By Jane Robinson
Try this today:
- First, write down the names of the people you talked to yesterday and one thing you noticed about each person.
- Next, for every person you meet today, look that person in the eye, smile, and use that person’s name during the conversation.
- Finally, at the end of today, write down the names of the people you talked to and one thing you noticed about each person.
Was it easier to recall people’s names today? Probably. And even if you didn’t remember one thing about every person, you noticed more than you would have otherwise.
Think about how people reacted to you today. Did you get more smiles than yesterday?
All of the children in your care should feel welcome, unique, and loved. One simple way to do that is to make sure you and your volunteers look the children in the eye and greet them by name.
Hearing our own name affects our brains differently than hearing other names. The brain calls out to us, “Someone is paying attention specifically to you!” It feels good! You feel respected, noticed, and important.
Our heavenly Father knows this. He comforts us with these words: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1 ESV).
Another way to show you care is to recognize the important days in a child’s life, especially the child’s birthday. It’s the day every child circles on the calendar—the best day of the entire year! Your kidmin program is never too large and you are never too busy to recognize the day God gifted the world with a new child. Take time to rejoice in that gift! You might celebrate in individual classrooms or do a monthly group recognition of birthdays. It takes less than five minutes to celebrate this special occasion for each child.
Your recognition, big or small, speaks volumes! And guess who’s listening and watching? Every child in the room. The time you take to specially recognize each child shouts, “You are valued!” to every other child in the room—not just the one you’re acknowledging in the moment. When you recognize a child’s birthday, every other child is already looking forward to the day it will be his or her turn.
The next time you step into your kidmin program, try it out! Look each child in the eye, talk to each child sincerely, and call each child by name—just as God calls each one of us.
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