Leaving a child with a Sunday School teacher or Children’s Director can be very unnerving for parents. This can be even more difficult for parents that have children with special needs.
Here are 4 tips to reassuring parents of children with special needs:
- If a parent is leaving their child in a Sunday School class or Wednesday night children’s event for the first time – don’t forget to exchange information! It is always better to be over informed. If you do not already have a system, have them put their phone on vibrate so you can send them a quick text if you need to reach them quickly. Not only getting their information, but exchanging information with them is a great way to help reassure parents. Knowing that they can reach you at anytime and you can reach them is a affirmation of their child’s safety and security.
- Another way to reassure parents is to invite them at any time to sit in during Sunday school or an event. This helps them see first hand what their child will experience!
- Go out of your way to help these parents. When you see a parent with a child that has special needs, think of things to help them specifically. Offer things like making dinner for their family, babysitting, or inviting their child over for a play date with your child. This reassures them that their church family is doing their best to serve them. It also reassures them that they are not outsiders but part of a loving community.
- If parent or family with a child with special needs attends a service for the first time, make them feel noticed. Don’t let these families slip through the cracks going unacknowledged If they are new to the service, let them know about Sunday school and other programs their child can plug into. This will reassure them that although your church may not have a special needs ministry, you have a place for their child and a place for them. Go above an beyond and follow up with them to let them know that they were noticed – give them a call personally or send them a card to welcome them back. (This is a great opportunity to offer specific things you can do to help them!!)
Take time to pray for these families in your church and in your community. Pray for these parents. Pray for all of the the sweet children who face things everyday that we cannot begin to imagine. Pray that the Lord would open your heart and your eyes to accepting and loving these families in the same way that Christ does.
Romans 12:4-6: “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.”
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