As parents struggle to navigate the world of divorce, children, too, are faced with uncertainty, and often pulled into the conflict.
"When you think about it, children are the real victims when it comes to divorce," said Valleybrook Presbyterian Church pastor Ben Brychta.
That's why the Hixson church has started a new chapter of its successful DivorceCare support group, this one specifically designed for kids.
"The topics go right along with the adult classes, but it's specifically designed for that age group, ages 5 to 12," Brychta said.
The nondenominational seminars will last for 13 weeks, although each session will stand alone and help educate children on a new facet of understanding and coming to terms with divorce. Deacon Diane Wooten, who helped Brychta organize both seminars and teaches adult sessions, explained that the children's classes mirror the adult sessions so that parents can have the tools to talk with their children about what's happening.
"They need to understand what the child is learning, too," she said.
The children's seminars cover everything from helping kids understand exactly what divorce means and what it doesn't, to dealing with anger at the situation, to understanding and confronting the sadness that is sure to come from divorce, to communicating with their parents, all wrapped up in a scriptural-based learning program.
According to the Centers for Disease Control's Community Health Status Indicator, 36 percent of all children in Hamilton County live in a single-parent household. While not every singe-parent household is the result of a divorce, Brychta said, many are, and the children and parents in those situations too often don't receive the guidance needed to navigate it in a healthy way.
The sessions for both children and adults start Wednesday, Sept. 13 and run weekly from 7-8:30 p.m., with a free dinner at 6:15 for attending families. Wooten stressed that confidentiality is a key part of the sessions and that no personal details will be discussed outside of the classes.
For more information, visit valleybrookepc.com or call 843-0314.