Five Ideas for Keeping Children Grounded

Problem: Children may feel uprooted physically or emotionally during and after a divorce or separation.

Solution: Help your children feel grounded by volunteering with them to give something back to your community. If you work together as family, these activities bring satisfaction, pride of accomplishment and build family connection. Some examples:

Idea 1: For Rita and her two daughters, the first Sunday of every month is Family Volunteer Day. The family spends two hours helping their community: raking leaves for a neighbor, picking up trash at their school, collecting things for the local food drive, etc. The girls alternate choosing how they are going to volunteer each time. They eagerly anticipate each activity and almost always get a thank you from a grateful recipient of their generoity.

Idea 2: Eric and his son Zach volunteer monthly at a local homeless shelter. They often recruit some of the Zach’s friends (sometimes with their parents) to help out. They have become regular favorite at the shelter and may start working their regularly.

Idea 3: Sylvia and her son and daughter don’t go out and volunteer but they do reserve $20/month to donate to a worthy cause. The three discuss which charities best deserve their funds and make a gift every month. One of their favorites is Heifer International http://www.heifer.com where a small donation can make a concrete difference in a third world country.

Idea 4: Richard lives across the country from his daughter Sarah, so he makes the most of his limited time with her. Every spring break, the two join Sarah’s church group and volunteer for Habitat for Humanity by building a home in Mexico. She prefers this to visiting him in a city where she knows no one.

Idea 5: Churches and temples have numerous opportunities for families to volunteer. You can ask your children to volunteer on their own or with a youth group, but it strengthens the entire family if you join them.

Please click on “Comments” below to add your ideas.

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Filed under creating family feeling, divorce advice category, family closeness, family connection, non custodial parent

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