Jumping to Conclusions

UncategorizedJared Kennedy1 Comment

Our intuition is a marvelous thing.  It often tells us that there is something out of the ordinary--which warns us that there may be danger or peaks our compassion for someone who just doesn't seem to be right.  But intuition can be dangerous.  That sense that we get--when combined with a lack of experience or a quickness to judge--can lead us to jump to conclusions.   And false assumptions lead to actions that can hurt rather than help, that harm rather than protect.  Here is a great article by Amy Fenton Lee about misconceptions that volunteers in children's ministry can have about children who are having difficulty adjusting to a new environment.  The article compares the behaviors typical of children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder to the responses typical of children from a bad parenting environment.  It illustrates why jumping to conclusions is so dangerous.  I hope to utilize this article in our children's ministry training in the future--to help orient our natural intuition away from judging and toward helping/caring for new families.  When a behavior dilemma occurs in our children's ministry, conversations between our team and parents are warranted and wise, but, as Lee states, "the dialogue can start much differently (and with a greater chance of generating a positive outcome) when the church considers the possibility that an undisclosed or undiscovered disability may be driving problematic behavior."