I was an Early Childhood major so I soared through my early years of parenting. Even with 4 kids in 5 years, I remember feeling knowledgeable about milestones, maintaining proper boundaries, experiencing success with behavior modification, and participating in all manner of educational field trips, musical exposure, all while managing effective sleep schedules.
Now mine teenagers. All four of them. And all bets are off.
However, in God’s remarkable love, care and concern for me He has called me to remain surrounded by kids through serving families at my church. It’s quite different though, caring for other people’s kids. So I’ve been inspired by my pal Julie to adapt her Pledge to be Awesome to Other People’s Kids and make it work for myself and my team of Ministry Leaders.
- I will be kind and understanding to our CCC kids, even if they are late, cranky, or both.
- I will find balance between making them sing with gusto and letting them stay seated during worship.
- I will not warn other leaders that a child “always does that.” God is in the New & Improved business–exhibit A = you and me!
- I will ignore that which is not my business and counsel others to do the same.
- I will not think less of a kid who is doing normal kid things like laying all the way down on the floor during the Bible story, taking off their shoes repeatedly, making faces at each other during prayer, finding other uses for craft supplies, etc.
- If a kid says an inappropriate word, I will love them anyway and help them find a better choice for what they are attempting to communicate.
- Even if a kid smells like they forgot to shower this month, if they want a hug from me, they will get one.
- If the time ever comes when I have to tell a parent something difficult about a child, I will do so as gently as possible. I will not be Piers Morgan. I will be Katie Couric. We may not see each other for a while, but I will still have a smile for you.
- I will remind you how amazing your kids are on their worst days, how thankful I am to be a part of their world, and to celebrate with you on their best days. Beach baptism plug: August 11, 2013 at Little Island. Call me maybe.
- I will remind you and myself often that all those things that make them difficult will also help them be wonderfully successful adults and that those same challenging qualities are ones God gave them ON PURPOSE, for a purpose. Hang in there.
- We are all in this together. Love, understanding, strength and hope are just a conversation and a prayer away. YOU CAN DO IT!
- I have cell phone numbers for both our Middle School Pastor and my counselor if/when you need them. And you will.
These things I hereby promise this day to begin/continue to do to the best of my ability,