Preparing Your Children for Sunday School: Little Things Make a Big Difference

The first few weeks of the new Sunday school year can be somewhat chaotic, especially if you’re in a church with large classes or multi-aged classes. Some children adapt very well to the new surroundings while others struggle. Thankfully, parents, a little effort can go a long way toward preparing your children for class.Your children will be best served when you are joyfully working together with the classroom volunteers to create a calm, spiritual atmosphere. Often, it’s the “little” things that can disrupt the Sunday school hour. Toward that end, there are some very simple, practical ways parents can prepare their children:

  1. Establish a Saturday evening routine for helping your children get their clothes, Bibles, and other things ready. My daughter does this with her four young children — they choose and line-up all their clothes in one place before going to bed.
  2. Review any assigned Bible memory, take home sheets (GIFT pages), etc.
  3. Make sure your children get a good night’s sleep. When our children were young we were very careful not to schedule Saturday evening events that ran too late.
  4. Make sure your children eat a good breakfast on Sunday morning (please don’t sugar them up). A hungry child is usually inattentive and cranky — and I don’t blame him!
  5. Use the travel time to church as a means of creating a spiritual atmosphere. For example: Pray together, recite Bible memory verses, sing worship songs or listen to a worship CD, etc.
  6. Have your children leave any and all electronic devices with you or in the car. Better yet, leave them at home. (Consider doing the same with your devices — a technology Sabbath of sorts. Your actions often have more influence than your words).
  7. Bring your child to class on time. Allow enough margin to take them to the restroom, and if necessary, have a snack or drink of water between services.
  8. When dropping your children off at their classes, make sure you convey a sense of appreciation and thankfulness to the classroom volunteers. Your children are watching and listening; you are serving as a model for them as they enter the classroom.

This list seems really simplistic and, thankfully, many parents are already doing a wonderful job of preparing their children. But it is amazing how neglecting just one of these little things can cause big disruptions in the classroom: a wiggling child waving his hand to go to the bathroom in the middle of a lesson; an overly tired and cranky 10-year-old; a fidgety, defiant 6-year-old who’s had too much sugar; a child who is anxious and sad because getting ready for church put the whole family on edge, etc.  Parents, a little foresight and planning will go a long way toward serving your children’s spiritual growth in the classroom. You play a vital role in serving the church by preparing your children for Sunday school.

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