In these times when parents are stretched with one job, two jobs, three jobs,
and a myriad of other responsibilities, take the time to invest in the lives of
your kids. The effect could just be multi-generational, even eternal.
THIS IS JUST A PARTIAL LIST OF WAYS TO TELL YOUR KIDS YOU LOVE THEM:
Actually say it
Tossle their hair
Give them a hug
Wake them up with a kiss instead of hollering at them.
Make their favorite meal tonight.
Ask them for their opinion on something, and then let them give it.
Show up for their sports activities, school plays, dance recitals.
Pick them up ON TIME from school.
Get off the cell phone when you are with them. It's just rude.
When you are with them, really be with them. Don't mentally be someplace else.
Talk to them while not reading a book or newspaper.
Write them a note or card and mail it.
Buy them a small surprise "just because".
Text them a short and simple "text hug" like: thinking of you today.
Or praying for you about your exams. Or: You're awesome!
Invite them out for a one-on-one date for a movie or shopping, or a walk in the park.
Play basketball with them and don't keep score (it is not about who won)
Look through photo albums and video/DVD's of family times together and re-tell the stories. "Remember when"
Praise their character to your friends.
Believe in them.
Value their friends. Invite them over and get to know them.
Wear a T-shirt that says " I am ________'s Mom" or "Proud father of _______" (yes, fill in the blank)
Pray for them daily.
Pray for them weekly (no, not weakly!) Remember, God loves them more than you do.
Love them enough to just listen.
Ban the words "I told you so" and "When will you ever learn?" from your vocabulary.
Love them enough to say "no".
Don't always try to fix things, but brainstorm with them about ways they can find
solutions. Then, give their ideas a chance.
Look for ways to encourage them, support them, usher them to adulthood.
Teach them the value of money.
Teach them hospitality and graciousness towards others.
Listen to their music with them and ask them (without being sarcastic) to explain it to you, or to tell you about the band, the genre, the vocalist, the instrumentation.
Find other ways to correct them besides harping on them. (take a parenting class if you have to).
Forgive them their trespasses.
And the list goes onyour turn! Be on the lookout for clues as to what makes your child tick. Set aside your List of Disappointments, and grab a pencil, because this child is fearfully and wonderfully made!
Laraine Hemrick Horney is a freelance writer in Southern California, former home-schooling mom of one son and one daughter. Her passion is to encourage others in parenting and life.