As I sat in the hairdresser's chair at the salon she whisked the scissors around my head snipping here and there in quick flourishing movements. My hair stylist was speaking animatedly about her children and how wonderfully they were doing these days. It was clear that she was an extremely proud mother and as she spoke she admitted their life hadn't always held a rosy outlook. Now her children were nearly grown and her life had significantly changed over the years from one of upset, frustration, anger disappointment and worry to success, calm, peace.
She spoke to me of how when her two children were little her husband wouldn't seek employment which left her having to be the main provider for their family. Consequently this led her to having to make a decision for her and her children.... to stay and take the chance his behavior would eventually change for the better or file for divorce. Ultimately she left with the children, filed for divorce and he has not been involved nor interested in the children's lives since. That was over ten years ago. Imagine her fears at the beginning of her journey and how she had to make such a difficult decision for her family. This woman took a leap of faith trusting that God would provide for her and her children not only financially but look out for them in every way He could. Standing tall, strong and smiling she was a sweet example of God's love.
Often when we are looking in at a family from the outside the issues that need to be addressed and what needs to be changed can often leap out at us and make us want to yell exasperatedly what those changes should be. All too often though, sadly one of the adults in the home either does not see the changes that need to be made... living in denial or does see them and yet refuses to make the necessary changes or minimizes the issues. All of which by doing that compounds the issues with frustration on the part of those who know what needs to be implemented for the betterment of the family.
What are some ways to help your family become as healthy and happy as possible?
There are things as parents we can do to build on what we already have to ensure an even more successful family.
Each parent needs to be there for their children. By being present not just physically but also checked in emotionally it shows your children that first, you care about them. But secondly and if not just as important, it shows your children that you are connected. By spending quality time with them through your actions your care for them is affirmed. Quality time doesn't have to involve a grand or expensive gesture. Sometimes the little things are what children like best... blowing bubbles together, a game of tag or catch or just cuddling in a fort and reading a book.
Use Your Speech....
Word's of communication are vital with establishing a strong feeling of trust between you and your children. Expressing your love for them often and keeping line of communication open is essential to your children believing they can trust you. One of the most important things as a parent we can tell our kids other than "I love you" is... "You can always come to me and tell me anything. I will listen." Doing this continually throughout their childhood ensures a better chance of them then during the often tumultuous teenage years they will be more likely to come to you when they are having a problem... whether it be a friendship, peer pressure, sex, grades, drugs, etc. By letting your children know they can always come to you about anything and backing it up by not yelling or losing your cool with whatever they confide to you... it will go a long way in building that trust we need with our children from an early age all the way into adulthood.
Instilling morals is essential for a child's growth and praying for our child that they are guided with God's word, praying with them, reading bible stories together... all of these things help our children spiritually and morally. Setting a good example for our children is vital as our actions always mean significantly more than our speeches of what to do or not do. Not speeding, not being brash with the waiter, using good judgment in general will always relay to our children what is acceptable and what is not. We are the gatekeepers for our children and we have to be the ones who guard against anything they see that is not appropriate for their eyes or hearts which includes video games, television, movies, music, websites, etc.
God, Then Your Spouse, Then Your Children...
Putting your spouse first right after God is essential. When we do this we then ensure a solid foundation for our children. When we stay connected to our spouse, spend plenty of quality time together each day, take vacations together and not put our careers ahead of our relationship but instead put God first... then our marriage can thrive. When our marriage thrives our children thankfully see two adults who are deeply devoted to one another, who love each other selflessly, who communicate without fault or wounding words, who work as equal partners.... two people who are fiercely devoted to the Lord and place Him first shows their children that to be led in God's love is the greatest walk they can ever take.
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2013
“Portrait Of Mother With Her Baby” by David Castillo Dominici via FreeDigitalPhotos.net