Twice a month, I serve in the Children’s Ministry in my church, leading primary five and six children in songs. During activity time, I make it a point to make a long conversation with at least one child each session I am with this group. I try to encourage them in whatever situation they may be in, but more often than not, I find myself getting encouraged by these children more than I expect.
Yesterday was no different. I was serving in church and saw a girl who was hesitant to join her friends. What followed after starting a conversation with her was not something I had expected. My conversation with this girl, G, was about to make me rethink how much I should take notice of my children’s needs.
G had decided not to join her friends because she was feeling confused and upset by how her friends were acting. Her friends told her that they didn’t like one particular person and yet they were hanging out with her. G also shared that she was going through something similar with her friends in school and was saddened that she didn’t have a friend who would not turn her back in her.
I asked G about her family and she said she is an only child. Her father had passed away three years ago and the only person she could confide in is her Mother. However, G’s mother’s response to her friends issue sometimes only made her feel worse and she wished her mother had nicer things to say. G shared that her mum would say nicer things when G asked her to and would offer G a hug when she asked. However, G wishes that her Mum could do nice things without her asking.
While I spent part of my time with G sharing with her that friendship drama happens even for adults and assuring her that her mum cares more than she sometimes shows, I couldn’t help but be impacted by what she was sharing.
I couldn’t help but asked myself a few questions.
Would I notice when my children need comfort because of a bad day in school?
Would I be able to sense that my children need words of encouragement?
Would I be able to say things that will let my children know that they can always come to me no matter what happens or what their friends say?
Would I be able to give them the hug they need without them asking?
Would I be able to encourage them enough that they will stand up for themselves and know that it is okay not to succumb to peer pressure?
What would I notice about my children when they come from school?
Hopefully, when the day comes that my children need to talk about friendship problems, I will be able to comfort them with the right kind of comfort they are looking for.