We are working on creating a masterpiece for God that our family and others will admire. You can do this, parent! We should keep in mind that children will generally not rise above their parent’s values. There are exceptions to this rule, but it is rare. When we decide what values we would like our children to have, we can look in the mirror to determine…are we what we want them to be? If we hope for them to be holy and pure then we must be the same. Believe me, kids can see right through us. They can see beyond our face.
As the old saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words.”
Parent, what do you talk about in front of them? What do you watch in front of them? What do you have in your home that could affect them in a negative way? Where do you take them for fun? What do they see while you are in God’s house?
Sometimes we just need to
and analyze our actions to be sure we are creating something
beautiful in our children.
Question: Are you teaching your child to be loving? I don’t know of one parent that would say that they do not love their child. As a parent, we need to not only love our children, but it is so very important to teach them to love. My husband and I deal with many troubled adults and most always their emotional state of mind started as a child. Not only do they feel unloved, but they never learned HOW to love.
Dear Parent…please make it a point to teach your children how to love while you are expressing your love to them.
First and foremost – discover their love language and speak it to them often – yes, often!! The five love languages are: Physical Touch, Gifts, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service and Quality Time. The book I recommend below will help you to determine what love language your child needs to feel loved. It is really quite easy to discover or maybe you already know. Let me say, though, that as much as showing love to your kids, you will want to also TEACH them how to express love. This develops an unselfish and caring person and yes…part of creating a masterpiece!
Teach them to express love to others by speaking that person’s love language. This will make them lovable as a child, a sibling, a friend and a spouse one day in the future.
Here are a few tips on teaching your kids loving attributes:
- A child that expresses gratitude or learns to compliment others is a person others will enjoy being around. At a small age, it’s good to start teaching them to give Words of Affirmation. Even a toddler can thank Mom for a yummy dinner before leaving the table or tell Dad what a great job he did when he fixed the car. If you have your children do this often, it will soon become a habit. My husband is constantly getting love notes from our grand kids telling him how cool he is and how much fun he is (his love language is words of affirmation). By the way, grandparents are good test subjects when it comes to teaching kids. 🙂
- My kids and grand kids regularly offer to carry my stuff, help me cook, or help me with an organizing project because they know my love language is Acts of Service. Too many kids have “Gimme, gimme, gimme” and “What can you do for me?” attitudes instead of looking for ways to serve others. Encourage your child to do things for others…rake leaves for an elderly neighbor, do a sibling’s chore for them just because, shovel snow off a walkway for a single mom…endless opportunities.
- Teach them to hug and show affection. As we all know, Physical Touch is a powerful way to express love. It’s good to teach our kids that when they see someone dear to them, they can share love by giving a hug. When our kids were young and we owned a furniture store, we would drop by to see their daddy. They would run to his office and first and foremost give him a big hug that made his day! Our grand kids were also taught the joy of affection. As soon as they get to the church, they go to Grampy’s office and give him a hug. When we see our grand kids that live out of town, the first thing up is to get that hug that means a great deal to us. It is so good to instill in them the importance of touch and showing affection. If it does not come natural to them, then it’s a parent’s responsibility to help them learn this love language.
- Let’s teach children to be givers! Too many kids today are all about receiving and giving is not even a part of their thinking. To them, it’s all about ME! Giving Gifts is a love language not spoken often enough with children. We can show our kids the joy of giving and not just receiving. If you are looking for ways for kids to give, check out “GIVE 365 – Giving that grows on you” (365give.ca/daily-giving-ideas/). A mother started coming up with ways for her kids to give in some special way every day – 365 days of each year. The ideas are great and after you add your own personal ideas, you will have a blast teaching your children to give. Giving makes you happy and this mom’s thinking is (and it is true) that if you want to be happy every day, then give every day. This will give your family so much purpose. Let’s do what we can to create a fulfilling childhood for our kids by teaching them to give.
- We want to teach our children the importance of Quality Time with our loved ones. The reward of teaching a child to speak someone’s love language is that it shows them how to grow up thinking about others and not just themselves. It would be so good to embed in your kid’s minds the importance of turning off phones and electronics so they can concentrate on communicating with who they are with. A child speaking to an adult while playing on an electronic device is simply rude (and this is way too common). It is good to teach your child or teen to drop their world for a few minutes and share some quality time together. Get them accustomed to asking others about their day or to get their opinion on something – or even talk about an issue bothering them. For most kids this must be taught because it’s not natural.
When we are with our kids or grand kids we look forward to spending time with each one individually. This is good for us AND them. You may have four kids, but just think how wonderful it is when each kid feels like they are the only one in the world at the moment. We can teach our kids to do the same towards adults.
“Direct your children unto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” Proverbs 22:6 NLT
To Do: Have your kids earn some money by doing something for you (even toddlers can do this). Then take them shopping and have them spend that money on someone else. It will be a good lesson and also fun to shop with them while teaching them the joy of giving to others. Our 10 year granddaughter, Ashtyn, earned a couple hundred dollars last fall and she chose to use every penny to buy Christmas gifts for the family when she could have had a grand shopping spree for herself. She has learned the joy of giving and it lights up her world along with those she gives to.
Suggested Family Time: Let’s go old fashion. Drag out a board game that is age appropriate for your children. Turn off the phones and enjoy some quality time with your kids. Make memories that they will one day look back on while it brings a smile to their face now.
Time to Smile: A small boy is sent to bed by his father. Five minutes later…..”Daaaad….” His father answers, “Yes, son?” The boy says, “I’m thirsty. Can you bring me a drink of water?” The father answers, “No, you had your chance. Lights out.” Five minutes later…”Da-aaaad…..” The father answers, “YES?” The boy said, “I’m THIRSTY. Can I have a drink of water??” The father said, “I told you NO. It’s time for bed. If you ask again, I’ll have to spank you.” Five minutes later……”Daaaa-aaaad…..” The father replied, “WHAT??” The child responded, “When you come in to spank me, can you bring me a drink of water?”
Recommended Reading: The Five Love Languages for Children, The Five Love Languages of Teens (Gary Chapman)
Previous Recap: The Joy of Parenting. God depends on parents to pray a covering over His little ones that He entrusted to us. I suggested praying protection over your children while they sleep. (Read The Joy of Parenting – Part 1 for more.)