Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
August 26, 1990     Arkansas Catholic
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August 26, 1990

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PAGE 13 ARKANSAS CATHOLIC AUGUST 26, 1990 Grieving children Part of classroom Toronto (CNS) - Catholic educators must come to terms with the ever-grow- ing. challenge of children living in a Single-parent home, a divorced mother of three told the National Catholic Educational Association at its 87th annual convention here. "The task of education has been challenged because 30 percent of the children we teach comes into the class- 0om each day grieving because of eath or divorce in the family," said Perkins Yehl, co-founder of Rain- OWs for All God's Children, an Illinois "based organization that helps children single parents and teaches educators oW to deal them. "Outwardly they look the same as Other children, but what is going on ude these children is a loss," Yehl said. r little ones are faced with decisions challenges many of us faced in c011ege -in the U..S, divorce, hits 50 percent of alarriages, she stud. Some children are heed with the death or physical or tional abandonment of a parent. tional abandonment could be said they feared the neighbors' children wouldn't be allowed to play with them anymore." It is important to talk to the children about their feelings and for adults to be honest about their personal feelings about the death or divorce, she said. Children should be reassured that they are not at fault for the death or the divorce. "Children think the world revolves around them," she said. "They will feel that in some capacity they caused this IOSS." Children should be told that divorce is a problem between the two adults and that death is a natural biological process. Death should not be described as something like sleeping. Instead, it should be explained biologically, where the body no longer needs food or breath and the heart no longer beats, she said. Yehl said she follows Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross' theory of five stages of grieving. Kubler-Ross was a Swiss-trained psychiatrist who was a pioneer re- searcher on death and dying and au- thor of numerous works on the sub- ject. The five stages include denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. i coholic or drug-abusing parents, Yehl said it is important that children he'Said. go through all the stages of grieving And when the child is left with a because they will bury it inside them- lagle parent, Yehl said, the child must selves. !- gaVen the opportumty to grieve the "If they don't talk about it, someday so he or she can adjust to a new it's going to pop out, she said. =It s like ql~s . . - I., tyle and on with the nrocess of a time bomb." Educators can help children through Children show their grief in a variety the grieving process by reaching out f.Ways, including daydreaming, anger, and asking them how they are doing !ence, crying, fidgeting, depression constantly until they open up with their a changing habits such as eating less feelings, she said. bore, she said. . . Urifortunately, Grieving does not occur overnight she said, society has and many times it is delayed because ed to -stuff those feelings of grief in the child is forced to take on many adult I ket like chanlze" and people "ust responsibilities at home, she said. ~1~', ,~ v _ _ J Know how to deal with death.Teachers also can help students by f faployers will give their workers a being sensitive to their situation, she days to attend a funeral and grieve said. Schools should be careful not to uUt .1- *t -=en exvect them to return toplan mother-daughter, father-son events o ' -- or address school communications as iness as usual." tL raetimes children are faced with =Dear parents" or be encouraged to Same expectations by being sent to make a gift for their parents on l on the day of the funeral of a Mother's or Father s Day. One, she said. " Instead, children could take home ,We don t allow one another that letters addressed =Dear parent" or be voet grieve," she said. "Grieving a encouraged to make a gift for that , rce is sometimes the same grief felt someone special in their lives. Ira th-- i e case of a dea . Children grieve Children who come from single-par- the amount that adults do." ent families can grow up to be loving, ehl divorced 15 years ago after 11 compassionate and productive people, ofrnarri e and she said she ke and teachers can help play a vital role he ag spo r three sons who were re-teens in that development, she said. atthe ' P Ume, to help them deal with their tea hL eY asked me not to tell their herSre L of. the .divrce because, they eyed their teachers would them uomeworL she said "They asked q(~ .= ~ =lot to tell the neighbors because Composite Scores -- Diocese of Little Rock: K - 8 Academic Prooress Report - National Achievement Test - Spring 1990 7q 63 8~1 80 79 81 78 89 79 100 9O 8O 7O 50 H 3o 2O 10 1 GRADE: K I 2 3 q 5 6 7 8 Each year, the students in Cat holic elementary sc heels are tested by a national standardized testing service. The Science Research Associates (SRA) tests were administered last spring. The purpose of the test is to provide direction for the teachers and to access certain outcomes of the educational program. Test results are reflected in the bar graph. These statistics show that the average scores of the students In Catholic schools are over 20 points above the national average on every grade level. Fayetteville 442-7314 Member by Invitation National Selected Morticians ------ = --- SMITH O Wood & Steel Furniture Ol Computer Furniture O Systems Furniture Q Office Choirs 121 Total Project Coordination Q Interlor Design Asdstonce 782-0311 Fax 782-5604 812 Garrison Ave., Ft. Smith Your One Stop Office Furniture & Supply Center" Mike Cullen Bill Conrath Pat Culler 1248 South 28th Street Van Buren, AR 72956 (501) 474-5036 FAX (501) 474-3911 Polyethylene bags Liners Sheets BEN GOSEY, PRESIDENT ; l=!