Children, Youth & Families
As parents and carers try and get their heads around home schooling, juggling jobs and now ‘lock-down’, learning to live without the support of family members, neighbours and friends, the association team wanted you to know that we are praying for our children, young people and families and we want to encourage them.
We are acutely aware that many feel overwhelmed and certainly, as a parent, the most encouraging thing I have read was written by a parent of year 4 pupil (she is also a teacher). It reads:
Dear parents with school aged children
You might be inclined to create a minute by minute schedule for your kids. You have high hopes of hours of learning, including online activities, science experiments, and book reports. You’ll limit technology until everything is done! But here’s the thing...
Our kids are just as scared as we are right now. Our kids not only can hear everything that is going on around them, but they feel our constant tension and anxiety. They have never experienced anything like this before. Although the idea of being off of school for weeks, possibly months, sounds awesome, they are probably picturing a fun time like summer break, not the reality of being trapped at home and not seeing their friends.
Over the coming weeks, you will see an increase in behaviour issues with your kids. Whether it’s anxiety, or anger, or protest that they can’t do things normally - it will happen. You’ll see more meltdowns, tantrums, and oppositional behaviour in the coming weeks. This is normal and expected under these circumstances.
What kids need right now is to feel comforted and loved. To feel like it’s all going to be ok. And that might mean that you tear up your perfect schedule and love on your kids a bit more. Play outside and go on walks. Bake cookies and paint pictures. Play board games and watch movies. Do a science experiment together or find virtual field trips of the zoo. Start a book and read together as a family. Snuggle under warm blankets and do nothing.
Don’t worry about them regressing in school. Every single kid is in this boat and they all will be ok. When we are back in the classroom, we will all course correct and meet them where they are. Teachers are experts at this! Don’t pick fights with your kids because they don’t want to do math. Don’t scream at your kids for not following the schedule. Don’t mandate 2 hours of learning time if they are resisting it.
If I can leave you with one thing, it’s this: at the end of all of this, your kids’ mental health will be more important than their academic skills. And how they felt during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they did is gone. So keep that in mind, every single day. Stay safe.
“What kids need right now is to feel comforted and loved”
With this in mind we just wanted to point you in the direction of some resources that will help our children be reminded that they are created and loved by a Great Big God, who listens, responds and is present with us and during this surreal time, it’s good to have some fun!
If you have questions about what to say to your children about the coronavirus, listen to this podcast: https://parentingforfaith.org/podcast; for a written copy https://parentingforfaith.org/coronavirus
There is so much more on the Parenting for Faith site too.
For those ministering to children, youth and families online here is the Baptist Union Safeguarding Guidelines
For curriculum resources and ideas for:
Have a look at True Ways Kids: great resources to use at home and printable material.
Join the Scramblers Network on facebook – brilliant ideas for engaging with toddler groups and younger children at home.
Roots: worship and learning resource for the whole church
An amazing creative prayer ideas that work at home as well as in the school space. You do need to sign up but it’s free and the resources are brilliant!
Imagine Ministries are live streaming family worship services each week – to see the service on Sunday 22nd March Click Here
The Reflectionary: these resources are for family Bible times - Why not get together with another family and discuss the questions by phone or skype? We can still be church together while we’re apart.
Each week the reflectionary site will have:
• A Bible passage with some teaching and discussion questions aimed at adults
• Creative and imaginative approaches designed to appeal to children (plus adults who prefer those styles)
• A space for your own thoughts and responses
• A colouring page (not just for kids!)
• A craft / art activity (not just for kids!)
• Some activities for the week
• A prayer
Youth for Christ have been brilliant at putting together tutorials for how to move youth work online. They have made lots of their resources available free of charge – check out their page on stress as it offers practical, emotional, physical and spiritual uplift – with easy ideas for all ages!
On-line youth-work with those over the age of 13:
New safeguarding guidelines have been published from Baptist House and you can download the document here
For youth workers
There are also resources on:
Engage At Home: Daily family prayer and worship activities
Godly Play: 10 things to help each other... listen .. be calm ...be still
Get creative with Hannah Dunnett - draw your own prayer tree is the first session!
Going For Growth: Faith isn't something to be learned in church - it's to be lived out at home. But it isn't always easy for families to know how to pray together or tell the stories of Jesus together. This page offers links and ideas to help families be Christian in their whole lives, not just the Sunday bit!
Try out - Hillsong Kids: 1hr of Kids Praise Music
Fishy Music is doing a weekly assembly for in your home
iSing Pop are uploading their songs almost daily on their channel
For Bible stories in animation try out:
Crossroads Kids club: go to youtube and put crossroads kids club and choose your story! Here’s an example below
Jesus Storybook Bible with David Suchet narrating
At Twinkl, we want to support you in any way we can during this time, which is why we have a month’s subscription FREE for everyone. Just go to www.twinkl.co.uk/offer and enter the code UKTWINKLHELPS.
Lots of the top world museums are doing virtual tours online, Edinburgh zoo has live webcams for some of their animals!
If you wish to buy a book to help children, young people and families engage with faith at home, here are a few I can highly recommend:
For 5-11 year olds
‘What every child should know about prayer’ – by Nancy Guthrie
‘My God Book’, A Prayer Journal Scrapbook – by Victoria Beech, Scripture Union
‘Growing with God’ 365 Daily Devos for girls – Veggie Tales
‘The Complete Illustrated Children’s Bible Devotional’ – Harvest House Publishers
‘Children Can You Hear Me?’ – by Brad Jersak
For 11-18 year olds
‘Swap’ discipleship journal - Youthscape
‘Head Strong’ journal – Youthscape
Join in with a challenge
Bible Society are encouraging everyone to explore the Bible and have listed the Top 10 favourite Bible Stories and the Top 100 best known stories in the Bible: Click Here to Get Involved
Join in with the Lent challenge or take it up and start from the beginning (there are only 1 or 2 that’ll need slight adaption due to Covid-19) Click Here to get Involved