“…you have the potential to influence not only your pre-schoolers but their families as well.”

Several years ago I was lucky enough to have a wonderful young man in my group of three-year-olds. Well, I thought he was wonderful. Others considered him challenging… high-spirited… willful… You see, this young man didn’t always want to be where we wanted him to be. He didn’t always want to do what we wanted him to do. And, he didn’t mind letting you know it.

After one particularly “energetic” day, I was able to connect with his mom out in the hall and discovered a family in pain. Having just divorced the children’s father, this woman was faced with raising three children (one of which was labeled special needs) alone, with little contact or support from dad. Wow! Talk about a paradigm shift. No wonder my three-year-old friend was a bit high-spirited. His life was in chaos.

Still, his mom was faithful to bring her three kids to church every week. She understood they needed the stability and structure of the relationships there and she needed the hour break to connect with her Heavenly Father. So mom and I continued touching base weekly…

…until one simple offer changed our relationship to something much deeper.

It was Easter Sunday, and mom brought the kiddos down the hall dressed beautifully and matching. I commented on how great everybody looked and offered,

“Can I take your picture?”

She thanked me profusely, but said she didn’t have a camera. I said, “No worries. I’ll take it with my phone and email it to you.” Once the picture was taken, she grabbed me and gave me a huge hug. I was surprised by the tears in her eyes when she thanked me again. She explained that she wasn’t sure she was going to get an Easter picture this year because there was no husband at home now to take it. In that moment, I realized just how alone she really felt.

Mom and I became Facebook friends. We began to hug each Sunday as she left with the kids for the week. Eventually, her children got older and moved out of the preschool environment. But, they still come back to see me, and I get hugs all around. A few weeks ago mom brought her new husband to meet me. She wanted me to know that she wasn’t alone anymore.

Each time I see her picture on my newsfeed, I say a prayer for that mom and those kids. I thank God for putting me there that Easter and prodding me to ask the simple question, “Can I take your picture?” I thank Him for letting me serve Him by loving her.

As an SGL, you have the potential to influence not only your pre-schoolers but their families as well. Finding little ways to connect with parents could be the key to your success. And don’t forget, that one little troublemaker is really a kid (or whole family) in need of love and support!

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