Children experiencing the separation or divorce of their parents tell us they feel alone and helpless. They often feel scared, sad, and confused. They may hide their feelings from their parents because they are worried about their parents’ happiness or because they do not know how to express their feelings appropriately.
DivorceCare for Kids, DC4K, is a special group to help children heal from the pain and confusion caused by a separation or divorce. DC4K provides children with a safe and neutral place to recognize and learn to share their feelings.
For thirteen weeks the children are involved in this Christ-centered, biblically based program. The weekly session topics help the children learn that God’s love strengthens them and helps them turn their sadness to hope and their anger to joy.
Each session is filled with motivating and exciting activities. Games, crafts, role playing, discussion times, journaling, and workbooks help the children process the divorce and move forward in their lives. The music CDs, snacks, read aloud stories, exercises, and Bible verses teach the children to relax and rest secure in God’s love. The Kids Like Me and Stories from the Bible video dramas present stories of children who are experiencing divorce-related problems and have found help and encouragement.
DC4K introduces children ages 5–12 to the grieving process brought on by divorce and gives them the tools necessary to develop healthier relationships within their own families.
Enjoyable, Purpose-Filled Activities
Children come to DC4K excited to connect with their newfound friends. From participating in group activities and games to eating and laughing together, children have fun at DC4K.
- Viewing the specially written Kids Like Me video helps children learn how to deal with daily dilemmas children of divorce face. In the Stories from the Bible video children are pointed toward Jesus Christ as the true source of healing.
- Journaling and drawing pictures in their DC4K workbook helps the kids sort through their feelings.
- Expressing themselves through arts and crafts projects centered on the weekly topic provides entertainment while helping the children process the divorce. Interesting projects include bubble printing, homemade Etch A Sketch®, illusion-noculars, thumbprint art, forgiveness cards, drawing, painting, creating, and much more.
- Listening to a read aloud storybook connects the children with real-life situations involving other children in divorce. These stories offer practical suggestions for dealing with the many struggles each child faces. The stories also serve as a springboard for heartfelt discussions with parents, their DC4K leaders, and other people in their lives.
- Singing and listening to cheerful music, written to bring comfort, helps soothe hurt feelings.
- Playing games helps children understand changes divorce brings, promotes teamwork, helps them deepen their trust bonds, and encourages them to lean on each other and to minister to one another with the love of God.
- Connecting with caring leaders and interacting with other children in small group discussions, devotions, and demonstrations helps the children better understand their individual situations.
- Stretching, breathing, and physical exercise help reduce stress levels.
- Reading scriptures, which are God’s treasures for us, provides familiarity and trust in God’s Word. A delightful Treasure Box activity enhances the weekly scripture.
- Eating together and being introduced to comfort foods, stress-reducing foods, and foods that help children focus helps provide the children with a feeling of connectedness in a stress-free atmosphere.
- Laughing and having fun with other children gives every child an opportunity to make and enjoy newfound friends at DC4K.
Who Are the Leaders?
The leadership team for DivorceCare for Kids consists of people who share a genuine concern about the way divorce is affecting children now and in the future. Many DC4K leaders have been through the divorce of their own parents or have experienced a divorce themselves and are examples of the healing and restoration that can occur. They understand the issues surrounding a divorce and want to help these children. DC4K leaders also have an excitement for the DC4K program and have participated in leadership training.
What People Are Saying About DC4K
“Enrolling my kids in this program is one of the best things I’ve ever done.” — Parent of child in DC4K
“At DC4K I learned it’s never the kid’s fault when parents get divorced.” — Child who participated in DC4K
“I am a grandmother of three precious children whose parents are divorced, and DC4K has helped me understand better how to help them.” — Grandparent of children in DC4K
“The thing I learned the most is to control my temper.” — Child who participated in DC4K
“DC4K helped foster communication between my children and me.” — Parent of child in DC4K
“DC4K equips us to help parents and children acknowledge their feelings; process their pain, denial and anger; feel safe, comfortable and free to communicate; and experience the love of Christ.” — DC4K leader
“A 12-year-old kid went from a smart-mouthed, quick-witted, defensive child at the beginning of the semester to a child in tears on his knees experiencing the love of God at the end.” — DC4K leader
Linda Ranson Jacobs is the DC4K Executive Director for Church Initiative. To find out more about DivorceCare for Kids or to find a group near you, go to www.dc4k.org or call 1-800-489-7778.
Copyright © MMVI by the author and/or The Church Initiative, Inc.