Life is busy! It is easy to get caught up in the craziness of the day. We can get so tied up in checking off tasks on our to do lists and getting dinner on the table at exactly 6:00pm that we can forget what matters most. Children grow up in a blink of an eye, one day they are in preschool and the next day you are moving them into their college dorm room 500 miles away. Yes, friend life passes us by quickly and that is why it is important to give your kids what they want most and need most…you! Your children need you. They need to know that you are physically, mentally, and emotionally available.
I often write about creating to-do lists, cleaning, chores, and other issues dealing with making managing the home easier. But, today I want to give you another piece of advice and that is our sons and daughters need our attention and they come before washing the dishes or shelf organizing. It is important our children know without a doubt they can come to us any time of the day or night.
There appears to be a growing distance between parents and their kids. Some parents are too afraid to be parents and just want to be their kid’s friend, which is a dangerous road to go down. Or parents rule with a militant authority without listening to their children, only barking out rules causing rebellion. Parents have to be in authority over their children, as God said it should be, but they need to feel comfortable coming to us with their emotions, conflicts, and issues. Here are some tips on creating an open line of communication with your children.
Don’t check out. We're all busy, but when we check out of a relationship we close a door that isn't always quick to reopen. We must make an effort to stay engaged in our child’s life. This simply doesn’t mean dropping them off at ballet and baking cookies for the bake sale at school. Sure, those are ways we participate in their life, but to engage we have to listen, ask questions, and be aware of their feelings. Don’t just ask, “How was your day?” and continue cooking. Ask further questions, have a conversation and really listen to what they're telling you.
Take a Time Out With Your Kids
No, this is not a punishment! Spend time individually with your children. If you have more than one child, they can feel like they have to fight for your attention. Make each of them feel special by devoting individual time with mom. Take a walk, go to the coffee shop, garden together, or just sit on the porch and talk. If you have teenagers they may proclaim it is lame, but secretly they'll love getting one on one time with you.
The most important items on your to do list should be God first and family second, anything else can wait. If you notice your child is in a slump address the issue, if you have to take off of work do it! If you have to let cleaning the house go for a day do it. There are times when it is okay to drop everything and attend to what matters most. Children will also get a sense of security when they realize you'll put them before life’s daily chores.
Don’t Just Talk at Them
Communication is key to creating successful family bonds. If you are constantly talking at your kids and not listening to them they will stop talking. When you're having family discussions establish some ground rules such as, no interrupting, no yelling, and allowing everyone the opportunity to speak. Kids want to feel that they’re opinions are valued and respected.
In a world where we're in constant spiritual warfare we have a tough job. Satan is always trying to enter our family’s life from the inside and the outside. Keep the lines of communication open with your children don’t allow the hectic day to interfere with the most important job you have…being mom.