Try this today:

  1. First, write down the names of the people you talked to yesterday and one thing you noticed about each person.
  2. Next, for every person you meet today, look that person in the eye, smile, and use that person’s name during the conversation.
  3. Finally, at the end of the day, write down the names of the people you talked to and one thing you noticed about each person.

Was it easier to remember the names from today? Probably. And even if you didn’t remember one thing about every person, you noticed more than you would have otherwise.

Think about how people reacted to you. Did you get more smiles?

All of the children in your care should feel welcome, unique, and loved. One simple way to do that is to make sure you look them in the eye and greet them by name.

Hearing our own name affects our brains differently than hearing other names. The brain calls out to us that someone is paying attention specifically to us! For most people, that feels good. They feel cared for.

Our heavenly Father knows this. He comforts us with these words: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1 ESV).

Your recognition speaks volumes! And guess who’s listening and watching? Every one of the other children in the room. The time you take shouts “You are valued!” to every child in the room—not just the one you’re acknowledging in the moment. When you call a child by name, every other child is already looking forward to the moment it will be his or her turn.

It’s probably only a few hours or days until you’re back in the room with the children in your care. Try it out: look each one in the eye, talk to each one sincerely, and call each one by name.