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Relationships Trump Rules :: Parenting Tip Number Seventeen

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If we are going to have any kind of influence over our children, having a relationship with them is vital. This is true at any age.

We need to invest in them.
We need to spend time with them.
We need to listen to them.
We need have them work along side of us.
We need to read God’s Word with them.
We need to pray with them, and for them.
We need to delight in them.

This means that our hobbies, friendships, Facebook time, 😉 house cleaning, and even our ministries, all take a back seat to our relationship with our children. Only God and our husband come before them.

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This does not mean that we need to be their “buddy” and let them get away with sin. (Friendship with our children should definitely come later, as they reach adulthood.)
We do our children a huge disservice if we do not help them to overcome their sins, and even childish immaturity.

However, the vast majority of our time with them should be spent interacting with them in the ways I mentioned in the first paragraph.

On a side note, yet still very related; have you ever been having a bad day and then someone smiles at you, with genuine joy to see you, and your whole day is so much brighter? We should make a habit of smiling at our children on a regular basis. They should see us smiling a lot more than they should see us frowning. 😀

Over the years I have noticed that bitter, angry parents usually have bitter, angry children, while thankful, joyful parents usually have thankful, joyful children.

If we go around with a chip on our shoulder, always upset with someone and always complaining about something, we can expect that our children will act the same way.

When we have a thankful, joyful, forgiving, gentle spirit, we are much more pleasant to live with, and our children will find it much easier to develop this kind of spirit, too. And what is even more important, when we have this kind attitude, we honor God.

Someone made a FB challenge awhile back to go 24 hours without complaining, or saying anything negative. I don’t consider myself to be much of a complainer, so I thought it would be a fairly easy challenge. It was much harder than I thought it would be, but a really good exercise to help me realize that I complain more often than I thought.

Your attitude and countenance will affect how much time your children want to spend with you. No one wants to be around someone who’s grumpy and negative all the time. In contrast, one who is full of Christ’s love and joy is a blessing to be around!




Kim

Kim Stilwell has been married to her best friend, Jeff, since 1987. They have five children, Joshua (1992) who has been married to Alissa since 2013, Joseph (1995), Josiah (1997), Jessica (1998) and Jennifer (2001), as well as eight children in Heaven, all of whom died before birth. Kim was a missionary kid who grew up in Mexico, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Peru. She met Jeff, also an MK, at a missionary school in Peru. Immediately following their wedding, they attended college in Iowa and have lived there ever since. Kim is a full time stay at home, homeschooling mom. In her spare time, she likes to write, and has a column in the NICHE newsletter.

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