One of the most important elements of working with kids is making them feel loved. Kids want to know that you care for them. This past summer, I had the opportunity to spend some time at CentriKid with Paige Cate, the Associate Children’s Minister at Geyer Springs FBC. After just a short time, it became very obvious to me that she truly cares for the kids in her ministry, and they love her very much, too. I asked Paige to share with me 10 ways to show kids you care, and this is what she said:
1. Call them by name in large and small group settings.
2. Learn about their family. Ask specifics.
3. Send encouraging notes. Kids love getting cards in the mail.
4. Learn their strengths and weaknesses. Encourage them in the things they are good at, and help them to get better where they struggle.
5. Send birthday cards!
6. Listen to their stories, jokes, and memories . . . and no matter how many times you’ve heard them before, laugh again!
7. High Five, side-hug, or pat them on the back.
8. Check on them when a family member is sick or dying.
9. Get down on their height level. When talking to them, look them in the eye.
10. Give them a challenge or responsibility. Kids love to be challenged – it gives them a sense of importance!
Like most things in life, these sort of things don’t happen automatically. You have to be intentional and work hard. Taking the time to invest in the life of a child is not easy, but there are also few things in life that carry with them so great a reward as showing kids that they are loved.