Elementary School Counseling Film Review

ElementarySchoolCounseling.org recently reviewed both of Professor Child’s films: Children and Divorce and Children and Grief.

Film Review: by Marissa Rex
Last night, I watched two fabulous educational films from Professor Child, a company created by three mothers, Rory Kidder, Jenni O’Keefe, and Sharon Richards. The mission of Professor Child is to empower children during difficult life events. As the founders explain, “children have a powerful voice that is relatable, healing and hopeful. Ultimately, we want children to know they are not alone in what they are experiencing and that much can be learned by simply listening to another child’s story” (Professor Child, About Us).

Their documentary-style films feature a variety of children who have all experienced a specific topic. The children share their stories, what has helped, what they wish for, advice for other kids, and more.

As an added bonus, each film comes with a free companion workbook to provide opportunities for further discussion and reflection.

Children and Grief
In this film, children share their stories of losing a loved one. Some kids are dealing with the loss of a parent, while others with a sibling, uncle, or grandparent. Each child’s experience and response to death is different, which allows the viewer to see a little of him or herself in the film. This is crucial because many children (and even adults) feel alone as they manage their grief; it is an incredibly private, yet universal, experience.

While not particularly “sad” in an over-indulgent sort of way, still be prepared to have strong emotions come to the surface as you listen to the heartfelt stories. A+
Children and Divorce
This film, while similar in structure, has a different sort of feel. There is not a huge variety of experiences or ethnicities as we see in “Children and Grief,” but the stories are still meaningful and quite helpful.

The children in this film describe their personal experiences with divorce, what it means to them, how it has changed their lives, what has helped, and more. I especially enjoyed hearing the advice that the kids gave, which could have a tremendously positive impact on children at various stages of the divorce process. A

Why You Should Purchase Your Own Copies:
As school counselors, we are responsible for helping children cope with a variety of difficult circumstances. It can be a challenge to start a group about grief or divorce. Maybe the group dynamics, personality wise, are off. Maybe you don’t have enough students in a particular grade level to start a group and therefore, cannot offer this service. Maybe students who could join the group feel uncomfortable speaking about their situation in front of others and would prefer individual counseling. So, what can you do to help students dealing with divorce or grief know that they are not alone? Well, I think these films are a wonderful resource to fit this particular need.

You could show the film based on the chapters that best address your students’ needs or use the chapters for different group sessions as an introduction to the day’s lesson.

Also, you can look forward to future films from Professor Child called “Siblings and Autism” and “Children of Military Families.”

To purchase one or both of these films (“Children and Grief” and “Children and Divorce”), visit Professor Child online. You can order a DVD or a digital copy. Plus, you can download both companion workbooks for FREE. I strongly recommend these resources for your elementary school counseling practice. Check them out today!

You can also read the full review at: http://www.elementaryschoolcounseling.org/1/post/2013/06/filmreview-professor-child.html

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