Six Ways to Help Hurting Children
by Debra Susan Bowman
As an awesome grandmother I am concerned for my grandchildren. When they hurt I hurt. I recently watched as three of mine, an eight, seven and a four-year old were taken by CPS after their mother was arrested for drugs. At that time their dad was already in prison for the same problem. By God’s grace they were placed in the loving care of their other grandmother. Her and her husband agreed to take them for a few weeks. It has now been a few months. It was heart breaking to watch them cry and experience such uncertainty. Things they should not have to endure at their young age. Knowing they were going to a loving home helped, but it still really hurt.
The kids are heartbroken because they can’t see either parent now, because of the bad choices they have made. Their parents are getting spanked by the system, but it doesn’t seem enough for the anger I feel for what I have seen them do to their kids. I know it will affect them the rest of their lives.
Six Things You Can Do
In a moment like this you have to think about what you can do, even if you can’t do everything you would like to do. So here’s six simple things I thought of to do for them.
- TIME: First, simply spend time with them. they need to know there are people they can count on and there is no better way than to simply spend time.
- FUCUS: Next, change their focus. Take them to the zoo. Make them go even if they don’t want to. After you get going and they see its fun they will begin to feel better.
- EXERCISE: Get them to exercise, which releases endorphins. Do that by taking them to the park so they can play. Invent games to play in the backyard and make up ribbons to give out or have little prizes like coloring books or popsicle.
- CELEBRATE: Four, celebrate. Create activities that create an atmosphere of celebration that will help defeat the atmosphere of depression. Make up games, give out prizes and celebrate last place as much as you celebrate first place. They will get the message, you can celebrate no matter what. They need to know that. I know I can’t praise and encourage them enough for their achievements, and every tiny achievement counts.
- HUGS: five, hug them. A lot. It has been proven that tactile stimulation promotes both physical and mental heath. In fact, it is known that young babies don’t survive if they are not touched. Old folks in nursing homes do so much better with physical touch like hugs and back rubs.
- COUNSEL: be their counselor, on their level. I had a great conversation with the weight-year-old because He was having behavior issues in school. I recalled a picture he had once drawn in our home church of Jesus taking a snake by the neck and putting him into a cage and then standing there victorious. I recalled that drawing and praised him for it and said “Whenever you feel sad or like misbehaving in school, remember to ask Jesus to put Satan in the cage, just like you drew in the picture, because he is the loser.” He was just nodded, but I know he got the message. Your words to the children make a such a difference.
A Final Tip For You
Here’s a final tip for you, don’t allow bitterness or unforgiveness for the drug users to create an atmosphere of negativity in your mind. Maintain a positive attitude for you have the privilege of making a great difference in the lives of those around you. This includes the precious young ones we are so close to and care so much about.
Go you Awesome Grandmother on this great adventure! Keep the faith. Do what you can. All the little things count. Stay positive as you maneuver through all the twists and turns, for it will come out into a glorious vista!
Debbie Bowman is grandmother to seven and great grandmother to four. She is a retired nurse, author and blogger. Visit www.awesomegrandmothers.org and leave your insights or comments.
Sam is a businessman, writer, entertainer, speaker, husband, father to six children, grandfather and great grandfather. Sam graduated from Huntington University with a B.A. in phychology and drama and pursued a degree in Broadcasting from Illinois Central College with graduate level studies at Christian Leadership University. Sam is the creator of Granpa Cratchet, one of the most successful touring shows in the history of the live events industry. Millions of people see Granpa every year all across the United States at fairs and festivals. His characters have appeared on every major network: Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, The Today Show (4 times). Sam and his characters have made over 500 local appearances and on all the major networks; NBC, CBS, ABC, ESPN, PBN, The LeSea Network, The PTL Network and Praise the Lord. They currently appear all around the world every week on YouTube and Facebook, and on several satellite networks via the Kidz Television Network and The Captain Hook (children's) Show.