Five years ago, Teresa Rodriquez found herself facing a painful and stressful divorce. Her marriage was ending and she needed to move out of her home with her two young daughters, Sophia and Olivia, aged 4.5 and 3.
As she was struggling to find balance in her life, going back to work full-time, living with her parents in a different town, Teresa at first didn’t realize how deeply the divorce and subsequent major life changes were impacting her young children. She could see their confusion at their new situation, but didn’t fully understand the pain and grief her daughters were facing as theirfamily structure had shifted.
Though they were very young, Teresa could see her girls were more anxious and sensitive since the divorce. Her daughters were angry their mother wasn’t home as much, and their dad didn’t live with them anymore. But more than anything they were confused about what had happened to them and what it meant for their family. Her children were grieving from the divorce and confused about their new family structure.
Teresa heard about Rainbows for All Children and the grief support programs we provide. Rainbows works with children who are grieving all types of loss, from death in the family and divorce, to military deployment and incarceration. Teresa enrolled her children in a Rainbows for All Children support group immediately and started to see a change. They were opening up to the other children in their group, discussing their struggles in the safe and open environment. Her daughters went to Rainbows sessions and had long conversations about their thoughts and feelings, and listened to children who were facing similar feelings of hurt and confusion. They began to open up to their mother as well about the pain and sadness they felt from the divorce.
Teresa recalls her girls started to use the tools they learned from Rainbows in their daily lives, acting with more patience and understanding.
Rainbows sessions helped Sophia and Olivia, grow a sense of empathy and perspective, improve their level of security and trust, and build their self-esteem. Rainbows served as a safe place for her daughters to talk about their feelings and work through the emotions they faced as they struggled to understand what had happened to their family.
From sharing their experiences, and meeting children who faced similar struggles, the girls began to heal.
Today, Teresa and her girls are thriving. They have found peace with their new family structure. Through Rainbows Sofia and Olivia have learned they don’t have to feel uncomfortable because their family looks different than other families and that their family is not any less filled with love because of the loss they have felt. Since participating in Rainbows both girls can now openly talk about what they think and how they feel. They no longer internalize their pain, but rather work through it with Rainbows support. Teresa is grateful for the impact Rainbows for All Children had on her daughters, and hopes every grieving child has the opportunity to have the support of Rainbows, the chance to heal from their grief and the ability to move forward in their lives, happy and healthy, just like Sophia and Olivia.
With our network of thousands of facilitators across the country we aim to support the millions of childrenm just like Sophia and Olivia struggling with grief every year. Please make a donation today! Help us continue our mission to support EVERY grieving youth in EVERY community navigate grief and heal from loss. By donating today, you can help a child smile tomorrow.
The Rainbows for All Children Family