One of the highlights of my work as a group coordinator at Tu Nidito is to witness the progress a child makes in their grief. The first night of group can be filled with lots of emotions for children. It may be the first time they have talked about their special person’s death or shared their feelings. For some kids it’s not easy to jump right into sharing and participating. I always pay special attention to a child’s first group night and work extra hard to create a safe and caring place for the children to open up.
Angel is a little boy who began attending Tu Nidito after his father died. He comes with his mom and younger sister. On his first group night, Angel was very nervous. Mom shared that he was scared and didn’t want to leave her side. Angel refused to participate in the group and I sat with him all night outside of the activity room giving him the extra attention he needed at that time. On his second group, Angel started to feel more comfortable and joined the kids during talking circle and activity time. With every group Angel showed more confidence, and really started participating and sharing his story.
Angel turned eight years old a few months after he started attending Tu Nidito. This meant he was ready to leave the “littles” group and move on to the “middles” group. This also meant he would no longer be in group with his little sister, something that had been a source of comfort. On our last group night, Angel proudly shared that he had turned 8 years old and was ready to “move up” to the middles group. It was so special to see the difference in this little boy. He went from being very nervous to proud, engaged and excited to move into a new group. Mom continually shares how much her kids love coming to Tu Nidito and thanks us for all the support and strength each of them have been able to gain here