Families come in all shapes and sizes and face all types of challenges.
When we connect with families, we can make an even bigger difference in the lives of the children we serve.
Family members want to be SEEN + KNOWN, just like your students. Here are some super simple, easy-to-implement ways to SEE + KNOW your families—using activities you’re probably already doing!
For many volunteers and leaders, the time we most often SEE family members is at drop off or when saying good-bye—some of our busiest times! So, what can you do to connect? Here are two easy ways.
1. Greet Each Child Intentionally.
Make a point to greet the child with the parent or caregiver and ask a simple question.
“Hi, come on in, Marco! Hey, are you Marco’s dad? Anything special happening with Marco today?”
This little question can open up a pathway to learn big things about the family. More on that in just a sec!
2. Remember to “Plus One.”
Make one comment or ask one question about one positive thing. This could be the child’s smile, the cool shoes he has on, his attitude, or his superhero qualities.
For example: “Marco, are you more like Superman or Batman today?”
This allows the child to feel valued and cared about in just a few seconds.
Use those same connection times with families to learn a little something about the child’s environment or the needs of the family.
1. Take Note.
The simple question you ask the caregiver in passing might give that person an opportunity to alert you to a stressful morning, a sensitive child’s needs, a birthday party, or a flat tire on the way to the church service.
Make a note of whatever the answer is, and if it’s a practical need the church leadership or members can help with, offer that help.
If it’s an event in the family’s life, try to remember to ask about it the next time you see them. “Hi, Marco, did you get to pick out your goldfish yet?”
2. Remember to “Plus One” AGAIN.
When the child leaves your care, use this to create another opportunity to make a comment or ask a question about one positive thing.
“See you next time, Marco! Thank you for playing the jumping game!” Or “Bye Marco! Have a great week knowing that God cares for YOU!” Help Marco demonstrate what he learned.
This interaction allows the family to KNOW something about what Marco learned and to KNOW that you care about that too.
By making the most of these moments with families, you can begin to build trust and friendship and expand your ministry to children far beyond the time you have with them inside the church walls.
By intentionally creating a caring, safe, and positive environment, we can show our students and their families that they are SEEN and KNOWN … and LOVED!
Questions for Your Team to Think About:
- How do other leaders in your ministry area handle the check-in/pickup times?
- What are some ways leaders can connect with families outside of the classroom environment?
Did you enjoy this video? Check out our other 2-Minute Trainers here.