Tuesday, May 3, 2016

When Holidays are Hard...

We are coming upon Mother's Day soon after that Father's Day.  Later on we'll have Grandparent's Day.  In Children's Ministry these sort of holiday's can be difficult to walk through because there are such changing dynamics within the families.  Some children don't have just one Mom, but they also have Step-Mom, or Grandma, or Foster Mom, or perhaps no Mom in the picture at all if Mom has died or left the family.  It is often a similar situation when it comes to Dad or Grandparents.   So how do we celebrate these holidays when the situations are so diverse?  Below are a couple of ideas that you might find helpful.

Either no gift or lots of gifts
Too many times anymore our children either have no Mom/Dad/Grandparent or they have many of them.  For those children who, for example, live with Grandma but will see Mom and perhaps even Step-Mom on Mother's Day, to make just one gift makes them choose (in their mind) which one they "love" most because only one can get the gift they made.  So, to alleviate that issue, there are really only two options:

1) Make a gift, but make sure there are enough supplies and time for each child to make as many as they need.
2) Do not make any sort of tangible gift, but encourage the children to do something nice for their Mom/Dad/Grandparent(s). Have them think of something that they can do on their own to show their appreciation, but give examples like taking out the trash or doing the dishes without being told, making a card for them, learn a new game with them, etc.   

Make you celebrations inclusive of all aspects of the holiday
For example, if you are doing a Father's Day lesson with the children, include the importance of Step-Dad's, Grandpa's, Foster Dad's, or even Father figures in general.  There are many people in the Scripture who were given advice from those not related to them, but who cared about them.   Or perhaps this year, we discuss the God the Father and what it means when we call God "our Father." However you decide to celebrate the day, make sure you incorporate all the people who may be filling that role for your children. 

Holidays that hinge on a family member who may or may not be around are tricky, but hopefully these tips make planning for the day a little easier.  

Have a blessed week!


1 comment:

  1. Great post, I agree that we need to be not only aware but plan accordingly. I have not only seen it in ministry but in my own family with my nephew who lost his father to illness when he was 6 years old. We need to be prepared to help those children/families when these holidays arrive.