We just talked about Expectations in our “Core Christian Parenting Fundamentals Series” last post here.
I believe whatever expectations we hold our children to, we should also hold ourselves to.
Expectations are things such language usage, dressing modestly, talking back, being sassy, having a rotten attitude, oh the list could go on forever.
My point is we should be:
Treating them as we would want to be treated
If we wouldn’t want to be corrected in front of our friends, we need to show them the same respect, understanding that children get embarrassed just as we do. I am sharing a sin I have struggled with as a parent. Sometimes I focus so much on dealing with the sin and making sure they understand the seriousness, that I fail to be gentle. This is one of my many sins as a parent. One that can provoke my children towards anger deep inside their souls.
This is a sin that from the outside may look like a little thing, but really if you look at what it is doing is long lasting and dangerous to my relationships with my children. If I do not show them respect and gentleness as I correct and train, in front of others I am not teaching them what I preach if I am preaching respect.
Here are some thoughts on ways to be more respectful~
- Purpose to set your kids up for success ~for example not going to the grocery store during nap time… or not taking snacks on an outing… or for some children who need to “know” what is going on in the day… making a detailed schedule of the day so they know what to expect
- When you need to discipline… don’t shy away from doing it because you are in public… go the extra distance to discipline even if that means taking your child out to the car… or another room. But do it in gentleness and not in front of their friends… show them respect by not pointing out their sin in front of their friends
- Ask your children how they are “feeling” – be considerate about their feelings. When we discipline our children, we should care about their hearts too! Pray with them, don’t punish them with emotional punishment! (We will talk on this later)
We need to look at the heart of our child, and talk their language. Get down to their level and engage them. Be intentional with our conversations and treat them respectfully by giving them your undivided attention. So they now and feel like you enjoy them and spending time with them.
If you want your child to want to spend time with you when they are older, they need to know you want to spend time with them when they are younger. Value them as a person! Just as they are- not how you hope them to be.