While providing food, clothing and housing for our children is important, it’s not enough. There are intangible things our children need that are every bit as important as the material things we provide.
Here are 7 things our children need:
1. Our acceptance and affirmation.
Let them know you love them for who they are, not because of what they do. If we don’t accept them for who they are, and they feel they can never win our approval, they will give up trying, and look for acceptance in other places. (which often leads to losing their hearts.)
We need to make sure that they KNOW beyond a doubt that they are accepted.
It’s so easy to focus on areas where we still see need of improvement, and miss the good and right things they are doing. Look for opportunities to affirm them and let them know you are pleased with them.
Tell them what you like about them, what you love about them, what they did that you thought was great. etc.
2. Our attention
We need to talk to them, and listen attentively when they talk to us. Giving them that attention is a way of affirming them, and says “What you have to say to me is important.”
3. Our touch
Every day our kids should get lots of hugs, wrestling, tickles, etc.
4. Our gentleness
We need to be understanding of their feelings, and be tender with them. Be compassionate and gentle when they are hurting or struggling.
5. Our firmness
We need to be firm about the rules, and consistent with the consequences. (Don’t mistake firmness for harshness.)
6. Our teaching and training
It’s wrong to get upset at them for doing something wrong when we have filed to teach them how they should do it. We should intentionally teach train them in right behavior and good character.
7. Our time
Be available for your kids when they need you, but also purposefully spend time with them. They need that! That tells them that they matter to you, and you enjoy being with them.
Some of the best opportunities we have to give our kids special time is at meal times, travel time, and bedtime.
What are you doing to keep your children’s hearts, and build a good relationship with them?
Grab this free list of 25 activities you can do with your kids to make strong heart ties, and 15 things you can do to keep their hearts.