Project HELP: PTSD—How to Use with Preschoolers

As WMU focuses on Project HELP: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), all ages in the church are encouraged to be involved in this critical issue. You may be wondering, How can I focus on this critical issue with preschoolers?

Following are recommendations about using Project HELP: PTSD with preschoolers.

Hints for Preschool Teachers

Project HELP: PTSD Ministering to Military Families

You may be near a military base with many military personnel, have one military family in your church, or have a family with a member in the National Guard or Reserves. As a preschool leader in the church, this is an opportunity for you to serve these families in a special way. As they entrust their preschooler to you while at church, this may open doors for you to reach out to military families. There are also opportunities to minister to military families outside the church.

Each military family has its own strengths and needs. Use these ideas as possibilities for ministry to the needs of military families. Realize that these are ideas for ministry to any military family, not just to those with a family member who has PTSD. Following are ways to give care and support to all military families.

Reflections from WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting

Native Praise

Blessed. That is how I feel after attending the WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting last week. There are many moments that I want to remember such as Wanda Lee’s last address at a WMU Annual Meeting as our executive director. Moments such as the special prayertime for missionaries, many of whom had taken the early retirement package from the International Mission Board. Seeing the Native Praise choir in their colorful dresses and hearing them sing and pray in their Native American languages. Hearing a child sing in her clear voice, “Here I Am, Lord.” Such special moments in which I was blessed to experience.

Even more than those moments, I want to remember the people who touched my life. There are too many to list, so here are a few snapshots of moments with several people.

Seeing and Meeting Needs in Your Community

praying girls

Mickey Hennerman said that one of the most difficult aspects of his work in Bangladesh is seeing the extreme conditions that many people live in every day. Mr. and Mrs. Hennerman’s ministry has been the hands and feet of Christ in a world stricken by poverty and hunger. Through their learning center, young girls have received academic lessons, as well as learning job skills. Above all else, the young girls have heard the good news of Jesus Christ’s love.

As Mission Friends leaders, how can we learn about needs and encourage our churches to be the hands and feet of Christ to children in need in our church and community?

Foster a relationship with a local preschool. Are there preschoolers there who need basic supplies or even clothing? Talk to small groups in your church to enlist their help in providing for these needs.

Contact your local Baptist association. Inquire about needs in your community. Ask if your association already has missions and ministries in place through which you could volunteer.

Products for Mission Friends, Teachers, and Parents

These are just a few of our helpful books, resources and a Mission Friends T-Shirt. Many other books and resources are available as well as finger puppets and other items perfect for your preschool classroom or home! Order using the links to the WMU online store or call 1-800-968-7301.

Mission Friends Guide for Leaders


I listened as a colleague in the early childhood field passionately talked about the impact we make as we work with preschoolers. I attended a meeting of persons within our community who work in various agencies that serve preschoolers. This friend gave the example of one child her agency had helped, and how their influence on the preschooler opened doors to serve the whole family as they were able to help the mother locate literacy classes to learn to read. With tears in her eyes, my friend stated that when you work with a preschooler, the impact you make is significant.

Follow Him

Follow Him

Do you remember playing the game “follow the leader”? Perhaps you still play the game with your  Mission Friends. To play the game, you have to imitate every move that the leader makes. This means that in order to stay in the game, you have to keep your eyes on the leader and observe her actions very carefully.

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34, NIV1).

Jesus said that in order to be his disciples, we are to follow Him. To follow Him, we must keep our eyes on Him and carefully observe His actions and His attitudes and His words. While we cannot physically see Jesus with our eyes, the Bible gives us a beautiful record of His life and His instructions to us.

PTSD Awareness Month

Focus on the military

With the Memorial Day holiday, I am aware that this is a difficult day for those who have lost a loved one in the service of our country. For many people the Memorial Day holiday kicks off the summer as they celebrate with barbeque and corn-on-the-cob. But for those who have lost a loved one, it is a bittersweet day to remember and honor their loved one. Let us remember those who have given their lives, and also honor their families and the veterans who have served our country, too.

As June begins this week, our nation also observes Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month. PTSD is the critical issue that is WMU’s focus for Project HELPsm. During this week as we think of those who have served in the military of our country, there are several things you can do to become more aware of this issue.

Discipline Issues: Transition Times

Clapping in transition

A preschooler’s voice sings “Clean up, clean up, everybody clean up.” I look around to see that he is working with another preschooler to stack blocks in the corner. I smile and think, “Wow! It is so great to have preschoolers who are so cooperative!” Then out of the corner of my eye, I see the blanket and foam doll-bed mattress fly through the air on the other side of the room. Instead of cleaning up, two preschoolers are using this transition time to practice their shot put skills. Sigh.

Transition times between activities are sometimes the most difficult when it comes to discipline issues. Preschoolers are finished with one activity and do not yet have the structure of the next activity on the schedule. Many times this is when discipline issues arise. This could be when moving from activity time to Group Time, waiting to wash hands, or when lining up.

Here are some ideas to help preschoolers through transition times.

Developing Leadership Skills

Train, practice, reflect

Merriam-Webster defines skill as “the ability to do something that comes from training, experience, or practice.” If you wanted to learn to run a 5K race, bake a cake, or create a website, you would probably follow these common steps for learning new skills: train, practice, reflect.


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