“Everyone needs someone who knows their name and what’s happening in their life.” —Reggie Joiner (Lead Small)
As a preschooler, life is full of big problems. Well, they are big problems for a four-year-old. For example, there is always someone bossing you around and telling you what to do.
“Pick up your toys.”
“Eat all your peas.”
“Take a nap.”
Now as an adult, the idea of being told I must take a nap every day sounds just short of Heaven. And while the life of a four year old is such a dream to us as adults, at times, it can be just short of a nightmare to them. At four, they are beginning to develop reasoning skills and they are constantly bombarded with new information from the world around them as they are trying to process and make sense of it all. It’s a busy and confusing life being 4!
As a preschool small group leader, you will have a front row seat to the lives of your little ones. It only takes the availability of a listening ear to release a river of information from them. And if they are talking about it, it’s a big deal in their world; regardless of it’s place in the grand scheme of things.
They desperately want someone to listen to them; to answer their questions, to calm their fears, to share their wonder and to spur their dreams.
I read the story of a preschooler throwing a temper tantrum, which her mom was completely ignoring. The girl went to her mom’s desk, took out the magnifying glass, held it to her lips and yelled, “Can’t you see my lips are crying?”
When you listen, when you are mentally present, when you hear what they are saying, and they see that you are interested in their lives, this is when you become their hero.
As they arrive in your room, continue the conversation you had the previous week. Enjoy the time and enjoy the stories. Listen with your ears, but listen with your heart, too. And as you hear them over the course of weeks and months, watch for opportunities to tie what it is they fear or what they are dreaming of into lesson applications.
Do you have a quiet child that doesn’t share easily?
Here are three things to listen for/and ask about:
- A fun event with family or friends
- A fear or dream that they have expressed
- A favorite pet or cartoon character
Know the names of your “few” and know what’s going on in their lives! With preschoolers, that’s bound to be fun!