Parent Workshop: Comforting Your Children

A parent workshop on helping children through the experience of homelessness.

For many parents experiencing homelessness, the main concern is, “Will my child be permanently scarred by this?” The good news is, that doesn’t have to be the case. Parents can learn to notice signs of stress, and explore ways to help their children feel safe, loved, and cared for. First, show parents the video. Then ask:

  • What set Lily off, or triggered her, at the beginning of the video? Do you ever notice that little things can trigger strong reactions in your children? What are some examples?
  • Does anything Lily says or does remind you of anything your children have said or done?
  • What did you notice about how Sofia comforts Lily?
  • What do lilies symbolize? (hope).

Together, parents can think of a special nickname for their children that reminds them that they are brave, strong, loved, smart, or any other quality that’s important to focus on right now. Examples might be Hopie, Strong Girl, Superman Sam, Brave Boy, Amazing Jake, Adored Addy, VIK (very important kid), Clever Carlos, Ms. Precious, and so on. Suggest they use that name often.

You might also suggest that, together with their children, parents:

  • watch the video and help children label the feelings Lily was having (sad and anxious, then hopeful and loved)
  • color a rainbow (or look around to find something in each color of the rainbow)