We’ve been talking about positive ways to win our children’s hearts. Today I’m going to talk about the negative side of it, and share 3 mistakes that can turn your child’s heart from you
WINNING THE HEART OF YOUR CHILDREN – Part 3
1. We strive to LOOK right, but fail to emphasize the heart issues that are important.
If you look at the way you discipline, often you may discover that you spend much of your time on changing their behavior, or doing the right thing. The problem with this is that their heart isn’t touched, and God is concerned with the heart.
From the book Parenting is Heart Work:
The greatest parenting tip we can share wtih you is this: maintain a strong connection to your heavenly father. He offers spiritual guidance and direction to help you work through your own heart issues so you can become effective with your children. Ask God to show you the real issues your son or daughter is facing, then PRAY.”
2. We strive to keep our kids from the wrong, while failing to befriend them ourselves.
In order to develop a relationship with our children, we MUST spend time with them! It’s not enough to protect them from the wrong influences, people, or activities. We have to fill that void, by spending time with them. We need to make that a PRIORITY!
Unfortunately, it’s not something we can always do on our own time table either. I think it’s important to allow time in your schedule daily just to spend time with your kids, but I have found that often they need my attention, or a listening ear at times when I’m busy with something else. Nothing is more important though than being there when they want to talk.
They open up on their schedule, not just when you are ready to listen, and say “Hey, what’s on your heart that you want to talk about? I’ve got 15 minutes.”
If you are available to listen, or just be there for them when they’re going through a difficult time, as they share their emotions with you it will create a bond. They then are more willing to hear you out, because they know you care.
The key is availability! ( It is also very helpful to just include them in your cooking, cleaning, errands, etc.)
3. We strive for compliance, and forget the relationship that will bring compliance.
In our efforts to raise “good children” and require obedience, it’s easy to become harsh as we strive to be firm. That harshness and/or anger, is something that will quickly destroy the relationship you have with your children.
Harshness and anger damage relationships! It’s much, much better to appeal to our children on the basis of love, rather than using fear of our anger to get them to do what they should.
In the booklet Solving the Crisis in Christian Parenting, it talks about this very thing, and says it SO well:
What we didn’t realize was that there is a great difference between intimidating children into subjection and winning their hearts into submission. Intimidating children into subjection merely gains outward compliance. Having their hearts means gaining greater opportunity to influence their values.”
It’s so important to also remember that anger doesn’t address the issue of the heart, and confuses the learning process. The child is focusing more on avoiding your anger, than changing their heart.
Dr. S.M. Davis counsels many Christian parents who are struggling with their children, and has made the observation that when there is rebellion in a young person, there is almost always anger in one or both of the parents. The anger causes the parent to lose the child’s heart, and over time they rebel.
Ask God to make you aware if you are making these mistakes with your kids, and continue to purposefully work to win the hearts of your children!