Obviously an endless supply of Sourpatch kids candy, DS games, new bikes and a new iPhone would be top on their list, but apparently our kids want a few other things from us too. I’ve been talking with Tommy and Brook on Star 105.7 for the last several weeks about survey results of what else our kids want from us. You can listen to my segments on my Star 105.7 page or read about them here:
Come into my bedroom at night, tuck me in. Come say goodnight. Another good idea is to talk about what they are thankful for from the day. Studies have proven that on common quality of happy people is: gratitude!
During dinner, talk about what you could do together on the weekend. Kids love to have something to look forward to! Unless your weekend plans are to clean out the garage, then be nice and skip this one.
Let them play outside, A LOT. Summer’s coming Momma, send them out that screen door!
Tell them stories about when you were little. Keep in mind ‘little’ let’s not talk about those college years!
This one might surprise you, but when kids were asked to look back and tell what they remembered and loved most about their moms…one of the things is that they were thankful that she disciplined them. The reason is that they said: it made them feel like she cared. “She took the time to teach me how to be a good person.” I should emphasize discipline- not just punishment. There’s a big difference, discipline is about disciple-ing not just grounding them with no guidance for their future.
Give them room to grow. The older they get, the more we need to step back so they can do things on their own. I think we really start to see this in junior high. They are going through crazy growth and hormonal changes and we are going to need to adjust how we parent them. Instead of doing it all for them, it’s time to start guiding them and being more hands off.
To continue the idea of giving them room to grow, one of the biggest ways we help our kids is by teaching them to make decisions. When they’re little, we help them recognize when they’ve made a good versus a poor choice. The older they get we coach them along the path of decision making and help them with three ideas:
As they get older we want our kids to ask themselves these three things when it comes to decision making:
Why do I want to do this? You want your children to understand what motivates their decisions. Is it peer pressure? Is it selfish?
What are my options? When they’re little we can help them by narrowing choices and as they grow we help them see the choices they have.
What are the consequences or benefits? Do they really want the outcome of this decision? Kids tend to make impulsive, immediate gratification decisions (Don’t we all?!) And often when we ask our older kids why they did something wrong, they’re response (if being honest) is that they just didn’t stop to think about the consequences.
Ok, so that was a lot to take in, I think you deserve a good cup of coffee and some dark chocolate!
Point your kids in the right direction— when they’re old they won’t be lost. Proverbs 22:6
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