A children's session based on Exodus 2.1-10 and 2 Corinthians 1.3-7
This resource comes out of current work undertaken by The Children’s Society. It has been created to use with children but could easily be transposed into an all age or youth group context. Some of the themes need to be handled sensitively if you have children who don’t live with their mothers or who are, or have been, in caring roles.
Round the clock with Mum
- Start by asking the group whether they know what makes today special?
- Then ask why it’s important to have a special day to thank mums. Talk about the role of mum and open it up so that it isn’t simply birth mothers but all who take on that role.
Open the Word
Based on Exodus 2.1-10 and 2 Corinthians 1.3-7
Through Miriam’s eyes
- Use the monologue script, Through Miriam’s eyes to tell Moses’ story from his sister’s perspective. Consider inviting another leader to play Miriam, and to come in costume and with appropriate props.
How many people in the story helped look after the baby Moses? Why?
How did Miriam’s help make a difference?
Round the clock with Lauren
- Introduce the group to Lauren:
Many children, like Miriam, have to help their mums look after brothers and sisters.
Helping Mum is a good thing! But sometimes, for example if a mum is really ill, some children have to become like mums themselves and this is really hard for them. A recent BBC survey suggested there might be as many as 700,000 children in the UK (four times the official estimate) who are caring for a sibling, or a parent, in this way today.
We’re going to hear about Lauren, and the clubs and summer festival that a special organisation, The Children’s Society, run for young carers like her.
- Ask the children what made them feel happy and sad about Lauren’s story.
- Explain that the Bible (2 Corinthians 1.3-7) says God gives us everything we need to be able to ‘console’ or help those who need it.
- Consider with the group what they think God might want us to pray, and to do, for young carers like Lauren.
Respond to the Word
Round the clock with me
Give each child a copy of the Round the clock with me colour activity sheet or black and white activity sheet, and a pen or pencil. If you have younger children who can’t read, you will need to talk them through what to draw in each section.
- Before the session, find something to represent a tree, e.g. an artificial Christmas tree or some sticks tied together. Make enough paper leaves for each child in the group to have one. Punch a hole in them and thread through a piece of string, so they can be hung on the tree like decorations.
- Explain to the children that at a summer festival, children like Lauren wrote things they wanted onto leaves on a ‘wish’ tree. They wished for things like, ‘better support for all young carers and their families’, ‘my parents to be well again’ and to ‘always have this much fun’.
- Invite the children to write something they would like to pray about for Lauren and young carers like her on to their leaf and then to hang it on to the prayer tree. Younger children could simply come up, put the leaf on the tree, and say the prayer out loud.
Design a festival for Mum
- Give the children pens and paper and ask them to imagine what a summer festival for mums would be like. Invite them to draw three or four activities that their mum might enjoy doing to relax.
- Talk to the children about what they have drawn and discuss any themes that come through.
- Is there anything they have drawn, that they could do for their mums?
- Encourage the group to pray for rest, comfort and energy for their mums, dads, guardians, carers, young carers like Lauren and The Children’s Society and other organisations that help young carers.
Use these questions to help older children to discuss some of the issues this session brings up.
- How much is too much for a child of Lauren’s age to be doing to help?
- Do we know any people at school or in the church who care for a friend or relative?
- Is there something we could do as a group for young carers we know or young carers like Lauren?
- What is the most adult responsibility you or your friends have ever been given?
- As Christians, how can we help those who are caring for others?
Live in faith
- Give each child a piece of paper divided into four areas labelled God, Mum, Miriam and Lauren.
- Ask the children to think about, or write down:
What they most want to thank God for after today’s session
What they most want to thank their Mum for this week
One thing they could do to be a bit more like Miriam in taking care of others this week
One thing they could pray for, or do to help, young carers like Lauren.
Jesus, thank you for mums,
for their hugs, their words, and their work
every day, around the clock.
Jesus, you had a mum so you understand how hard they work.
Watch over them and take care of them
every day, around the clock.
Please Jesus, bless all mums today
and all who act like them by taking such good care of others.
Give them rest when they’re tired, and help us
to show them the love we feel for them inside
every day around the clock.
These resources were first published in 2012.