The Paradise Kids Way
Paradise Kids aims to help heal the heartache. This emphasis on ‘heart-work’ indicates that we take a ‘holistic’ approach to address all aspects of the child – body, mind and spirit. We believe that this offers valuable Life skills, and allows our children to move forward in life and face the future with healthy living that includes love, body awareness, understanding of feelings, happiness, confidence, and inner peace that can be maintained in times of change.
Paradise Kids deals with serious issues, yet the seven sessions of the Grief and Loss Support Program also include a lot of fun. Activities include art, story telling, breath work, stress reduction exercises, meditation, guided visualisations, movement, music and laughter. In an atmosphere of peer support, and with leadership from professional counsellors, each child is supported individually by a volunteer ‘buddy’ trained to provide grief support.
In the words of noted educator Paulo Freire, “We learn not by experience but by reflecting on experience.” Children and parents participating in the Paradise Kids programs have all experienced some form of loss, such as their own terminal illness, death of a parent or sibling, or family break up through divorce or separation. The structured seven-session program provides peer support in groups of ten children, each of whom has the individual support of a trained volunteer ‘Buddy.’ A separate group provides support for the parents/ carers. The children and their parents learn to accept the reality of the loss, feel the feelings in a safe way, commemorate the loss and move to a higher sense of esteem and resilience. The psycho-social educational approach normalises the grief process, gives insights into the tasks of mourning, and teaches life skills and resilience that help prevent ongoing physical and emotional health problems from unresolved grief.