As a parent, do you tend to give your children lots of things, yet fail to give your kids what they really NEED?
We enjoy showing our love to our children by giving them gifts, and special treats. The thing is we must remember the danger of getting caught up in materialism and giving our kids lots of stuff, and thinking we have given them all they need.
I’m not saying it’s wrong to get things for your kids. I’m saying that some of the most important things our kids REALLY do need, can’t be bought.
So What Do Your kids REALLY need?
1. Your unconditional love
They need to know beyond a doubt that you will always love them, and nothing they can do will ever change that. Think of the security this gives your kids!
You should tell them often that you will ALWAYS love them. Maybe your actions show that, but it’s also something they should HEAR from you.
2. Your acceptance.
Do your kids feel that you accept them for who they are, or do they feel they need to change and measure up for you to accept them? It’s important that they feel accepted and loved for who they are.
Each of our kids are different, and if we aren’t careful we can make it seem that we accept one child more than the other. We need to let them know what we like about them specifically, and how glad we are God made them just the way they are.
3. Your affirmation and your praise.
The best way to encourage positive behavior in our kids is by giving lots of sincere praise. Our kids need to know that we not only love them, but we also LIKE them. Giving lots of affirmation confirms to them that they are special to you, and loved.
Watch for opportunities daily to praise them when you see them showing good character, or trying to better in an area they’ve been struggling with, etc. It’s easy to see and comment on the wrong behavior, but we need to to balance that with lots of praise for the things they are doing right.
4. Boundaries and rules that are enforced.
Even though kids may complain about the rules, if you have a good relationship with them and have their heart, they will trust you knowing those rules are for their good. Kids feel more secure and loved, when there are rules and boundaries in their home.
5. Opportunities to fail. (that’s how they learn!)
This is so important! It’s easy to hover and try to protect them, but when we do that they miss the chance to learn by making mistakes. Some of the best lessons our kids will learn and remember are the ones the learn from trying and failing.
Encourage them when they fail, and let them know it’s a chance to learn and is a good thing. Don’t give them the idea that failure is bad. It’s only bad if we don’t learn from it and try again.
Let your kids try new things, and don’t protect them from making mistakes.
6. Training and discipline.
Bringing our kids up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord is a Scriptural command. It is our job to train and discipline them with love, while pointing them to God’s Word and what He says is right and wrong.
As Christian parents, the most important thing we can do is build faith in our kids. This comes as we teach them God’s Word regularly, and talk about it through out the day, relating it to all our activities and studies. This should be the foundation that all of our teaching and training rests on.
Our training and discipline should also promote the development of godly character. If a child is taught nothing else but character alone, he will be better prepared for life than those who are taught pure academics but no character.
7. Our time.
Even though our kids like getting “stuff” and get excited when we buy them things, what makes them happier is when we give them the gift of our time. We need to be available for our kids when they need us, but we should also purposefully give them our time daily.
Spend time reading to them, playing with them, listening to them, working together, and laughing together. Time together makes heart ties, and is the way to not only win your child’s heart, but to also keep it.
What things would you add to this list?