‘Rainbows’ helps kids cope with loss

By Linda Liang

Children with unresolved feelings from their divorced or deceased parents can attend a local support group to learn to cope with these feelings of loss.

Rainbows, originally created by a Rockford Catholic church, is a nation-wide organization aimed at helping children of divorced or deceased parents, said Rainbow Director Virginia McMillion.

McMillion said the program has gone “very well—I can see a lot of changes.”

The children “communicate better with less anger and they learned to accept the new position they have in the family,” she said.

“This is a program for kids to talk out their feelings,” McMillion said. The program includes dealing with the grieving process and teaching children to get on with their lives, she said.

The organization holds meetings every Monday from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the United Methodist Church of Sycamore, 160 Johnson Ave.

“Self-esteem is the key issue that must be renewed by the child to get over the pain,” said Program Leader Shirley Beck. “They need to understand adult problems and death.”

Beck, a trained volunteer, begins activities and discussions encouraging kids to talk about their feelings, she said.

Beck said she and another volunteer will host sessions focusing on building self-esteem, healing emotionally damaged characteristics and filling the gap between children and their divorced parents.

The program teaches children to forgive the people involved and overcome any feelings of guilt the children might have if they feel responsible.

The adult volunteers are trained to provide guidance and supervise activities. Children are encouraged to share their experiences and feelings among themselves, McMillion said.