“Showing Primary Children You Care,” Ensign, Apr. 2002, 65
Teaching Primary can be challenging at times, especially if your class has discipline problems. You can help the children behave better by helping them feel the love you have for them. Here are eight ways to show you care.
Pray for them—at home and also in class. Children feel good when they know you are concerned about them. During opening or closing prayer, mention them by name, and pray for their specific concerns as needed.
Learn more about the children. Find out their likes and dislikes. After the opening prayer, let them raise their hands and take turns talking about their week.
Give children a hug or a squeeze on the shoulder. Though we must be careful about showing affection appropriately, children need to know we love them.
Talk to them when you see them outside the classroom. Say hello when you see them at an activity or in the neighborhood. This shows the children you care about them always, not just when they are in Primary.
Write them a note occasionally. Drop off or send a card or letter telling them the good things they did in class the previous Sunday. This will positively reinforce the good behavior you like to see in your classroom.
Remember them on a holiday. I will never forget the looks of surprise and delight on my Primary children’s faces when I showed up at their homes Valentine’s Day morning with a special treat.
Remember their birthdays. All children love to be remembered on their birthdays. Send them a card, sing a song to them in class, let them be the class leader, or give them an inexpensive present. Above all, make them feel loved on their special day.
Prepare good lessons and bear your testimony. Children will know you love them when you have a well-prepared lesson, which could include visuals from the ward library. Study the lesson material and pray for help in conveying the lesson and reaching the hearts of the children as you testify of gospel truths. Children learn from your example as they feel the Spirit testify that what you say is true.
Using these ideas to show your Primary children you love them will greatly reduce problems you may be having in your classroom. As you show them your love, they will develop love, loyalty, and respect for you and your classroom. Your heart will be filled with joy as you love and teach Heavenly Father’s little ones.—Kersten Campbell, Pullman First Ward, Pullman Washington Stake