As the mom of a large family, I know both the joys and the trials being a parent brings. Here are seven parenting tips to help you enjoy your child.
Parenting Tips to Enjoy Your Child
Through the years, I have had children in all stages of life. Our oldest is now 33 yrs old and the youngest is 10 years old.
Now, I watch our grandchildren and the stages of development repeat themselves.
I can honestly say that they are a joy in each and every stage we have been through. Here are my suggestions for you, to get the most out of your relationship with your children.
1. Children are a Gift
The Bible says in Psalm 127:3 “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.”
A gift is something good and,so are children. Being responsible to love, train and guide them develops a deep relationship with them that follows into adulthood.
As we teach our children that their life is valued by God, we build their self-worth. This sense of self-worth helps them withstand peer pressure (see Avoiding Teen Rebellion) which further establishes mutual respect.
Having a mutual respect encourages a deeper and more meaningful relationship between parent and child – no matter the age!
2. Teach Obedience
Teaching young children obedience is for their safety and encourages your enjoyment of them.
If you see a car coming and your child is about to cross the street – you tell them to stop. They need to stop immediately. No questions, no “in a minute” no back talk. Their life could depend on it!
As a young mom, I remember seeing a distraught mother in a store whose child was running all around, touching everything, not obeying and yelling at her.
I thought then that I want to enjoy my children and I want others to also. Therefore, they must obey.
3. Identify Strengths
As you spend time with your child and really get to know them, you will begin to see strengths in their character and areas in which they excel.
Praise these areas of strength and use them, in helping to guide your children into areas in which their strengths will be beneficial to them.
Identifying strengths and praising them will not only help develop their sense of self-worth but also help you see their value as individuals.
As you identify the strengths of your child, you will also probably begin to see weaknesses. These areas of weakness will give you areas in which to help your child grow and develop.
4. Slow Down
It is easy to get caught up in activities – all of which can be “good” things. These can include meetings, practices, play-dates and even church activities.
When you slow down and begin spending unhurried time together, you are able to really get to know your child.
Spending time together in this way is more relaxed and less stressful so, your child’s personality will begin to shine as the wonderful creation he/she is.
Kids do say the darnedest things and not just on TV. When we really listen to our children, we hear just how funny, tenderhearted, wise, sill, insightful….they are.
Listening even at early ages provides a foundation of trust and respect that will carry through into teen and adult years.
By listening you are telling your child that they are valuable and worth the time it takes to stop what you are doing and hear them.
6. Be Consistent and Adjust Expectations
Children like adults, want to know what is expected of them.
Our expectations should be age appropriate but, don’t underestimate your child.
Children tend to meet our expectations. See Are the Terrible Twos Really Terrible?
One of my goals has been to train my children to be adults, not to remain a child.
So, be clear about your rules and boundaries and be consistent with the way you enforce them.
7. Create Family Time
Spending time together as a family, builds relationships. Having special times with loved ones creates love and trust that we can rely on during the rocky times.
Examples of family time include:
- Reading together before bed. We read a chapter from the Bible together at night and in the morning after breakfast.
- Praying together
- Attending church together
- Game night
- Movie night
- Friday night pizza
- Establishing family traditions. These can be centered around holidays, birthdays or other special day.
Enjoying Your Children Does Not Just Happen
As much as we might like to think that it just happens, enjoying children requires investing in them.
We, as parents, must be intentional about the time we spend together, consistent with boundaries and slow down, taking the time to listen ad get to know them as individuals.
What do you enjoy most about your children?