Posted in children, Ministry, teaching

Can I have your attention?

Photo by Loren Joseph on Unsplash

Post-Easter Sunday excitement, wiggles and sugar-hangovers made the Good News Club a little more challenging last week. After a few songs and teaching about the resurrection via the account of the two disciples who met the risen Christ on the road to Emmaus, it was craft and review time. The room divided up by grade to work on a few peel-and-stick crafts and see who could remember a few things from the story that day. Conversation and laughter filled the room, but everything remained under control — except for a few boys in the second grade group. The adult working with that group could have used a few dogs from the herding group to help corral those nine children. I was done teaching for the day so I tapped the four boys on the shoulder and said, “You guys come with me.”

We sat knee-to-knee in a small group on the floorer ten minutes (which is a very long time) and they were suddenly all about being challenged with questions about the story. In that moment, and for a few days after, I pondered that moment and realized how much they simply craved attention. That’s the only thing I can think of that changed the dynamic of the situation. The group they left did better, too, because their leader could focus her attention on them.
Here’s a few things I learned from all of this:
  • We could use about three times as many adult volunteers. I doubt if this will happen, but one can always dream. Do you know whose help I value most highly? Those who come and simply sit on the floor with a few kids. You are my heroes!
  • So many children are starved for attention. I give a lot of credit to single parent households and those where both parents have to work. It’s got to be hard when you can’t give your kids the attention they need and you desire to give them. I also have great admiration for all the teachers who give attention to the twenty or more students in the classrooms, dealing with each child’s unique needs.
  • In many contexts, I can contribute to the well-being of a child or family just by giving them a little bit of attention. I too often blow right by on my way to do something else. Too often they are invisible to me. Taking a minute to notice and interact with young and old alike is something everyone can benefit from. Im going to challenge myself to take that minute. Will you?

One thought on “Can I have your attention?

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