Monday, September 22, 2014

Six Things I Want My Young Kids To Know

Parenting is constantly on my mind. I can't imagine it not being on my mind when I have three little ones filling my house with stories, laughter, and even tears. Parenting is at least a daily conversation with my husband as we discuss how things are going with our children and how we'd either like to keep doing things the same way or how we need to make changes as needed. These are just a few of the things we want our young kids to know.
  1. I want them to know that we love them. Seems obvious, right? But by understanding that we love them, we lay the foundation for everything else. Without that relationship, it would be virtually impossible to be an effective parent.
  2. I want them to know that mama and daddy are a team. We make decisions together. One of us is not the "good guy" and the other one of us is not the "bad guy." They aren't going to "get away" with something with one parent, but not the other. We back each other up. We defend each other. And we both expect the best from them.
  3. I want them to know that we want to listen to them and talk to them. In one of my favorite parenting books, Your Mama Don't Dance, the authors make the point that if you want your kids to talk to you when they are teenagers, you've got to talk to them when they are toddlers. What a profound thought! Communication is key to any relationship, especially the parent-child relationship. I want my kids to know if they want to talk (and they do!), we're here to listen to them.
  4. I want them to know that we expect their respect. Ella and Troy probably couldn't define the word "respect" for you, but I expect them to know what respect looks like. Respect looks like obedience to their parents. Respect looks like not interrupting when adults are talking unless there is something really important going on. Respect looks like kindness to their siblings (and others). Respect looks like not leaving people out of the group. Respect looks like using "yes, ma'am," "no, sir," "please," "excuse me," and "thank you." Respect looks like listening to others. Respect looks like accepting "no" as "no" and not going on and on about something.
  5. I want them to know that we expect their obedience. Something I read or heard somewhere really struck me when it comes to the idea of obedience. Part of the reason I want to my kids to be obedient is so that they can learn to be obedient to God. I do a great disservice to my children if I teach them that I don't expect them to obey.
  6. I want them to know that God is not only first in our lives, He is the reason we live. That being a Christian isn't a part-time gig or simply another thing on our schedule. In order for them to know that, we must live it by the words we speak, the things we do, the way we act, and the things that we choose to be a part of. 20140905-IMG_3565.jpg20140910-IMG_3757.jpg