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Divorce: Grades 1 to 3

Susan Grover

Divorce is never easy, especially when children are involved. Use this lesson to reinforce to kids that God is with them during this troubling time and it is not their fault.

1. Changing Times-Ahead of time, prepare eight to 10 family-related statements such as "If your mom and dad both live in your house, move three chairs to your left"; "If you have an older brother, move one chair to your right"; "If your parents are divorced, move two chairs to your left."

Have kids sit in a circle of chairs. Tell kids to move if the statement read is true about their family. In some cases, kids may end up sitting on each other's lap. After all the statements are read, have kids return to their chair.

Then say: "When moms and dads divorce, families go through many changes. You may know of a family whose parents have divorced, or your parents may be divorced. Today we'll talk about how God can help us through a divorce."

2. Craft: Family Life-Give each child a wire hanger. Using construction paper, glue, yarn, and markers, have children each create a mobile of their family. Kids may draw family members who live in their house as one part of the mobile and family members who don't live in their house as another part.

Ask: "What are some changes a family may experience by going through a divorce? How do kids feel when their parents divorce? What can we do to help kids feel better when their parents divorce?"

Read aloud Romans 8:35-39.

Ask: "What do these verses say about God's love? Can a divorce separate us from God's love? Why or why not?"

Say: "No matter what kind of changes divorce may bring, God will always be with us to comfort us and give us strength."

3. Balloon Buddies-Form pairs and give each child a balloon. Have children each write an encouraging message on their balloon with markers by completing this sentence: "No matter what happens in your family, God will..."

Say: "When you've finished, exchange balloons with your partner. When we know someone cares about us, it makes us feel better. We all need a friend, especially when we're sad. Remember, God is our friend. He promises to love us forever-even if our parents divorce."

Allergy Alert: Some children have food allergies that can be dangerous. Know your children, and consult with parents about allergies their children may have.

4. Snack: Food for Thought-You'll need: A small bakery wedding cake.

Directions: Serve the children wedding cake.

Say: "When two people marry, God wants them to be married for life. But sometimes, a husband and wife decide they don't want to be married anymore. This can cause a lot of pain for children. Let's ask God to help children whose parents have divorced."

Close in prayer, thanking God for children's families and asking God to help children of divorce.

Grades 1-3

Susan Grover is a children's minister in California.

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