Imagine if my kid doesn’t have any friends from church?
We all want our kids to be happy and to feel comfortable, especially at church. Over many years of ministry, I have talked to parents who indicated concern that their child did not have friends at church. Often this is a reason that will families give when they stop attending.
Friendships between children can be challenging regardless of what, but church is really a different dynamic because of the limited amount of time kids spend there each week. It can be hard to create significant friendships within an hour or two a week. However , you can find things that you and I can do as mothers and fathers that can better or even worsen the situation.
If your child is certainly expressing these thoughts, here are some tough answers to find as the parent:
- How consistently can be my child participating in? Consider this … if your child is only there 1 to 2 times a month, it is going to be very hard pertaining to him to make genuine connections with other children. If you just spent an hour a month along with someone, would you really feel you knew all of them very well? In fact , he may even feel omitted because the kids that are there most of the time are likely to naturally know one another better. The more regularly your child attends, the greater chance he will have got at getting to know additional kids and developing friendships.
- Is certainly my child in a group environment where she can construct relationships? To solution this question, you must have a good understanding of what happens in your church’s children’s or youth ministry. Many children’s ministries have large team worship and small group activities. On our church, Wed nights are the best environment for kids to create relationships. We keep those groups little and kids attend more consistently during the week. Also, our Sunday morning lifetime groups/small groups are the next best chance to get to know other kids. Large group environments are designed for kids for connecting with God via worship, teaching, and prayer. It is a bigger group though, so it will be more difficult for children to connect with each other. Maybe by expanding your own child’s involvement you are able to help her connect better.
- Have you been in a small group? My kids’ closest friends with church did not originate from Sunday or Wed ministries. Their closest relationships have been produced with the kids whose parents are my friends. The reason why? Because we spend some time together outside of Sunday morning. We eat lunch time together or hang out on the weekend. You need to be intentional about connecting with other parents with kids of similar ages. The best way to do that in most churches would be to join a small group yourself. I guarantee the more you are connected, the more your kids will connect.
- Are you currently encouraging your child to consider the first step? What I have noticed in children’s ministry is that very few kids are usually intentionally excluded. Kids just tend to gravitate to the people plus groups they are used to being around. (Adults do too, by the way. ) Challenge your youngster to be the one to try to connect with another kid in class. Probably encourage him to look for someone else who needs a friend or can be sitting by himself.
- Have you discussed to the teacher in the class? We are all on the same group. We all want your child to grow spiritually and to be a part of the chapel. Sometimes parents really feel awkward talking to kidmin leaders and vice versa. Don’t! Tell them what your concern is. Ask what they are observing. Ask if there is a specific child your kid could buddy up with. Be aware though – there is a great opportunity that the teachers may have no idea what you are usually talking about. Some kids will participate most of morning and be the middle of the party and then go back and tell Mom and Dad that they do not know anyone! Or, another warning, a really honest leader may help you see some stuff that your child is doing that is making it harder for your pet to make friends. Prepare yourself to receive those things properly. Talking to the leaders can give you a whole new perspective and often alleviate a lot of anxiety.
- Have you reminded your child that friends aren’t the main point? Yes, I am fully aware how important friendships are to kids. However , this is a great training point to remind your youngster that we go to chapel to connect first with God and learn more about Him. Secondly, we come to church for connecting with other believers. Do not be afraid to remind them to keep individuals priorities straight. The more they do the first, the more naturally the second will certainly eventually happen. Furthermore, remember, this isn’t always your problem to solve. God may have some very essential lessons for your kid to learn in this. Do not be afraid you’re going to turn her off from church forever. Most importantly, please do not let all of them talk you into quitting church. There is a good chance this same problem might pop up at the following church. It might not … sometimes it is a better fit somewhere else . but make sure you have got tried all the other details listed above first.
- Have you been praying about it? I am aware. That is such a church-y answer. However , Lord cares about this stuff in your child’s lifetime. Ask God to help your child connect and build friendships. Inquire Him to show you what you can do as a parent and what you should not do.
Navigating childhood friendships is difficult. Let’s be sincere, all church relationships can be hard. Nevertheless , being strongly connected with the Body of Christ is totally worth it and will provide your kids a fantastic foundation and support system. Keep battling to keep them connected to it!
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