Parent Engagement is a huge component of Kids Ministry. I believe that it is one of the hardest part as well. How are you supposed to influence someone who you only see when they pick up and drop off their kids?
Our answer to that is the Parent Handout. In a perfect world, there would also be a training for the parents on how to use the Parent Handout. Send an email to brand new parents, explaining what it is, and how you should use it.
Even if just one parent, even if only 10% of the families in your ministry read through the parent handout, then it is worth it.
What should come in a parent handout?
- Teaching Guideline for Parents – This is an explanation for the whole lesson.
- Bottom Line – One concise sentence that points to the main point.
- Memory Verse – One Bible verse pointing back to the Bottom Line.
- Bible story – plus a short explanation on how it applies to kids and the lesson.
- Encouragement – Empower the parents to parent their kids, we also write a fill in the blank prayer that goes with the lesson.
- Object Lesson – a short, easy object lesson that they can do at home. This should tie into the lesson, so it creates a time where kids can ask questions, and the family can learn together. It should be with object that they have in their home already. Little to no prep time. It is important to remove all barriers so the parents can start a conversation with their kids.
I want to show you how we do this. In all of our curriculum, we include a Parent Handout. It includes all of what is listed above. But I wanted to give you an example of the types of Object Lesson that we include in the Parent Handout.
This object lesson is designed with parents in mind. The only object that we include can be found in around the home.
Object Lesson BOTTOM LINE: To have friends, you must be a friend.
NEEDED: A batch of cookies (homemade or store bought)
HERE IS WHAT YOU DO:
- You will show your kids this week how to take the first step when making friends.
- Pick a designated day that you will talk and then take action.
HERE IS WHAT YOU SAY:
- Many times it is hard to make friends because of the fear of rejection.
- When someone rejects you, it hurts on the inside.
- It leaves you with a feeling of hopelessness and that you are all alone.
- This is a great time to share a story when you may have felt rejected.
- When you are rejected by a person – it is only one person. Not everyone in the whole world thinks that way about you – even though you may feel that way.
- The best way to overcome rejection is to continue to reach out to others.
- Concerning the person that rejected you, you have no idea what they are dealing with themselves.
- Don’t allow what they did to you, shape you.
HERE IS WHAT YOU DO EXERCISE:
- There are many ways that you can be friendly, but today we are going to be friendly by taking some cookies over to ___________________________.
- We are going to “show ourselves friendly.”
- Talk about a strategy before you leave. Is this family a new family or a family that has been in your neighborhood for a while.
- Talk about questions that your kids can ask when you get there. (Write them down if you need to.) Let them participate.
- Who else in your neighborhood, can your child’s team that you (as a family) reach out to? Let it grow.
- YOU take the first step.
- Get your thoughts off of yourself.
- Ask yourself this question, “Are there kids in your class or on your team that need a friend?”
- The first step is to break the ice and say, “Hi.”
- The second step is to ask questions. Keep asking until you find something you both like.
This Parent Handout is taken from Lesson 1 of our series, BFF: Best Friends Forever.
The BFF series teaches your children to choose friends that build them up and walk with God .
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