Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Words Have a Lasting Impact on Children

Over the years I've shared posts with you which my friend Maralee McKee, the Manner's
Mentor, wrote on her blog; today I'm doing this once again. Yesterday Maralee wrote about her visit to a store where she heard unkind words being spoken by a mother to her daughter. Maralee said, "Words linger...words wind their way through our mind dropping off in every nook and cranny. They're never forgotten. Our sub-conscious holds on to them. After all our parents voice is our first voice of truth. Mama said it's so, so it has to be right."

Maralee is right. Words do have a lasting impact on children; they do "linger" and are remembered throughout a lifetime. She went on to say, "One of two things will happen in the coming years if she's talked to often like in this way: She'll spend her life trying to over compensate and feeling like she never measures up; or she'll rebel into a reckless lifestyle feeling like, 'What's the use. I'm useless.' Our voice is our child's destiny. Pray daily we will speak gracious life into our children, our correction will be with love, and our encouragement will be to build their character not their egos. And most of all, our words will lead them to their Heavenly Father so when we mess up as parents, (and we do, and we will some more) they will know their one Parent Who always speaks life . . . glorious life to His children."

 Parenting is not easy. All parents experience stress and children; no matter how sweet they are, can challenge even the most patient parent from time to time.  One of the most important things we can do in our children's ministry is to equip and assist parents. We can do this in the following ways . . . 
  • Provide opportunities for parents to learn how to respond with grace to their children.
  • Plan opportunities for parents to enjoy a night out - provide child care for a specific time period so parents may register to participate, drop their children off and have a few hours to themselves.
  • Pay attention. Notice if parents are exhibiting frustration at church with their children. Notice if a child seems to withdraw or acts out. Talk to parents and offer to be a resource and support to them and their child.
Manners Mentor Finally, be absolutely certain when children are in your ministry they do not hear words which leave them feeling like they are useless from your volunteers. Absolutely do not tolerate ANY unkind, ungracious words from a volunteer directed at a child. Be certain the words children hear at your church are ones which, as Maralee says, "leads them to their Heavenly Father so they will know their one Parent Who always speaks life . . . glorious life to His children."

You'll find Maralee's full post at this link - take time to read it and follow her blog; she has so much wisdom which you'll put to use not only in your ministry, but in your day-in-day-out life, too!

No comments:

Post a Comment