One of the foundational roles of a small group leader is to partner with parents.  Often we think of this as only what we do outside of class time.  We text a parent to say we’re praying for them and their child that day.  Or we send a card to let parents know we care about them.  We chat with the parents as they pick up or drop off their child to ask if there are areas in their kid’s life to pray about that week.  These are all great ways to partner with parents.  But there’s more!

What if you partnered with your parents when they didn’t even know you were doing it?  What if you purposefully looked for opportunities to build up parents when you are with your small group each week?  As a small group leader of preschoolers, you often get to be the hero.  You are there for your kids each Sunday with fun activities to do with them.  You get to sing songs and play games and glue and glitter and laugh.  And, yes, there are some times that you have to reel your kids in, or redirect or stop a squabble, but honestly, you do far less disciplining than parents do all week.  So, to that kid in your small group, you are fun!  Parents, on the other hand, can easily appear as the “bad guys” in a side-by-side comparison!  How can you help put their parents on a pedestal?

Look for those opportunities to slip in little remarks that build up parents.  It isn’t always an easy conversation to start.  But if you are purposeful, you can listen for comments that would let you applaud parents and all that they do for their kids.  If your lesson was about Adam naming all the animals, the tie could be, “Wow!  Adam sure had a lot to do! There were so many animals to name!  That’s a little like your moms and dads.  They have so much that they do to take care of you and your family every day!”   Or if your lesson talks of the care of baby Jesus by Mary, a reference to how much our mothers love us and spend so much time taking care of us, can help your kids see the value that you place on their parents.  Of course, your purpose of the hour is to learn the lesson.  And your conversations should and will revolve mostly around that.  But finding a way to work in a comment to elevate parents from time to time will go a long way in letting that child, who values your opinion so highly, realize that you value their parents so highly as well.

How do you elevate the parents of your small group kids?

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Barbara Graves

Barbara loves God, children's ministry, coffee, the Braves, and her granddaughter Eden-Grace. She's been in ministry for over 30 years and wishes she didn't have to sleep so she could write, teach, and read a little more.

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