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Parenting Page Session Five
I am not alone

This week's goal:
To help every member in your household feel a part of the family.

What the experts say:
"Loneliness rarely occurs when everything is going just right. When you go through experiences of loneliness, invariably you're going to begin looking inward, thinking, 'Did I do something to set this up? Is there something wrong with me?'" says Dr. Les Carter." Children feel loneliness in a divorce situation. They ask themselves the same questions. When children feel alone within the framework of the family, it can affect their self-esteem. They need to be valued. Each child needs to be a contributing member of the family. Pull together and work like a family. (Christian Family Activities, Standard Publishing 1982, pg. 25)

One family's story:

One young boy was having a difficult time in primary because he didn't feel like he had a forever family anymore. All the songs about family reminded him that his family wasn't together anymore.  One day he got really angry at church and told his mom he didn't want to come back.  Later on he sat down and talked to his mom about his feelings and she told him that even though their family was different now, they were still a family.  They talked about the fact that he still had a dad and he still had a mother even if they lived in seperate homes and that though their family looked different, they were still a family.  They looked through family pictures and his mother told him that it was okay for him to remember the happy times they had in the past as a family before the divorce and that those things would always be a part of him and he didn't have to let those things go. She wanted to honor what his family had meant to him and still meant to him.  They talked about some of his favorite memories after the divorce as well and what was good about his family.  He asked his mom if he could keep a picture of his family before the divorce and she agreed that that was fine.

This mother was wise enough to know that her young son needed to get his feelings out and still honor what he missed about his whole family being together. 

This week's Scripture focus:
Psalm 68:6: 
"God sets the lonely in families."

 Sing the Song  "A Child's Prayer"

Lesson:  Let your child know that they are never alone and they never have to feel as if they are alone in the situation and that you are there for them to talk to.  Always stress to them that their Heavenly Father is always there for them and is always aware of them and what they are going through.  Encourage your children to journal their feelings so that they can get out what is inside and not hold it in. 

Building family strengths activity:

One common occurance with single-parent homes is that more often than not, the parent tries do all the responsibilities of running the family on thier own.  Focusing on priority tasks and learning to delegate can be a huge stress reliever.  Make a list of chores to be done and decide on how they need to be divided and in on what day who is responsible to do what.  This gives children responsibility and accountability.  Also, decide on a household project together and do it as a family.