As parents, it is sometimes good to ask ourselves, “What do our kids need from us?”
With all the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it is very hard to get bothered by such kind of question but when you really think about it, as parents, it is very important question and we need to give it all our attention.
From my 23-year long of parenting, I picked few things I deemed very important things that our kids need from us:
Our kids need us to be their parents
It sounds counterintuitive to say to parents, “Hello, you need to be a parent to your kids,” doesn’t it? But I don’t know if it is only me but these days, I often hear parents say, “My daughter is my best friend” or “My son is my best friend,” and when I turn to see the daughter or the son, for my nightmare, I see a 5-year old girl or a 12-year old boy. I mean, how can a 5-year old or a 15-year old girl can be a friend of a 32 or a 42-year old mother? It is a big burden and responsibility for that little girl to carry. Friend means, you are there for her and she will be there for you; otherwise, you cannot call that relationship as “friendship.”
You see, our kids have friends in school or in the neighborhood and they are okay with their friends. What they need is parents to look up to many life areas; parents who care for them; parents who protect, love, comfort them with the knowledge and understanding the kids cannot or don’t have. They need parents who have time for them at any time of the day and parents who put them first in their priority list next to their spouses. Yes, our kids need parents, adults, who run the house in order and peace. Above all, kids need parents who teach and show them practically how to know, love and fear God.
Our kids need us to teach them respect
As parents, we should know that the main source of our kids’ blessings is not our saving account or the big house we bought but the fact that we teach our kids how to honor and respect us, their parents, because the Bible says,
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.” Exodus 20:12 NASB
And it says,
“Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” Deuteronomy 5:16 NKJV
In the Hebrew version of the Bible, it says, it may be “shalom” with you. “Shalom” is a Hebrew word that means, “peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility,” and this word is used “idiomatically to mean both hello and goodbye.” (Wikipedia)
Wow! Did you see that?
So, who is the parent that does not want his/her children to live a long life with peace, prosperity, welfare and all that? I don’t think there is any. If so, we need to teach our kids what respect is all about; not theoretically but by modeling “respect” before them by the way we parents (their father and mother) respect and treat each other and respect and treat them. Yes, our kids need our respect too.
Teaching kids the golden words, “please” and “sorry,” at an early age is a beginning of “respect” lesson.
Our kids need us to show them that God is REAL!
If God for us is someone we sing to on Sundays or on holidays in churches, he will be the god our kids will come to know too, a person they sing on Sundays. That is all!
No, God is real for us 24/7, is He not? Yes, He is! And we show that by the way we do life and use our words. You see, if God is real in our lives to the point of knowing His presence in our home 24/7, our kids will grow knowing not only the existence of God but also the nearness of God. Otherwise when they grow and become adults, our kids will leave our home as well as our “fake” god to whom we give only lip services on Sundays and holidays.
Our kids need us to love one another
Let me tell you something: When your little ones see you loving your spouse, their other parent, they think that you love them to death and they find it very easy to understand the love of God to them. When children see their parents love each other, care for one another, they feel save. Their mind and psych will be health and creative.
And hear this: When we their parents tell them that we love them, they trust us and our love for them. They also trust the love of God. Saying to a child “I love you” and rejecting their parent is like untying the cart from the horse and expecting the cart to take us where we want to go. Foolishness!
Do you love your kids? First learn to love their other parent and your kids will be able to accept and understand your love to them.
Our kids need us to be proud of them
If we have more than one kid, we know for sure by now that all our kids are different and they are gifted in many different ways. And it is our responsibility to find our kids’ talents and gifts and to show them how proud we are of them/their gifts and talents. “I am proud of you” is a beautiful song in a child’s little ears.
Our kids need us to listen to them
I, Missy, blew this many times. Instead of listening to my kids, I filled their little ears, minds and hearts with my boring and endless lectures. Well, I learned early on and corrected my mistakes (but, my now adult kids still think that there was still more room for improvement, 🤷🏽♀️ oh well!).
The Bible says, “This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;” James 1:19 NASB
Yes, we always need to strive to listen to our kids. Even to a one-year old kid has something to tell us and we need to listen to him/her. As we listen to them, we learn a lot about them. You see, our kids are different from us. We cannot assume that we know them. We have to listen to them so we know them and know how to relate with them better. And when we know them, we know how to influence them in good and godly way. Otherwise, our kids feel frustrated with us and lose any interest to be with us and listen to us. (I will continue this some other time) ///