Making Church a Good Place for You and Your Child
We want church to be a good place for your young children. We also want church to be a good place for parents, a place where they can focus on the teaching of God’s Word and worshiping with fellow believers. There are a few things parents can do to help church be a good place for both themselves and their children.
- A child’s adjustment to church is much more difficult after about seven months of age due to separation anxiety, which is not wanting to be separated from a parent or caretaker. At this age, children begin to realize that parents still exist even though they are not present. To help minimize separation anxiety, we recommend bringing your child to church early (after six weeks of age) and regularly so they know and feel comfortable in the Preschool environment and with their teachers, even when Mommy and Daddy are not present.
- Talk to your child about church during the week. This helps church become a more familiar place to your child. Explain that church is where we learn about God and Jesus. Tell them how much you love to go to church and that church is very important. Let them see your excitement about going to church. You are a very important and strong model for your child and you have the unique opportunity to use that influence in a way that has eternal significance. There are many things you will teach your child in the course of their life, but teaching them the importance of coming to church and worshiping the Lord is by far one of the most important.
- There are numerous teaching tools on the internet and in Christian bookstores that can help parents teach their children about church. Look for books that talk about going to church and what we do at church. There are also church play sets and puzzles with pieces such as the church building, the Bible, the preacher, friends, etc. that you could use to play with your child while teaching him about church. Remember, young children learn best through play.
- When it is time to “hand off” your child to his or her Sunday School teacher or Worship Hour Leader, try to be as calm and positive as you can about leaving your child. Research shows that babies and young children can sense their parents’ feelings even when the parents are trying not to let the feelings show. That means if you are upset, nervous or worried about leaving your child, he or she will most likely pick up on those feelings and act accordingly. Very calmly hand a crying child to a teacher and say, “I love you and you will be fine. I will be back in a little while.” It can be extremely hard for parents to leave their little ones when they are upset, but church is not only important for children, it is important for parents as well. So we encourage you to bring your child even if they are crying on the way to church. A Preschool Facilitator or our Children’s Director will be more than happy to assist with helping children who are upset or crying to adjust to their class. If you would like to make arrangements prior to arriving at church for someone to assist you, please contact Sherry@kiokee.org.
Become familiar with our Preschool Ministry as well as our leaders.
Here are some ways you as a parent can support the Preschool Ministry:
*Pray for the Preschool volunteers, teachers and children
*Serve children and their parents in the Preschool, partnering in the nurturing of the faith of our children
*Volunteer to help with preschool weekly set-up on an as-needed basis
*Share constructive suggestions for improving the Preschool with the Children’s Director by emailing her at Sherry@kiokee.org.