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Child rearing is tough, even in the best conditions.
The challenges are compounded for displaced Iraqi Christians in Jordan. They have lost homes, jobs and certainty about their children’s future. They are prohibited from getting work permits and from sending their children to state-funded school.
The challenges leave displaced parents with despair that gets in the way of their relationships with their children.Children at our partner school near Amman, Jordan, said that they felt disconnected from their parents. The lost connection is happening just when the children need additional love from their parents to heal and adapt.
Our partner school in Jordan recognized that the school could close the gap if they gave parents the chance to play with their kids in a relaxed environment. They recognized that parents needed a break from their worries so they could build bonds and reconnect with the joy of parenting.
Toward that end, our partner created Parent Days. The days use love, joy and happiness to build bridges between students and their families.They spend these special days playing games, singing, reading stories together and making crafts.
The days have been deeply restorative for families. Several parents have been moved to tears after the chance to reconnect with their children through playfulness.
In addition, the days create a safe space for children to freely express their love for their families. At the end of the day, the kids make a card for their parent that says, “I love you.”
“Today was a beautiful day,” one father said at the conclusion of a Parent Day with his children. “We were able to play games with our children. We are very happy.”
In addition to family days, our partner held a Mother’s Day celebration. Children performed songs and gave their moms handmade cards and hugs.
“Flowers, hugs, kisses, music and lots of love – that’s what makes these days special,” said the school’s principal. “This gives our mothers the chance to forget their difficult daily responsibilities for a moment. It gives their children a reminder to appreciate their beloved mothers.”
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