Majoring in our Children, Part 3

Sep 25, 2012

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are you works; my soul knows it very well.” ~Psalms 139:14

Quick Sip

Besides just reading about child rearing and talking to others to become a student of my children, I’ve realized I need to really work to focus on Ethan and Liam more and get to know them as people. Truthfully, this is a hard task for me. Though I’m out going, I’m very much a goal oriented person. So God constantly has to remind me about the people he’s placed around me.

Just a few weeks ago, I did it again. I was at the splash ground, and instead of making conversation with the woman across from me with no one to talk to, I was focused on waiting for my friend and making sure there were enough seats for all of us. I do the same thing with my kids. I get so focused on the goal of making it through the day, that I forget the little ones I’m pulling behind me in my wake. Bump, bump, bump…

To make steps in the right direction, I want to work at stopping and looking my boys in the eyes more often. For me this means sometimes kneeling to their level when they are talking to me, so I can see them eye-to-eye and show them I’m really listening.

It also means that I try to schedule time into my day just for them. I know that sounds bad, but I’m such a do-er that without intentional time set aside, even my children may get lost in my to-do list. During my time with them, we may read books, go to the park, go swimming, play with their toys… What’s important is that my attention is focused on them and not on what’s next or what’s on my iPhone.

I also want to work at really noticing their interests and trying to support them as they pursue them, even when it’s not something I initially am inclined to care about. For example, last year Ethan started to LOVE cars. I’ve never really cared about them before, but quickly learned boys toys are awesome! So we try to make time a few times a week to pull out all his cool tracks after Liam is in bed and play cars.

Along with noticing their interests and playing with them is learning about their little personalities, especially those parts I just don’t get. For example, Ethan is an introvert. Right now that translates to he takes a little longer to think through stuff than I do. (All the introverts in my life are like this, and I’ve learned there’s little I can do to hurry them up.) This means I need lots of patience as he learns to go to the bathroom (and do all the individual steps) by himself.

Liam on the other hand is a mess. I mean the boy LOVES messes! If there is a clean way to do something and a messy way to do it, Liam will choose the very messiest of all. You say all 1 year olds are like this? Ethan wasn’t. That boy is as type A as they come when it comes to messes and always has been, and that personality trait I get.

I’m sure your kids are the same. Even from very young, you found there are parts of them you really understand, and then there are some parts that leave you scratching your head or that flat out drive you crazy! Either way, we need to become students of our kids and learn to appreciate both sides of their personalities. We need to learn about them and learn how to parent each of those parts, so they can grow up into adults who love God and are a blessing to others.

These four things: looking them in the eyes, spending time with them, learning about their interests, and learning to appreciate their whole personality may seem like a lot. However, something as simple as sitting down to dinner with your children asking them about their day or spending time playing in the back yard will take in all four of these ideas and allow you to become a better student of your children. I challenge you to set aside time at least twice this week to begin getting to know your children better.

~God, please give me insight into these precious children you have placed in front of me. Please open my eyes to their unique gifts, interests, and personalities. Help me to learn to really see them and connect with who they are where they are. I want to learn to major in my children and do well by them. In Jesus Name, Amen.~

Full Cup

Psalms 139:13-16

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