. This past November 2013, we presented a workshop at the Engage Conference in Mechanicsburg Pennsylvania entitled “This Ain’t Your Grandmas’ Children’s Ministry: Understanding Modern Families.” The premise of the workshop was that in order to understand the kids who come into your churches every Sunday morning, you need to understand how their families are changed. We gathered a lot more information than we were able to share in a one hour workshop, and over the next couple of months we will share a variety of statistics and study results related to children and the types of families they live in. Our sincere hope is that, armed with this information, the perception of the children in your ministry will change and you will be better able to minister to children from today’s diverse modern families.

This week, we are going to look at various charts and statistics related to marriage and divorce. You may be surprised by the current trends.

Current Marriage and Divorce Rates

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imageI’ll probably date myself with this one, but back when I was growing up, there was a popular song about the relationship between kids and parents called “Parents Just Don’t Understand.” Nowhere is this more evident than when talking about disrupted families.

One of the issues we face in making people aware of the impact of divorce on kids is the general disconnect between how parents and other adults view how their kids react to a family disruption and how the kids react. We’ve written about this phenomena before on Divorce Ministry 4 Kids. In fact, one of our very first articles when we launched the ministry was all about the different between how kids and parents see divorce. That article was titled “A Change in Perspective on Divorce” ( Until we begin to truly see divorce from the child’s point of view, we cannot be in a position to minister to them.

Recently, a British site called recently surveyed 1,000 parents and 100 children about the impact of family disruption and the perceptions of both parents and kids. Their conclusion was simple: Continue Reading…

imageWelcome back as we continue our “Sunday Morning Strategies” series designed to help you to accommodate children of divorce and children from single parent homes in your Sunday morning children’s ministry. The world of a child of divorced or separated parents is marked by chaos. Chances are that your Sunday morning children’s ministry may also include just a touch of controlled chaos. When those two worlds meet, it is easy to lose track of kids.

So, what processes do you have in place to follow up on kids who are no longer coming to your church? Do you know which kids have recently experienced a family transition so you can make sure to follow up on them? Are you small group leaders equipped and empowered to follow up on the kids in their group who stop coming to church? Statistics show that children from non-intact families are more likely than their counterparts from intact families to stop going to church following the family transition, and you need to have a means of makings sure that these kids do not fall through the cracks.

pdf to share leftIn our culture, it is no longer unusual for a child to miss a week or more of church each month. But, if I child stops coming altogether, it is critical that you follow up with the child and with the family. This is especially important as children transfer between age groups and between small group leaders when it is especially easy for them to get “lost in the shuffle.”

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imageWelcome back as we continue our “Sunday Morning Strategies” series designed to help you to accommodate children from disrupted homes in your Sunday morning children’s ministry. This week we are looking at a simple thing that you can do that doesn’t require any additional volunteers or committee approval or an overhaul of the way you “do church.” This week we are looking at the difference between empathy and pity and why it is so important that you be able to empathize with the children from disrupted home in your ministry.

The first thing we need to understand is the difference between empathy and pity. defines pity as:

“Sympathetic or kindly sorrow evoked by the suffering, distress, or misfortune of another.”

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glossy-family-989674-mIt’s been a while since the last installment of Sunday Morning Strategies.  In this series we are looking at ideas you can implement in your children’s ministry and church to be more accommodating to children from disrupted homes.  In the last installment, we looked at some of the reasons it can be difficult to form relationships with kids from disrupted families.  This week, we are looking at seven things you need to do in order to overcome the barriers and develop lasting relationships with children of divorce and children from separated homes.

Know Your Role

pdf to share leftIn trying to develop a relationship with children of divorce, it is important that you are clear about exactly what your role is. You cannot, nor should you try to, replace a parent who has left and/or abandoned the child. You can be a friend, an advocate, a teacher, a role model, a confidant and so much more, but you will never replace that missing parents. It is important to accept that and establish those boundaries from the get go.

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