Children who lose a parent through divorce or death go through the same grieving stages as their parents, but on their own level. Children may have a difficult time putting their feelings into words. Typically, the parents are caught up in their own pain, and may be unable to reach out and help their children at this time.
Rainbows is a program that runs from late September through March, designed to these children put their feelings into words, work through the grief, and build a stronger sense of self-esteem. The program brings children of the same age level together in small groups to share their feelings through activities, games and discussion. These sessions are intended to be a peer support group and are not intended to substitute for professional counseling.
Caring adults trained in the Rainbows program facilitate these small group meetings. The groups range from Pre-kindergarten through Grade 8. The meetings are held Saturday mornings from 10:15 - 11:15 a.m. at the St. Thomas the Apostle Ministry Center. A sharing and support group for parents of Rainbows participants "On the Journey" meets during the same time.
The program begins in late September and is divided into two sessions. The first session ends prior to Christmas and resumes after the first of the year, ending in the spring. There is an effort to coordinate with religious education classes so be sure to register your child/children for the Saturday 8:30-9:45 a.m. classes if they will be attending Rainbows. Spectrum, a similar program for high school students, will meet at the same time if there is enough interest.
If you have a child who has experienced the loss of a parent through death, separation, or divorce, and whom you feel could benefit from this program, please click here to download a registration form. Contact the Religious Education/Faith Formation Office for more information.