“I just can’t handle my two-year old!”
“My teenager won’t talk to me.”
“I have tried all I know raising my child. What has gone wrong?”
“I wish my children were closer to me.”
If you have ever felt these emotions, you are not alone. God has called you to the most beautiful, rewarding and fulfilling job as the shaper of the little lives He has entrusted you with. First of all, you are doing a fantastic job, giving the best you can, and so be kind to yourself. Yes, parenting can be overwhelming at times, but with God’s help, you can bring them up to be all He has called them to.
Giving children your undivided attention while talking, is one of the most important gifts you will give them, an expression of your love that will make them feel understood and valued. We often learn more listening to our children, than when we are talking. Take time to listen to what is on their heart, to know what is important to them.
Ask good questions that draw them closer. Talking to them about their day, favorite things and friendships is a great way to engage in quality time that will increase closeness and help them open up about things on their heart.
You are your child’s most important encourager. Your admiration of your children’s qualities will draw you closer, encourage them to rise higher and succeed in life. They will look to you as their source of encouragement and validation, instead of the voices in the world outside. Even when friends fail, a child will never feel alone, since the one whose voice matters the most is always there to cheer.
Love is spelled t-i-m-e. The years spent with them dwindle way too soon, and moments spent with them are what create a forever memory, and last for eternity. A child may forget the games and playthings, but will always treasure the years spent with you, loving, laughing and just being together. Playing in the backyard, doing craft work together indoors, a picnic outdoors, a trip to the grocery store – all become special and the best memories because of you.
Allow them to make mistakes while they learn. Let them rest secure in the confidence of your unconditional love and acceptance of them. Discipline with kindness, in a way that makes them feel loved and cared for. Teach them how to do things, rather than reprimand when they don’t know how.
You are your child’s greatest hero. Unperceived, they are always looking to you, learning from everything you do. The words you say have the greatest impact in their lives, that will encourage, comfort, strengthen and keep them, long after they have grown.