4 ways your faith leader can help you find answers when your child is struggling

By Tara Drinks

If you have a relationship with your faith leader, you may have reached out for guidance or support at some point. But you may not have thought to turn to that person for help with your child’s challenges.

Faith leaders can be great resources to engage when your child is struggling. Here are some ways they can help.

1. Be a sounding board as you look for answers

As you try to understand your child’s struggles, you may need someone to bounce ideas off of. You might need help talking through options or processing information you’ve gotten. And if you’re feeling very emotional, you may need someone to share your feelings with. Your faith leader can be a great listening ear.

2. Help you talk with other family members

For some people, talking with family members about their child’s struggles — and how to support those struggles — isn’t easy. That’s especially true if the family isn’t very supportive. Your faith leader can help you think through how to have these conversations. They can even reach out directly to family members to help you get a dialogue going.

3. Connect you with other parents and caregivers

It makes a big difference to have a community of parents and caregivers who understand your experiences. Your faith leader can help connect you with other families who are finding (or have found) their way through similar challenges.

4. Connect you with professionals in the community

Finding the right support is a key step to helping your child thrive. But knowing who to turn to and where to find them can be tricky. Your faith leader can be a great resource. They can connect you to professionals and specialists who can help you understand your child's difficulties. Some professionals may even be within your congregation.

How to engage the faith leader

If you’ve met with your faith leader before, then you’re familiar with how to set up a time to meet. But if this is your first time, start by contacting your leader’s assistant to schedule a meeting. Explain to the assistant what you’d like to talk about and what you’d like help with, if you have something specific in mind.

Before meeting, fill out this card to help your faith leader get to know your child better. At your meeting, be sure to ask as many questions as you have. You can even ask about ways the worship service can be more inclusive for kids.

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    About the author

    About the author

    Tara Drinks is an associate editor at Understood.

    Reviewed by

    Reviewed by

    Bob Cunningham, EdM serves as executive director of learning development at Understood.