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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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10 tips for making visits with children

It takes time to build relationships

1. Start small. Begin by choosing one person from your congregation to visit, preferably one who lives close to you. Ask your pastor for suggestions.

2. Prepare your child. Begin talking to your child about the upcoming visit. Have your child create pictures and send them to the person you will visit—this will prepare the resident for your visit too. Tell your child about the resident and the facility. Think together about topics todiscuss.

Doughnuts and delight are in abundance
Doughnuts and delight are in abundance when Rochelle Melander (left) and her daughter, Elly, come to visit Tracy Walls.
3. Call ahead. Talk to the care facility or caretaker about good times for visiting. Ask if there are any restrictions. Most care facilities have visiting hours. Also, they don’t want you to visit if you have a cold or other virus.

4. Bring a gift. A small gift that your child can present to the resident provides a reason for the two to interact. Residents most appreciate gifts created by your child—an origami animal, a painted rock or a decorated cross. Mylar balloons also make a good gift (most care facilities ban latex balloons because of allergies). We often bring food treats—but ask the care facility first about what the resident is allowed to eat. You might also ask the resident’s family for gift ideas.


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August issue

AUGUST issue:

Advice for evangelism

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