Each week, boys and girls enter your classroom with a story to tell. Every story is different and every story is special.
Many of those children are open and ready to share whatever they are thinking with you. You know that child! The one who walks in and starts rattling off everything that he did that week… from finding bugs to going to school, from eating cereal to swinging high at the playground. The girl who tells you all about her princess adventures with her dress-up clothes. The kids who tell you all about the fun they had camping in the backyard and eating s’mores.
Every child has a story…
Some of those children are quick to share their story while others… maybe not.
So what about that child who anxiously enters your classroom and goes and plays all by himself in the corner. The little girl who enters and quietly sits by herself wondering who everyone is in the room. The child who doesn’t talk much and barely participates in the activities. That child who sits and watches barely speaking a word to anyone.
It’s harder to hear their stories.
It’s harder to hear about what those children did over the weekend. It’s harder to hear what those children are going to do this summer with their family.
But, are you listening?
You can get moments with those children. You can learn so much about their stories if you will just slow down, stop talking, and just listen.
Have you created a time during your morning where you give the preschoolers a chance to speak? A room full of 20 three-year-olds can be overwhelming for some preschoolers. Many preschoolers enter the room scared to death. They don’t want to leave their parents. They just don’t know anyone there.
Whether a child is quick to share or slow to even tell you their name, what are you doing to create an opportunity to hear their voices?
Make it small. If your group is larger than five or six preschoolers, see if you can enlist help from another adult so you can talk with (but mostly listen to) small groups of kids. Create a time when the preschoolers can share and pray together. Create a time when the Bible story can be reviewed. And create a time when the preschoolers can talk, and not get in trouble for interrupting.
BUT, be ready to listen!
You will hear them share about…
what makes them smile.
what makes them laugh.
their favorite things, and not-so-favorite things, too.
all the things they are scared of.
their dreams and what they want to be when they grow up.
You might even hear about the fears and pain that they have.
Every preschooler has a story. They are in the beginning pages of an incredible story that God is writing, and some of those kids just need someone…
…to listen to their story!