Blessing Children

In the mornings at the school where I teach moms, I am often mindful of the well known passage about Jesus blessing the children in Matthew 19:

 “Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.”

man holding sheep statuette
Photo by Pixabay on

The school I teach in has the highest number of ELL, English Language Learners, of any elementary school in my city. My classroom is between two of the ELL classrooms. Many of the children have moms who are in my class, so as they walk by they try to peek in to see mom, Sometimes I let them come in to say hi to mom and get a hug from mom.

grayscale photo of baby feet with father and mother hands in heart signs
Photo by Andreas Wohlfahrt on

Children are aware of more than we realize and sadly that also means they are aware of the public rhetoric about refugees and immigrants.

The children who come with their parents as refugees experienced the same dangers as their parents and many of them lost loved ones in their home countries.

I will never forget when a new Yazidi student started my class in December 2017. She had been in the country for two weeks. Her first day of class I took her to her son’s classroom for PACT Time- Parent and Child Together which is an hour the parents sit in their child’s classroom to observe. Her little 1st grade son saw mom and smiled. When I see him I greet him in his language and we high five.

There are many Hispanic children in the ELL classrooms. We briefly interact in the hallway each morning. I greet them in Spanish- “Cómo estás?” how are you. I ask them if they are ready for a good day in school- ¿Estás listo para un buen día en la escuela? and wish them a good day in school- Que tengas un buen dia en la escuela.

I want them to feel good about who they are so I often tell them I think it is great they can speak Spanish because it is a beautiful language- Pienso que es maravilloso que puedas hablar español porque es un idioma hermosa.

Two of the ELL teachers speak Spanish, so sometimes I joke about homework telling the teacher the children said they want a lot of homework- Me dijeron que quieren mucha tarea. They plead to their teacher “no no” as their teacher and I smile. The children know I am joking. 🙂

I know how to greet people in 30 languages. I feel it is important to show respect to my refugee and immigrant friends and part of that for me is greeting them in their language. That includes the children at the school. I want them to know I respect them and their culture. Just because they are little does not mean we shouldn’t protect their dignity. Quite the opposite!! Because they are little and vulnerable, we should protect their dignity as people.

If Jesus felt it was important to bless children, then we who profess to follow him should also bless them.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.





13 thoughts on “Blessing Children

  1. I agree with what Nelson Mandela says, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
    You obviously touch hearts. 🙏👍🤗

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