Divorce is difficult for children any time of year. But Christmas can offer extra challenges. If you lead a children’s ministry, read on for five tips about working with divorced families at Christmas.
If you work in kidmin or family ministry, chances are you have students from a so-called “modern family.” Modern families come in many shapes and sizes. But today, let’s focus on divorced families.
When planning for holidays such as Christmas, it’s important to keep in mind children’s home life. Holidays can be stressful for any family, with routines often upended. But Sunday school teachers and kidmin leaders should be aware of special considerations for working with divorced families.
Keep these five tips in mind:
Divorce & Christmas: 5 Tips for Working With Families
1. Keep extra supplies handy.
Have extra supplies for craft projects so kids can make two of each item. It can be emotionally distressing for children to have to decide which parent gets their craft.
2. Don’t hesitate to mail cards or gifts.
When you offer to mail cards or gifts to the other parent, you’ll help assure kids they aren’t offending the parent who brought them to church.
3. Be sensitive when talking about holiday family traditions.
If a child has lost all family traditions, encourage the child by offering ideas about how to celebrate at home with one parent.
4. Invite both parents.
Ask kids from families affected by divorce if they’d like to invite both parents to events such as children’s programs. Check with the parents who bring the kids to church when planning for programs. Find out which children will be in attendance that week.