Charna’s Kids Club addresses the emotional needs and interests of school age siblings of young patients. It creates a safe and caring environment in which the well siblings can continue to develop and thrive in spite of the hardships they are experiencing due to their sibling’s struggle with a devastating illness. This is very important as these children, alongside their parents, are usually witnessing the physical decline of their siblings.
Our highly specialized staff members support these siblings throughout every step of this emotionally difficult journey, utilizing therapeutic, recreational, and multidisciplinary activities such as Emotional Bingo, Wiggle Giggle, the Wisdom Tree, and All the Apples in My Tree. These activities teach children how to recognize and verbalize their own emotions and to develop empathy for others that might be exhibiting pain, anger, or frustration as well. Siblings also learn that their feelings are normal and that they are not alone. These are often the first steps in learning how to develop coping skills, work through problems, and ask for help when needed.
More specifically, the Wisdom Tree, a favorite among the siblings, is a community art project which is a metaphor for the cycle of life and its different seasons. The therapeutic benefit for the entire family is to understand a medical illness, family dynamics, loss, and any changes in family roles. In tandem with this activity, the children build a sense of family unity when presented with the task of creating a rooted family tree. This art project, All the Apples in My Tree, gives the children an opportunity to visualize all of the different relationships in their own lives. This therapeutic activity fosters a sense of control, stability, and unity in an uncertain and changing environment.