Youth Development – The Little Things Aren’t So Little

by Wanda Parker


In working with kids we often miss the importance of something that many of us just do naturally – but many children miss because they don’t have nuturing adults in their lives.

A friend who ministers on a college campus has built a relationship with a hurting young man.  Scott invites Alex to his home quite often to interact with his family, which includes five children.  One day when Alex was at Scott’s he said, “You sure do have lots of pictures of your kids all over the house.”

Scott asked, “Why is that so significant to you?”

“Because I don’t remember there ever being a picture of myself up in my house when I was a child,” Alex responded.

The importance of pictures.  My house is full of pictures of my children and grandchildren.  I have pictures hanging on the walls, sitting on tables and in boxes on the floor.  Three of my grandchildren take the box of pictures, each time they come, and go through it laughing and remembering as they find pictures of themselves in the box.

I have the pictures out because they bring up warm memories, they warm my heart.  After hearing the story of Alex and then remembering how my own grandchildren respond to seeing their pictures in my home I realized that the pictures tell others how much I cherish them.

If you serve at-risk kids be sure that you have pictures of them up in the location where you serve them.  Not just one picture of each kid, but many.  Not just in one room or location but all over your center.  This will go a long way in letting the kids know you cherish them.

One director told me that she makes extra copies so the kids can take them home.  What a great idea.

Have fun with the pictures.


2 responses to “Youth Development – The Little Things Aren’t So Little

  1. That is so true with the pictures and at-risk children. They love having the pictures up and seeing them. When I ran an at-risk program in Charlotte, NC, my assistant director took pictures continually and we put them up all the time. They loved it. I also had them up in my house, so when they visited they saw them and new that I loved them and cared for them.

  2. Amen. Even my grown daughter likes to see her picture up in my home! Of course, the grandchildren check them all out each time they come and probably count who has more! I try to keep them even.

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