The following is a preview of what’s included in the Children’s Workbook.
While there can be no concrete or cookie-cut answers in dealing with losses, children need guidelines to help them cope with the hurt associated with it. “Helping Hurting Children: A Journey of Healing” is a workbook for children written specifically for that purpose. It is designed to lay a solid biblical foundation in the early years of a child’s life to help him meet with losses that occur on a daily basis. It also serves as a hands-on tool that parents, grandparents, children’s ministers, school officials, lay counselors, or any caring adult can use in implementing the fundamental principles needed in helping a child find healing from the emotional scars of losses.
Loss and Grieve Defined: The first 4 chapters set the stage by defining the word loss, along with facts and examples of losses, and also by defining the word grieve. Most grief counselors would agree that grieving involves certain stages, such as denial, anger, bargaining, acceptance, but not in any particular order. Keeping those stages in mind, I have chosen to expand on the following topics for this workbook: Recognizing Feelings, Expressing Feelings, Forgiving Others, Asking Others to Forgive you, Accepting Losses.
Bible Story: The concept taught in each chapter is followed by a Bible story. Such familiar characters as Joseph, David, Cain, and Abel help make the concept of each teaching come alive through stories from their own lives.
Activities: The Bible story is followed by activities for the child to work through that are designed to help break down those walls children sometimes put up after a loss. It is through these activities the child is invited to express his grief in such ways as: talking, writing, drawing, dancing, or play-acting. In essence, the activities provide for him his “own special place” where he can go and be himself. Also included in these activities are tips to help build up a child’s self-esteem which sometimes spirals downward during a loss. Bubby the Rabbit, introduced to the children in chapter 1, shares tips and scriptures from the Bible to accomplish this feat. Much emphasis is also placed on scripture memorization and prayer.
Journey Friends: As an added feature, five children travel this Journey of Healing with the children with whom you are working. They tell their true story of a loss they have experienced, their journey through each of the steps associated with grieving, and their efforts to move forward. These journey friends will help the child you are traveling with have a connection with kids their own age who have experienced losses in their life.
Suggestions for Teaching
One on One – Depending upon the type of loss, a child may need individual attention. If so, carefully guide him through each chapter, keeping in mind the importance of not rushing him, but allowing him time to absorb each step.
Groups – Any one of the chapters can be utilized in group studies. Each topic is crucial for building a spiritual foundation in dealing with life on a daily basis. This foundation will go with him into adulthood, equipping him to face the storms of life. Be creative when teaching in groups. Involve the kids in dramas or puppet shows to make the concepts and Bible story come alive.
Along with walking the child through the grieving topics, gently implant into the child’s life areas for personal growth, such as giving thanks and helping others.
Chapter 1: Beginning the Journey
Losing is a normal part of life, even in the lives of children. The good news is you can continue to be happy after a loss in your life. To find happiness in life after a loss, this book will take you on a Journey of Healing. As with any journey you take, there will be interesting things for you to see and learn along the way.
Chapter 2: What Does Loss Mean?
A loss is a separation from someone or something of special value to you. Examples are not making the football team, a friend saying, “I don’t want to play with you anymore,” having someone you love in jail, loosing a loved one, etc.
Chapter 3: Facts About Losses
Fact # 1: All Losses Hurt Inside
Fact #2: Losses Are Not Your Fault
Fact #3: Losses Cannot Be Replaced
Fact #4: Everyone Suffers Losses
Fact #5: Losses Create Questions In Your Mind
Fact #6: Losses Bring Changes Into Your Life
Chapter 4: What Does Grieve Mean?
Grieve means to feel and express sadness. As you began to feel and express sadness over your loss, all those feelings you are having will come out in the open and won’t be stuffed inside of you any longer. In time, the pain will start to heal.
Chapter 5 Recognizing Feelings
Fact #1: There Are Many Different Kinds Of Feelings
Fact #2: Honesty Is The Key To Naming Feelings
Fact #3: Feelings Go Up And Down
Fact #4: Feelings Can Be Very Confusing
Fact #5: All Feelings Are Okay; Wrong Behavior Is NEVER Okay
Chapter: 6 Expressing Feelings
Okay Ways to Pour Out Your Feelings:
- It’s OKAY to Talk to Someone You Trust
- It’s OKAY to Cry
- It’s OKAY to Write Down Your Feelings in a Notebook
- It’s OKAY to Draw or Paint
- It’s OKAY to Sing
- It’s OKAY to Play a Musical Instrument
- It’s OKAY to Dance
- It’s OKAY to Act Out Your Feelings in a Puppet Show
There are three additional ways that should always be made a part of your life in order to have good behavior: Prayer, Memorize Scriptures, and Exercise.
Chapter 7: Forgiving Others
Adam and Eve’s sin separated them from God and God lost their friendship. The loss of their friendship caused God to hurt inside. But, because God still loved people so much and wanted to be friends with them again, He sent His son, Jesus, into the world to shed His blood and forgive all mankind for their sins. Forgive means to erase. What Jesus gave us freely, He tells us in His word to do the same for others. (Colossians 3:13 NLT)
Chapter 8: Asking Others to Forgive You
A lot of times children have a hard time asking others to forgive them, or just simply saying the words, “I’m sorry.” Some of the reasons they find it so hard to say those two words are:
- Some are embarrassed to say, “I’m sorry.”
- Some think that saying “I’m sorry,” is a sign of weakness and that others could take advantage of them if they say “I’m sorry.”
- Some refuse to apologize because they make a promise to themselves that they will never do the same wrong again.
- Some say to them selves, “I’ll apologize later.”
- Sometimes, it is even hard to say “I’m sorry” to God. Some kids feel that God will get mad with them when they do something wrong, so they will try to hide their wrongs from Him.
Chapter 9: Accepting Losses
Accept means to agree to. What this definition means as it pertains to losses is this: When we agree to the fact that we have experienced a particular loss, we can then move forward and continue to be happy. Three ways you can know you have reached acceptance are: You can talk about the loss freely and it doesn’t sting like it once did, you begin to have good memories of the things you learned, you start helping others who are going through losses in their lives.
Chapter 10: Last Stop on the Journey
The Winner of Bubby’s Self-Esteem Blue Ribbon is — YOU! Bubby popped in along your journey and gave you Bible verses and tips on Self-Esteem. I believe that you now feel good about yourself, have a high opinion of yourself, and place high value on yourself because you learned through this journey how God sees you. And that is what self-esteem is all about. Having a high self-esteem is not bragging about yourself. Self-esteem gives you confidence that will enable you to become the person that God has created you to be. With that confidence, you will always be a winner, even when you experience losses in your life.
“Suggestions for Using the Childrens Workbook” (PDF)
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