At this time of year, parents are being inundated with “how to’s” regarding the new school year – how to find the best deal on school clothes, how to pack a healthy lunch, how to set up a well-organized homework area.
That got me thinking: what “how to’s” can we, as kidmin leaders, give to parents that might help their child have a great year in our ministries?
Here are a few ideas from my KidMin Mom perspective:
Prepare the night before. Lay out clothes and accessories, bathe the children, set Bibles and offering money near the door, set out non-perishable breakfast items…anything you can do to eliminate as many time-consuming items in the morning will help you get out the door on time.
Go to bed at a reasonable hour. Being well-rested will ensure that everyone will (1) get up and out the door and (2) help squash grumpy behavior – for parents AND kids.
Don’t forget breakfast. I mentioned setting out non-perishable breakfast items but don’t forget to eat them (non-sugary options are best). A full tummy will help kids focus better and again cut down on grumpy behavior.
Play up positives for church other than “fun”. If you tell your child something to the effect of, “I’ll bet you’ll have lots of fun today!” and they don’t, they will likely resist wanting to go back. Emphasize that worshiping and attending church is an important start to your week and that when we go to church, we can more about Jesus.
Here are a few additional ideas from my KidMin Leader perspective:
Commit to attending church regularly. There are so many things that vie for your attention on Sunday mornings (sports, work, custody arrangements, travel, exhaustion, overflowing laundry baskets, empty refrigerators just to name a few.) But as often as you can, make regular church attendance a priority for your family.
Arrive at church on time. By doing so, your child is able to get settled in and enjoy getting to know his/her classmates. Many churches allow for more relaxed, unstructured activities at the beginning of the class. This time is very important for building friendships.
Get to know your child’s teacher. Your child’s teacher has committed to building a relationship with your child and sharing Jesus with him/her. This relationship is a very important one to nurture.
If your kidmin provides a calendar of events for the year, plug-in those dates on your calendar. While you won’t be able to attend every event, try to attend what you can.
Ask the right questions. Instead of asking, “Did you have fun today?” when you pick up your child, ask more specific questions such as:
- “Tell me about your day.”
- What did you do today?”
- What did you like best?”
Extend learning by taking advantage of provided take-home resources. Not only will this help your child reinforce what is being taught in class, it will help you as a parent stay connected. It will also show your child that learning and talking about God doesn’t only happen at church.
Find ways that you can serve together as a family. Participate in collecting and delivering canned goods, serve as ushers/greeters, or bake cookies for church events. This will help your child feel ownership and part of a larger community.
Worship together as a family. Again, this will help your child feel part of a larger community. Our church is wrapping up a ‘Worship Together’ emphasis in a few weeks. Tomorrow I’ll share what that looked like for us and how we equipped families to worship together.
What would you add to the list? Share your ideas with me in the space below!