I am SO excited to share today’s super relevant words of wisdom by middle grade author Meghan E. White. Meghan is a Christ-follower, homeschooling mom, and a sweet friend. In her novel, Joey Flynn’s Extraordinary Tale, an eleven-year-old boy moves to a new state and encounters all sorts of exciting and unexpected adventures as he learns to trust God. My son absolutely loved this book (sequel, Meghan??), and I’m sure your kids will too. Show her some love by checking it out here and following here online (links at the end). Okay, now on to Meghan’s encouragement for Christian parents, or really anyone with kids in their lives…
Don’t touch that!
Keep your hands to yourself.
Clean your room.
Do your homework
Do your chores.
Brush your teeth.
Go to bed.
Time to go.
Say you’re sorry.
Say thank you.
Don’t do this.
Don’t do that.
From the time our children are born until they leave our homes, we give them so many directions, orders, and instructions. It’s all part of the parenting gig. These tiny humans are our responsibility. We want functioning, contributing members of society. There’s a lot of pressure on moms and dads.
Christian parents want our children to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. So we take them to church, and teach them the word, and how to pray, and how to walk out following Jesus. More pressure. Thankfully we are not doing any of this alone. Christians have the Holy Spirit living inside, guiding us, and reminding us of all truth.
In the middle of all the teaching, guiding, and disciplining, it’s imperative to listen to our kids. We are so busy filling them up, which is essential, that we can lose sight of who they are. Our children are individuals. Made in the image of God. They may physically look like us, but they are God’s children first and foremost. It’s really hard to keep that in check.
When my boys were babies I felt so protective of them. God designed that instinct in parents. That’s a good thing. The negative side of that protective feeling is thinking our kids are ours alone. Our children belong to God, and we need to daily hand them back over to Him. I know, I know, not easy to do. When we hand our precious babies and big kids back over to God it frees us up. The load gets lighter. God loves our children more than we do.
Now that we’ve handed our kids over to God, we can be better listeners. Every single person wants to be heard. Our kids are no exception.
Listening to our kids is important.
- It builds their confidence.
This world would love nothing more than to take our kids, chew them up, and spit them out. Our children’s confidence comes from who they are in Christ. The more they know that what they say matters, the more confident they will be to speak up against evil.
- It builds our relationship with them.
Our kids need to know that we are a safe place for them. That we love them no matter what they say or do. If we refuse to listen, or shut them out, they will not open up to us.
- It builds their relationship with God.
Kids learn how to relate to God as they learn how to relate to us. If they know they can safely come to us with absolutely anything, they will be more likely to come to the perfect Father, God, with anything as well.
How to Listen to our kids.
- Create a relaxed environment.
Hang out with your kids. If they are little, get on the floor and play with them. If they are teenagers, listen along to the music they like. You have to spend time in their world with the things they enjoy, even if you don’t like the same things.
- Ask lots of questions.
This is your child’s chance to tell you some things, instead of you telling them. Let them be the expert on whatever the subject is, favorite toy, band, sport, etc. Ask them about what they are really excited about. Listen.
- Remain calm if they say something shocking.
If you want your kids to feel safe talking to you then you can’t freak out on whatever they tell you. Listen first. If it’s something really controversial like from a teenager, just stay calm before you respond. Be honest. Pray before you speak.
We can’t force our kids to share with us. But we can create a home and family environment where they feel safe sharing.
Father God is safe. He lets us come freely to Him with anything, and everything. We need to show that same unconditional love to our children.
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
James 1:19, NIV
Love you all,
Thank you for reading my post!
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