Working with children can be both rewarding and exhausting…all at the same time! As the Kidz Club director in Rockford, Illinois, it is my goal to make their night so fun and exciting, they won’t want to miss the next week!
Kidz Club is an extension of the Friday night addiction program, Reformers Unanimous. The children who come into my class have parents or caregivers who have a stronghold or addiction they are trying to overcome. Many of these kids have seen things in their homes and schools that no child should have to see.
I have the privilege of sharing God’s love with them…but I only have a short amount of time to do it. Many of these children do not know how to behave in a traditional classroom setting. Many of them take medications to keep them subdued during the day while at school, but they tend to be “off their medication” on Friday night. However, this isn’t the only reason that many of them do not know how to behave. The truth is that no one has taken the time to teach them.
Don’t get me wrong. Some of the kids who come from these homes do behave. They have good parents who have made some bad choices. There are also some who are so quiet that I never hear their voice. Many of them hide pain deep within so that no one can see it. But I have great news! I have a secret “tool” that works wonders! It is the “tool” of praise.
“For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” Ephesians 4:12
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” Proverbs 18:21a
To “edify” means to “build up”. It is easy to reprimand children who are misbehaving. However, this will not usually bring the desired result. Many children are told continually all that they are doing wrong…but rarely does someone take the time to tell them what they are doing well. Sometimes, we as teachers have to get creative, but we can always find something for which we can give them praise. We should be “architects”…building up children in the love of Christ!
If you work with children (whether in a classroom or in your own home,) do not fail to use this valuable tool of praise. We can bring life or we can bring death with our words. Let’s use the tool of praise!