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Living with Challenging Children

Prepared by:Marie Kuhn

Planning

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.

Objectives

  • 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)
  • Bibles
  • *"With One Voice" song books
  • *Kleenex
  • Masking tape

Welcome, Introductions and Greetings:

  • Leader relates personal experience
  • Leader reads module objectives from large chart paper

Process

E–Experience

  • 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)

I–Identify
Identifying characteristics of challenging children (10 minutes)

  1. Give each group a black felt marker and a small chart paper with the outline of a child's body on it.
  2. Have each group choose a recorder and a person who will present their chart to the total group.
  3. Tell each group to list some typical characteristics of a challenging child.
  4. Have each small group share their list of characteristics with the total group.
  5. 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)

  1. Give each group a red felt marker pen.
  2. Have groups choose a recorder and a presenter
  3. Using the same small chart paper as before, have each group write down some of the positive characteristics of challenging children.
  4. Have each small group share their list of positive characteristics with the total group.
  5. As before, identify some common themes and, using a thick red marker, write on the large chart.

A–Analyze
Sharing personal experiences. (12 minutes)

  1. Have total group form groups of 2.
  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.
  3. 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.
  4. Ask if anyone would like to share their experience with the whole group.

G–Generalize
Resources for help – total group (4 minutes)

  1. Ask the total group to discuss the question: "Where do we get help?"
  2. 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)

T–Theologize
Reflecting on our faith (5 minutes)

  1. Ask the total group to discuss the question: "How does our Christian faith help us and our challenging children?"
  2. 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)

  1. Have total group form new small group of 4 persons.
  2. Post large chart paper with two questions that small groups should answer in their Bible study: What does God's word say to us?
  3. How does the biblical passage affirm or challenge your family congregation's treatment of challenging children?
  4. Distribute Bibles.
  5. Have each group draw a Bible reference from a hat. (references listed below)
  6. Have each small group briefly share their ideas with total group.

Conclusion

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 bfast@elcic.ca.

In full communion with The Anglican Church of Canada
© Copyright 2007 Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada