The Talking Toddlers research from hopetogether.org.uk found that a huge 75% of all parents of under fives are in contact with a church. Over half of those parents (55%), said that they have explored their own beliefs because of attending church activities. This is often a time of life where there is real spiritual openness. The opportunity to reach and support under fives parents is massive!
We know that right from their very earliest days, babies and toddlers can meet and know God. But, it can be hard for sleep-deprived parents to know how and where to start. Even more so if they are still figuring out their own beliefs. We all know, this isn’t a season of life where there’s spare time and energy to read weighty books or plan activities!
This month, Parenting for Faith have brought out a set of five short videos especially for parents and carers of babies and toddlers. They offer support and ideas that are an easy, normal and natural part of this stage of life. Each one is between five and ten minutes long and contains simple suggestions of things to think about and try at home. They can be watched during a night feed, while washing up or even sat down with a cuppa. The videos are incredibly user friendly, avoiding churchy and Christian language and relevant for all types of churches. So they are great for using with parents who are new to faith or just exploring, as well as Christian parents.
Often, the best ideas come from getting together and chatting with other people. So, there’s also a guide with ideas for using the videos in a pregnancy, baby or toddler group. That could be anything from a couple of parents having a playdate to hundreds in a church hall or Zoom call. You can use the sessions as one offs, or run them as a little series. And we know it’s hard to remember these things too, so each one comes with a takeaway sheet. As the videos are free and online, anyone can re-watch them or share them with family and friends.
Parenting for Faith have also produced three videos for families preparing to have their baby baptised or dedicated. This is such a significant and wonderful celebration. The videos help recognise that, exploring themes of words, music and community and give ideas for families to find and take their next steps. The videos also come with a leader guide and are available free on the Parenting for Faith website.
For the bookworms, there is a book too! Rachel Turner’s latest book, Babies and Toddlers: Nurturing your child’s spiritual life, was published on 19 February. It contains lots more wisdom and input. Again, this is written in a way that is designed to be accessible to everyone. There is a multipack discount for churches who want to use them as new baby gifts or toddler group giveaways or just to bless their community.