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• Play With Your Kids – Let them experience your joy in being with them. Give them full and direct eye contact, smiles and warm touches. Let this time be about them. Shut off the phone and let the answering machine take any calls. Demonstrate that there is nothing more important than them in those moments. If you are stuck on how to play with them, get out some old fashioned board games. Let your child be the center of your world for a portion of each day. It takes less time than we think to deposit into their “love tanks.”
• Listen to Your Kids – Stop what you are doing and give your child your full attention when he speaks with you. Let your body language convey that you are fully attentive to them. Don’t try to fix their problems. Ask questions and be supportive. Show that you believe they are capable of finding their own solutions. If we want our kids to open up, we need to do all we can to ensure they walk away from their interactions with us feeling built up, rather than micro-managed or criticized.
• Maintain the Love Connection with Your Child At All Times – People grow and develop the most within the context of loving, supportive relationships. God designed you to be that supportive person in your children’s lives. Your love, your acceptance, and your belief in your children will have the greatest influence in their lives. But as you know, there are the countless times when their attitudes or choices may drive you toward volcano-sized eruptions. When that occurs, walk away until you can discuss the situation calmly. Show them through your example that anger does not replace love. Anger will occur situationally, but love remains a constant. A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Prov. 15:1) It’s one thing to love your child; it’s another for the child to know he’s loved no matter what mistakes he makes.
• Be Quick to Repent – Know that you’re going to blow it over and over. We all do. If you find that you’ve reacted harshly or responded in anger to your children, go to them and apologize. Take responsibility for your actions—don’t blame your response on their behavior—and ask their forgiveness. They need to see repentance modeled to them.
more to follow . . .