With my granddaughter Hannah as my illustrator, my blogging adventure based on my recently published book, Helping Hurting Children: A Journey of Healing, began last week. By now, I am sure teachers and students are trying to get back into the swing of a new schedule.
As I pointed out in my post last week, School Bells Are Ringing, many children are returning to school having experienced a loss in their lives over the summer months. Sadly for them, the excitement of a new year of school is just not there, as they are trying to make adjustments to a new life because of their loss.
For the most part, we know very little about losses or what to do with them when they occur. Children, in particular, are often over-looked during a time of loss and the pain that accompanies it. Why?
- Sometimes adults, unintentionally, get caught up in their own pain and they fail to recognize that their child is also hurting.
- Often times, a child’s pain is overlooked because children do not express their pain in ways adults recognize.
- In his book, Recovering From the Losses in Life, Norman H. Wright, stated that: “Probably the #1 reason children are overlooked during times of loss is because the primary adult in the child’s life just simply doesn’t know how to help the child.”
Let’s see if we can relate to each of these three scenarios:
As a parent, I can certainly vouch that #1 occurred in my own children’s lives as they were growing up. Once they became adults, they brought up several instances from their childhood that I instantly knew I had overlooked because I was caught up in me and my pain.
As a former school teacher, I witnessed scenario #2 in many children. They were exhibiting bad behavior, even to the point of having to be punished. Yet, many times, the deeper I dug into things that were going on in their world, I would soon realize that they were acting out the pain of a loss. They simply didn’t know how to express their pain in ways that perhaps the primary adult in their lives recognized.
As far as #3, I believe Mr. Wright hit the nail on the head, so to speak: “most of us simply do not know “how to help a child who has experienced a loss.”
Whatever the reason may be that our children might have been or are presently being overlooked during a time of loss, I can’t help but think of the story in Mark 10:14, 16:
Mothers were bringing their children to Jesus. But His disciples told the mothers to take their children away and not bother Jesus. When Jesus saw what was happening, He was angry with His disciples. He said to them. “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them. For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.” Then He took the children into His arms, placed His hands on their heads, and blessed them.
And that is exactly what you and I are going to do as we take this journey of healing together for the many children who have experienced a loss in their lives. We are going to bring them to Jesus, and He is going to direct us through the scriptures “how to help him GRIEVE a loss, and then find ways of coping with the effects of it.
Glad you are with us, and hope you will join Hannah and I next Tuesday. Please leave us a comment or ask any question you might have. If I don’t know the answer, I will dig until I find it — our children’s emotional and spiritual future is at stake!