I was talking to a mother the other day and in the course of conversation, her eyes lit up and she started to speak, but then quickly stopped herself. “What’s up?” I asked.
“It’s nothing, no big deal. Just something (her daughter) did that was cool to me but nothing you’d understand.” I urged her to share and finally with some persuasion she shared that her daughter had done something by herself for the first time.
It wasn’t a big thing. But it was something.
It wasn’t a milestone. But it was a step.
It wasn’t a battle won. But it was still a victory.
There are a lot of hard things in parenting– tiring, heart-wrenching, and stressful things. Because of that, sometimes the smallest wins become the motivation to keep going. They need to be celebrated, acknowledged with joy and fanfare, and highlighted with praise and recognition.
As children’s ministers, we can help create these “easy win” moments for our parents, by stacking the deck in their favor through our ministries. Take for instance these four ideas to give your parents a chance to pat themselves on the back for a job well done.
Easy Win #1 – “Catch” a child doing something good, and TELL Mom and Dad!
So often we are quick to share with a child when we see them making a good choice or being kind to other (which is great, by the way!). Imagine how Mom would feel if, when she picked up her child, you shared the good news with her as well. Victory!
Easy Win #2 – Send a note or a text of encouragement.
Every now and then, sit down and send a text to all the dads in your ministry, letting them know they are doing a good job as a father. Perhaps you could Facebook message each of your parents/caregivers with an encouraging song or meme to let them know you appreciate their hard work. Celebrate!
Easy Win #3 – Show up at their child’s concert/game/performance, etc.
Share the big moments with your parents and your kids and it’s a double win. The parents will see how much you care about their children and the child will see how much Jesus loves them through you. I’ve never met one parent that didn’t leave a moment like this encouraged and refreshed. Score!
Easy Win #4 – Give parents a platform to honor their kids.
One KidMin friend I know hosts “Wisdom Awards” each month. Parents get to nominate their child when they find them using the value being learned that month in Kids Church. At the end of the month, kids get recognized by the Kids Church leader, who reads aloud the parents’ nomination. Proud parents, excited kids, and the Word in action –Goal!
These are little things, small moments, tiny victories. But for tired moms and stressed-out dads, afraid of failing and worried about their kids, these wins are EVERYTHING. And you can make them happen. You can bring hope to a weary soul and joy to a struggling parent.
And that, my friend, is YOUR easy win.