Prepared by:Marie Kuhn
Theme: How can we share and model our faith within families with challenging children?
Target Audience: Adults who live with or who have lived with a challenging child or children. e.g. parent, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, grandparent.
- To share life experiences living with challenging children.
- To identify characteristics that make some children more challenging than others.
- To identify positive characteristics of challenging children.
- To explore some ways to live positively with challenging children.
- To seek and know God's will for our life's journey together with challenging children.
- To discover some ways to facilitate a child's faith development in the family and in their church experience.
Time required: 90 minutes
Materials or Resources: (required or *recommended)
- Chart paper (large and small)
- Red and black felt pens (1 each of large size, several each of small size)
- *"With One Voice" song books
- Masking tape
Welcome, Introductions and Greetings:
- Leader relates personal experience
- Leader reads module objectives from large chart paper
- Speakers tell stories of challenging children.
(Ask these speakers in advance)
parent of a challenging child (5 minutes) sibling of a challenging child (5 minutes)
- Form small groups with four persons in each group.
- Have groups share with each other a serious experience that they have had with a challenging child – leader to give an example. (5 minutes)
- Have groups share with each other a funny experience that they have had with a challenging child – leader to give an example. (5 minutes)
Identifying characteristics of challenging children (10 minutes)
- Give each group a black felt marker and a small chart paper with the outline of a child's body on it.
- Have each group choose a recorder and a person who will present their chart to the total group.
- Tell each group to list some typical characteristics of a challenging child.
- Have each small group share their list of characteristics with the total group.
- After all of the small groups have presented, ask the total group to identify some common themes among the characteristics. Write these common characteristics on a large chart paper with the outline of a child's body on it. Use a thick black marker.
Positive characteristics of challenging children: (10 minutes)
- Give each group a red felt marker pen.
- Have groups choose a recorder and a presenter
- Using the same small chart paper as before, have each group write down some of the positive characteristics of challenging children.
- Have each small group share their list of positive characteristics with the total group.
- As before, identify some common themes and, using a thick red marker, write on the large chart.
Sharing personal experiences. (12 minutes)
- Have total group form groups of 2.
- Ask the pairs to take turns telling each other about a disturbing experience they had with a challenging child. Share what happened and the actions they took and how each felt in the situation. Remember that we are all human and make mistakes.
- In the same pairs, discuss each person's experience and together talk about how their actions helped the child, and what actions could have been taken to make the outcome more positive.
- Ask if anyone would like to share their experience with the whole group.
Resources for help – total group (4 minutes)
- Ask the total group to discuss the question: "Where do we get help?"
- Elicit responses from group and record them on chart paper titled "Resources for Help"
(Responses should include: books, teachers, social workers, doctors, support groups, extended family, pastors, church friends)
Reflecting on our faith (5 minutes)
- Ask the total group to discuss the question: "How does our Christian faith help us and our challenging children?"
- Elicit responses from the group and record them on a large chart paper titled "Our Christian Faith Resources"
Responses might include:
- The Bible teaches that all children are valuable
- The Bible teaches that we are to care for one another.
- The Bible helps us to know what to do.
- Pastors provide support and guidance
- Prayer gives courage and patience
- Christian adults and siblings model appropriate behaviour
- The Christian community and worship can provide support.
Learning from the Bible (14 minutes)
- Have total group form new small group of 4 persons.
- Post large chart paper with two questions that small groups should answer in their Bible study: What does God's word say to us?
- How does the biblical passage affirm or challenge your family congregation's treatment of challenging children?
- Distribute Bibles.
- Have each group draw a Bible reference from a hat. (references listed below)
- Have each small group briefly share their ideas with total group.
Thank all participants, presenters and recorders for attending the session and close with a prayer lead by the leader.
If time permits, sing a closing song such as "I was There to Hear Your Borning Cry" With One Voice #770.
Permission is granted to reproduce this module for use in ELCIC congregations. Any other use requires copyright permission. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.