WHO HAS YOUR CHILD’S HEART?
Is it their peers, the media, or YOU? There is a battle raging for the hearts of our children, and we need to recognize that.
It is important that you plan to purposefully and passionately pursue their hearts because the one who has their hearts is the one who holds a place of major influence in their lives.
How are your relationships with your kids? Do you tend to focus more on what they do wrong, getting their school work done, or doing their chores?
While it is easy to focus on those things, it is important to intentionally take time to spend quality time with your children. They need to know that you like them and enjoy spending time with them.
The more time you spend with them in purposeful activities and communication, the closer they will feel emotionally, which makes them feel it is safe to open up and share their thoughts with your, and open up their heart to you.
Here are some ideas for building relationships this summer to win their hearts:
1. Have a weekly family night.
This is something that our kids always looked forward to, and really enjoyed. We planned simple activities such as playing games, baking together, a trip to the ice cream store, etc.
Planning a whole evening just for spending time doing fun things with them, tells your kids they are important to you and that you like being with them.
2. Treat them with respect and honor.
It is easy to get into a harsh drill sergeant mode with our children, and bark out orders at them.
How much better it is to treat them with the respect we would like to receive.
It is simple to add “please” to a request, and say “thank you” when they help. This makes them feel more appreciated and loved.
3. Allow time to make bedtime special.
Plan for extra time for chatting at bedtime. Often that is when kids will open up about their day and share their hearts with you.
After chatting, pray with them. Praying together brings a unity and closeness unlike anything else can do.
4. Listen to them.
Often we are distracted and don’t really pay attention to what our children are saying. Stop what you are doing when they want to talk, and look at them. That tells them that what they have to say is important to us.
Show an interest in the things that they are excited about, and ask them questions about that topic. This will lead to long conversations that will make it easier for them to share their deeper thoughts with you.
4. Eat dinner together every day.
Dinner time should be the highlight of the day for your family. We often would sit around the table after eating and talk and laugh with our kids for awhile. Those times are some of their favorite memories.
5. Tell them what you like about them.
It is so easy to get in the habit of seeing the negative traits or behavior in our children, and correcting them frequently about all those things.
While we do need to correct wrong behavior and work on building Godly character in our children, it is vital that we balance that with lots of encouraging, affirming words.
When was the last time you told your child something you like about him, or something he did that pleased you?
Strive to affirm your kids on a daily basis, and watch them blossom and grow.
6. Unplug when the kids are around.
It is way to easy to get caught up on Pinterest or social media, and not be aware of what our kids are saying or doing. Electronics can be such a BIG distraction!
Have set times to check your social media or browse Pinterest, but make sure it’s not when you are with your kids.
Turn off notification sounds so you won’t be tempted to grab your phone and look every time an email comes in, or someone comments on a post or picture you shared. This will help you to be more present with your kids, and shows them that they are important to you.
7. Connect physically every day.
Hug your kids, tickle them, rub their back, tousle their hair, etc. Kids never get too old for this. Teens need to be hugged, even though they may act resistant to it at times.
Always hug your kids before they leave, when they come home, and at bedtime!
Download a list of 25 activities to do with your children to create strong heart ties, and 15 things to as a parent to keep the relationship strong.