Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Don't Underestimate Children

In addition to writing this blog about Children's Ministry, I also write a "grandma blog" - grandma's cookie jar. A number of years ago I wrote about my grandson when he turned six - he was a really fun six year old! One thing he liked to do was to read. Yes, I said he liked to read! Not only did he like to read, but he often actually shocked his aunt with how good of a reader he was! One day we were celebrating because his dad had earned his Master Mechanic Certification and my parents gave him a card. On the card was the word, "Congratulations!" my grandson picked the card up and read the word - on his own with no help. 

Okay, yes, writing about this was a moment of pure, "grandma bragging", but aside from making me feel very proud and happy with him - it caused me to think about how often do we "underestimate" children and think they are too young to try something, learn something, or do something. How often do we "dumb" things down for them? 

My grandson has always had a large vocabulary - filled with words with lots of letters! He not only used these big words (leaving his teachers shocked), but he understood what they meant so he used them correctly. This is due in part because his parents - and we - made the choice to always speak to him as an intelligent person. We did not use, "baby talk" with him. Plus, they and we have always read lots of books to him. I guess it should not have been a huge surprise for him to take to reading so quickly!

So, in regards to the children in our Children's Ministries, while preschool is foundational as young children learn the Bible Adventures, elementary children should be challenged to go deeper. Let's help them learn how to use a concordance, how to research, and discover what God's Word says - and what it means to their own lives! We need to challenge the children in our churches! Treat them as intelligent people who are fully capable of learning and understanding many things! (Get  Deeper In for Children curriculum as it is designed to do these things!)

It is true - children do live up - or down - to our expectations! Now there are certainly exceptions where some children have physical and/or learning challenges, but let's be people who encourage and challenge the children in our ministries to truly learn God's Word and then celebrate as they do!

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