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Posted by Jennifer Plyler
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How does a child learn during worship services? A passice "sit still and listen" mode provides very limited learning. The following methods set the stage, however, for positive learning to occur. 

*Curiosity- This God-given characteristic drives a child's interest in what happens around them. Curiosity prompts them to ask "why", "how", and "when" questions, often in rapid succession. Try to see your child's curiosity as essential to their mental and spiritual growth rather than as an annoyance or interruption during the service. 

*First-hand Experiences and Senses- Learning is up close and personal for a young child. They must see, hear, touch, and explore things for their brain cells to connect with their environment. Therefore, you enhance Bible learning when you encourage your child to hold his Bible, turn its pages, look at the pictures, and listen to Bible verses and stories expressed during the sermon.

*Repetition- When your child repeats actions, songs, words, and routines during worship services, his understanding increases. Their ability to focus improves because they can "connect the dots" and gains comfort in the familiarity of simple routines of worship.

*Imitation- Imitating adults helps your child try out and process how things are done in a congregational worhip setting. Staring, so common to children, is a behavior which allows your child to observe adults who may become role models in their spiritual development. 

*Relationships with Adults- Loving relationships undoubtedly are the most important ways a young child learns. However, encouragement and acceptance from caring adults are necessary before other positive methods of learning take root in a child's life. Emotional and social nurturing are foundational for spiritual growth. 

Jennifer Plyler

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