Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Happy Home, parts 3 & 4

I've gotten a bit behind on this topic, as well (as the Blogging Through the Alphabet). In a way, that's okay, because next week is "review and revisit chapters 1-4." Remember, you can watch these episodes online.

The Results of Affection

Remember last time, we were looking into what is going on in our children's worlds. Their habits, their friendships, etc.

If you've discovered some things you don't like, how are you going to react? Too often we parents immediately attack the issues, which is not the best thing to do, is it?
Approaching our children with tenderness will produce more desirable results. Kindness will win children to us; criticism will drive them away. Encouragement draws them in; unnecessarily pointing out their faults pushes them away. The Connected Family, page 25.
Be kind
Kindness may be defined as gentleness, helpfulness, thoughtfulness, and affection toward others. Kindness can also include expressions of empathy, compassion, and tenderness.

Be tenderhearted
Tenderness and sensitivity go together.  We ought to be tender with our children when they need correction, and sensitive to how they may be feeling. Our tenderness with touch their hearts and motivate them positively far more effectively than a thousand lectures ever could.

Be forgiving
God tells us, in His Word, to forgive one another, even as He has forgiven us. If we have been harsh with our children, if we haven't handled a situation correctly, if we've lost our temper with our children, or if we've neglected a need we should have fulfilled, we ought to ask their forgiveness. Remember: parents who don't see the need of asking forgiveness of their children while expecting children to confess their own wrongs are setting up a double standard in their children's eyes!

Step Forward Assignments
  1. Determine today to be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving toward your children.
  2. Specifically ask your children to forgive you for any past or present wrongs you have committed.
  3. Continue to refrain from jumping in with both feet to address last time's observations. Warning: this may be more difficult than you think!
Journal Questions and Answers
  1. Who stands out in your mind as either kind, tenderhearted, or forgiving? What have they said or done that makes you view them in this light?
  2. When were you kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving today? What effect did it have on your children?
  3. Did any old habits of unkindness surface today? If so, were you quick to recognize them? Did you ask forgiveness?
"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Ephesian 4:32.

Discovering Their Dreams

We all enjoy other people taking an interest in us, don't we? It is even more meaningful when it is someone we love or respect who expresses that interest in us, isn't it?

All children have an inexpressible longing for their parents to show an interest in them. They may not admit it, but they do.  When we express an interest in our children through becoming involved with out time and money, it touches them in much deeper way than merely listening to them talk about their activities and interests.

Take time to find out what their interests are, then invest yourself by spending time doing those activities with them. For example, your sons like to build things with Legos. Take time to sit down with them, and build something with Legos along side them. Or if your daughter likes to go birding, go along with her. Make sure, though, you are actively involved with her; don't go spending half the time texting your friends, or something like that!

Step Forward Assignments
  1. In a natural way, search out the interests and dreams of your children. Make sure your questioning does not come across as an interrogation! Spread this activity out over the whole day.
  2. Talk with your spouse and make some initial plans to engage in your children's wholesome interests and dreams. (Later you will have opportunities to put these plans into action.)
  3. Continue tuning in to your children's world by being observant. Their rooms could also hold clues to their interests or dreams.
  4. Continue to pray specifically for each of your children.
Journal Questions and Answers
  1. What interests do your children have? List each child and his or her interests.
  2. What dreams do your children have? List each child and his or her dreams. (For example, an interest could be astronomy; the corresponding dream would be to have his or her own telescope.)
  3. What plans do you have to participate in your child's interests and dreams? 
"And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers..." Malachi 4:6.

I hope you will return next week, for the next step of this journey. I pray the Lord blesses you in your efforts in learning more about your children.

Until next week.

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