Three Ways to Approach Your Child When All You Want to Do Is Run!
"What happened to his eye?” the letter from a student’s parent was asking me. Well luckily, (not that I wouldn’t want to be there, but at least for this question, I was not to blame) I was absent that day. But I answered her letter politely, promptly, and personally.
I realized that this is how I need to respond to my children whether they are seeking one more "peanut butter kiss" after too many tuck-in good nights (Yes, I forgot to have them brush their teeth) or asking why they can’t get a phone yet like the rest of their friends.
“Be kind…”—Ephesians 4:32a.
Our toddlers will ask, “But why… ” over and over. Our school age kids will say, “Look Mom” at everything from a blanket fort to a really big booger. Our teens will question the answers while deep down hoping you stay true to who they know you to be.
And for each child, each question, each affirmation needed, even though there might be an eye roll or two, we need to be polite.
“Be kind and compassionate…”—Ephesians 4:31a,b.
“I’ll do it in a minute,” was my classic saying to my parents while growing up. In fact, my parents gave me pajamas with that saying on them. And unfortunately, that bad habit (Let’s just call it what it is: sin) of not following through right away comes out in my parenting. A child is wanting to talk to me and I will say, “Just a minute. Let me finish this.” Or we will be at a play date and I will make my kids stop playing and then proceed to talk for another twenty minutes to the hostess (I think I am feeling the nodding heads). Well, even though I do not believe we should make our children think they are the center of the universe and cater to their every whims, we do need to give them the same respect, compassion, and prompt attention when needed. So often for children, if there is a time that they are willing to talk and share their feelings, we better listen!
“Be kind and compassionate, forgiving each other as I forgave you”—Ephesians 4:31.
In the same way that I crafted a personal message for my individual students, I must do the same thing for my children. Each child is made unique and should be communicated to with individual ways in order to really communicate with him or her. Jesus saved us at the Cross, but He speaks to us in a variety of ways: through His Word, through the Church, through prayer, through fellow believers, and the Holy Spirit. We need to be that creative when trying to reach these sweet blessings from God. And in His mighty power, He has not only created them so differently, but He will help us to communicate with them with creative personal ways.
Written by Angie Ryg