I’ve never met a volunteer like Ms. Caroline.

With her infectious smile and encouraging heart, I always look forward to seeing Ms. Caroline on Sunday morning. And so does her group of two-year-olds.

Ms. Caroline has been working with two-year-olds for the past 20 years. Every Sunday she comes ready to sing songs, play games and celebrate the even smallest victory her two-year-olds achieve.

Last Sunday, I sat in a room with Ms. Caroline and the last of her few waiting to be picked up. As a little one sat on her lap, Ms. Caroline joyfully celebrated every time the little girl peeled a sticker off a clown’s face to reveal the “missing” clown.

When mom walked up to the door Ms. Caroline didn’t hesitate to share all the little things this two-year-old had accomplished in the time since mom had left. She shared the main point of the Bible lesson that day and encouraged the two-year-old as together they recited the Memory Verse they’d been working on.

Watching mom’s face was priceless.

There are 3 specific things I observed in Ms. Caroline as she interacted with this two-year-old and her mom. I believe any SGL can do these three things and create an unforgettable connection that kids and parents desire.

  1. Ms. Caroline was present with her few.  She didn’t disengage to clean up the room, put toys away or gather her things.  Instead, she invested the extra time she had with this one child to sit and play.  This little two-year-old sensed no need for rush but simply enjoyed the attention Ms. Caroline gave her.
  2. Ms. Caroline created a safe place where this one child was enjoyed and celebrated for the smallest things she could do.  From reciting a few words of the bottom line to tossing a ball in a bucket to playing peek-a-boo with a clown face.  No matter the accomplishment, Ms. Caroline was there to celebrate.
  3. Ms. Caroline connected with the parent. As soon as mom approached the door Ms. Caroline launched into what they learned that day, how mom can connect that during the week and how much her little one had learned in that short amount of time.

As SGLs, we’re here to do more than maintain a physically safe environment for our few. We’re here to provide an emotionally thriving environment.

A place where our few are celebrated and encouraged for the steps they take.

A place where parents know their little one is not just lost in the gaggle.

A place where parents know that you’re on their side.

What do you do to show a parent of your few that you’re on their side?

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Gina is the Children’s Pastor at Faith Promise Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. Gina is driven by the idea of equipping, encouraging & empowering parents for the journey of teaching their kids to love and be loved by Jesus. Based upon her experience as a mom, she identifies with the everyday challenges of parenting. Gina and her husband, Kyle, have three kids, Keegan, Josie and Connor.

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