So many kids today are just starving for attention. With the busyness of life, they have less attention from their parents and more time face-planted in front of the newest technology their family can afford. So what is one supposed to do? We have to work to make money to support them. We have to spend time keeping up with our homes, yards and cars that we have been blessed with. We go to church and volunteer when there is a need there. What is one to do?
This is a no judgment zone! It is simply a place where I hope truth is shared in loved. Here are a few suggestions in no particular order:
- Be who you want them to be! When they look at you, help them to see a model of the very behaviors you would like them to exhibit. Many years ago there was a saying “Do as I say and not as I do!” Some may still use it today as it has tumbled down from generation to generation. I think it is one of the worst sayings we can use or believe in. It should be more like, “follow me as I follow Jesus”.
- Give them ownership! Not every decision needs to be made alone by mom and dad. Sometimes it helps allowing kids to participate in decision making. It is especially helpful if you are building some family rules and consequences. Having their “buy in” makes accountability even easier.
- Be present! When you are with them, be with them. Take a break from the phone, TV or computer and just be with them. Hold a conversation. Give them opportunity to express anything they need to or want to. Let them tell you what is going on in their world. Play a game together. Go for a walk. Be together.
- Give and speak love! Tell your children how much you love them all the time. They need the verbal as much as they need seeing it in action. Many times we love our kids the way we receive love best. But, their love language may be something totally different. Figure out what speaks love to them and make an effort to love them in those ways. Give hugs freely!
- Discipline correctly! That simply means out of love and not anger and frustration. It can be so easy after a long hard day to just blast our kids with words that carry the weight of our irritation on them. Be consistent. When you say the consequence will happen if they do a certain something, make sure you follow through. Be true to your word.
- Be attentive! It is so important we pay attention to our kids. Look them in the eyes when you talk to them. When you see they are struggling or unhappy, take action. Even if they try and blow you off, keep trying. They need to see that you care.
- Love God in front of them! Live your life honestly and passionately. Don’t be different in church than you are in your home. Hypocrisy cannot be hidden from them and it will impact them greatly.
There are many more things I could suggest. Many of you probably have even better ones than I came up with. Please feel free to share so we can learn together! Remember that His mercies are new every morning so if you mess up one day…it is a clean slate the next!
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22–23
Thank you Lord that Your mercies are new every morning! As parents we are in need of that in our lives. We don’t always know what to do as parents and often we find ourselves making mistakes. Thank you that your steadfast love for us never ceases! We need You. We cannot parent well without You! Give us wisdom and strength! Amen