When you have the same group of little faces looking at you each week remembering kids’ names is a cinch. However, what happens when you have a large group or a growing class? Yikes! It has happened to me. I’ll picture a child’s face all week long, pray for him and then fail to recall his name when I see him. Blaming it on old age is funny but kids need to know you remember who they are. Instead of calling everyone “sweetie” or making up nicknames for each child in your church, try these easy ways to remember a child’s name.
1. Have a conversation. When two people meet for the first time, there’s lots happening in those two heads. Even grownups wonder, “Will she like me?” or think things like “I hope I don’t embarrass him.” When you meet a new child for the first time, talk to him. Before jumping right in there and training your brain to remember the name, pay the child a compliment. Something like, “Hey I like that truck on your shirt. That looks like my truck.” Knock off some nervousness and then exchange names.
2. Please spell your name. One good way to remember a name is to know how it is spelled. Ask your new friend, “That’s a great name. How do you spell it?” Repeat the spelling and say the child’s name aloud. Your brain will say, “Oh yeah. I’ll remember that name.”
3. Use a registration form. I’ve got registration forms on the welcome table but until recently, I wasn’t using them for much except collecting statistical information. Flip the form over and make some notes. You might write something like, “Loves trains and is missing a front tooth.” This could help you remember his or her name.
4. Relate the name to someone famous. “Wow, your name is Jennifer? That’s the name of my favorite actress!” Remember a name by associating with someone special or famous that you know.
5. Don’t forget those name tags. These sticky reminders are handy tools for remembering the names of a crowd of children. Put one on and hand them out to all the kids. As an added memory step, you should write each child’s name down.
You can remember kids’ names! It just takes some practice to train your brain. For another take on this topic, be sure to read what Wayne wrote in his tips for remembering children’s names (and why it matters).
Read more from Mimi by visiting her blog at Tools for Kids Church.