I often need reminded of the important role I have in my kids’ lives. It’s so easy to get distracted with all the interesting things available, so building powerful relationships with my children is something I need to be reminded of regularly. Here are some things I learned from the 2nd Generation Christians I interviewed for my upcoming book, Lionproof: Keeping the Children from the Claws of the Devil, coming out in October.
“When I was growing up and we did something against the rules,” Rachel told me. “Sometimes privileges were taken away. More often than not, though, we just got a good talkin’ to. Mom or Dad would say, ‘I’m disappointed in you, for these reasons . . .’ and then go on to tell me what I did wrong and why it broke their heart.
“To me, those talks were worse than a whoopin’. It was a heart-wrenching sick-to-my stomach feeling when I found out I disappointed my parents. I guess when I hurt my mom or dad, it would hurt me.
“I think I got to the age where I realized that they wanted the best for me, and they loved me more than life itself. It was just heartbreaking to think that I would hurt someone who loved me so much. For me, the effect was that I would do almost anything rather than disappoint Mom and Dad.”
Thomas Edison, the great inventor, gave the credit for his success to his mother who deeply influenced him. “My mother was the making of me,” Edison explained. “She was so true, so sure of me; and I felt I had something to live for, someone I must not disappoint.”[i]
Edison’s mother influenced him in temporal things; how much better is the eternal influence of a godly set of parents?
Herein is your primary offensive weapon: have your child’s heart, and he or she will never want to disappoint you.
Here are a few thoughts on how to have your child’s heart:
- Keep Home Happy: Focus on the Yes’s rather than the No’s (98% said their childhood was happy)
- Beware of busyness – According to a recent UK study, the average working parent spends only nineteen minutes a day with his or her children.[ii]
- Kids need TIME, not things. Don’t try to load your children down with THINGS – it only clutters up their lives.
- Pull together as a family– DO things together. Keep independent hobbies down to a minimum or eliminate them altogether.
- Sing together, work together, play together! Do yard work, clean the house (or other people’s houses!)
- Make memories together! Do something different, and it will be a vivid memory for your young people.
- Be approachable! Tell the young folks that you want them to come and talk to you, and then when they do, don’t react negatively.
Josh is a man of few words. His perception is as precise as his sniper bullets in the Special Forces. “I remember getting to a point where I was too big to spank,” he remarked. “That was about the time when I started to realize I didn’t want to disappoint my father. I was around thirteen at the time, and I just still did what Mom and Dad wanted me to do, because I loved them and didn’t want to hurt them.”
Leaning forward, Josh continued, “My dad wasn’t just a father…he was a friend.”
Thank you, Josh. I needed to hear that.
Question: What are some other ways to build good relationships with our children? What works for you?
- I have many people who follow along on my Facebook page for daily encouragements, reminders, and exciting assignments! It’s a great group of folks – come join us!
- The date for release of my new book, Lionproof: Keeping Your Children from the Claws of the Devil, has been changed from September to October. That will, Lord willing, allow enough time for us to implement some deals I have planned for you! In this book, there will be:
- Not just information telling parents why kids are going astray, but proven parenting practices that have worked for generations that are successful in raising godly children.
- Dozens of interviews from those 2nd generation Christians who KNOW what their parents did RIGHT.
- Charts and graphs detailing the results of the interviews
- Assignments to help the reader implement these principles in their own parenting.
- And much, much more!
Also, several folks have requested review copies of the book, but I’m having trouble connecting with you (I think it’s a case of technological retardation 😉 So if you have a blog and would like a review copy of the book, let me know, even if you already contacted me before. Email me at: lisaraub at rocket mail dot com, and I’ll give you the details. I only ask that when you’re done reading the book, you post about it on your blog!
Linking up with: Monday: Alabaster Jar, The Better Mom, and Moms the Word, and Happy Wives Club Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum
[i]No author cited, September 2007, Samuel and Nancy Elliot Edison, http://www.nps.gov/edis/historyculture/samuel-and-nancy-elliott-edison.htm, Accessed April 2013
[ii]Barrow, Becky. July 2006, 19 Minutes – How Long Working Parents Give Their Children, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-396609/19-minutes–long-working-parents-children.html, Accessed April 2013