Helping our children to love well

The Bible tells us that we were made by love and for love. God lives in perfect love within himself, within the Trinity, and out of the fullness of God’s triune being and perfect love he created people in His image. We are also to live in love, to share in the experience of loving relationship with and sharing love with others. As His image bearers we are gifts to each other-made for love. We love and honor gifts and treat them with care, love and respect.

The Bible tells us that love is patient, kind, not jealous, or proud. It is not rude, or selfish or easily angered. It doesn’t remember wrongs, it delights in the truth. It trusts and hopes and never fails. (1 Corinthians 13)
While the world has tainted the word love and has delighted in perverting the word and reducing it at times to the action of meeting your own or another’s sexual desires, we as believers have a beautiful mandate to help shape our children’s perception of love into correct thinking. True love is selfless and giving and joyful. We are created to live in harmony with one another. It is by living and portraying God’s love; the world will see who He is. We are His love ambassadors here on earth.

We as parents are the greatest mirror of God’s heart to our children. We will be the greatest influencer on how our child perceives, receives and responds to love. We are the standard setters and primary teachers and will therefore have the greatest ability to reach our child’s heart. Children are imitators by design. This is an amazing privilege and a scary reality at times. Allowing ourselves a moment of self-reflection on how we reflect God’s heart of love to others is a good practice. Our children are watching our responses to those around us. Ask God to show you where you could reflect His love more brightly.

At preschool …

  • We teach all the children that they are a gift, made in God’s image. Therefore, they should be treated with love and respect while treating others with love and respect.
  • We practice sharing equipment and taking turns – learning to defer their need for instant gratification and prefer their friend.
  • We teach them how to identify their own emotional state and know how to find calm in order to make safe and loving choices.
  • We teach them to respond with kindness to each other’s emotions by learning how to read their friend’s emotional state, and know how to respond with kindness.
  • They learn that resolving conflict is important and necessary in peace making.
  • We teach them that love comes from God and he helps us to love Him and others. We love Him by talking to Him and by learning how to do what He says.
  • We teach them to use kind words that show their friend they are a gift and worth valuing.
  • We teach them to pray for one another asking for good things for their friends.
  • We teach them to treat everybody is a gift- not just their “best friends”
  • We teach them to look for ways to be helpful in the classroom, at the playground, when their friend is hurt, and at home.
  • We teach them to listen to and obey their parents and teachers as that expresses love.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”- Jeremiah 29:11

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