Before I leave this topic, I thought I would tell you some things you can do and ways you can find enjoyment with your child even though you will be in the corrective process with him or her for quite some time. It is really important to let the child know that you want to be with him, that you actually enjoy his company! It would not be good for either of you to have the only attention he receives from you be correction and reproof.
Make time for fun and enjoyment. Allow the child to select something he or she really enjoys and make it happen. While you are engaged in the activity is not the time for general teaching on his sin issues, it is time for enjoying each other’s company. Of course, you can’t allow rank sin to go unchecked but be careful not to overreact to childish behavior. I’m sure you have heard of having “quality time” with your children, but I think that was invented by people who felt guilty for not spending time with their kids! Your children (even the difficult ones) must have time where you interact with them for no other reason than because you love them and are interested in them as people.
Hug and kiss your little one- a lot. I see parents who threaten and do withhold physical affection from their child because they are not meeting behavior standards. This is cruel. Your child equates your touch with love and if you refuse to hug and kiss them or even touch them because they have not behaved to your satisfaction you are giving them a very bad message.
Focus on their strengths. They are good at something, so find out what it is and spend time doing it with them and encouraging them to do it on their own. It is not about rewards and ribbons of achievement, although those are nice perks, it is all about you developing a relationship with them.
There will be times you will need to do things you simply don’t want to do in developing a relationship and enjoying your child. I am not much of a game player, but there have been times I have sat on the floor and played “the dinosaur game” or matching the cards with my child even though I would have rather been doing anything else! Remember, it is not about you, it is about bringing glory to God and in this incidence developing relationship with your child will bring Him glory.
If your child is easily wound up or distracted, outside activities will be a great way to run off some of that energy and enjoy being together. What child does not enjoy a playground with swings and a slide, or a patch of grass to kick or throw the ball around on a sunny afternoon? Even a simple walk or jog with your child will mean the world to him or her. As you spend time together you will find openings to talk and bond over every-day things that are not related to behavior or problems the child has.
Each day will have its challenges of course, and there is no better way to face those challenges than to spend time in the Word of God. It is better if you can do this with your child! What I mean by this is to get down to your child’s level of understanding and minister to his soul. While I would not suggest this as an ongoing practice, there are Bibles that are done in cartoon format that a young child might be more interested in reading and looking through with you. As the child grows and matures in his or her understanding of the Bible you can move into a difference translation that is easy to read and understand. Please…do not expect your child to gravitate toward a version of the Bible such as the King James. Whatever your thoughts on this translation, few reasonable people would expect a young child or even an adolescent to understand the archaic language.
“I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11 (NASB)
You will begin to see changes in your child as you spend time with him or her. It is a given that everyone want to know they are loved and important, and when a child has a difficult personality or difficult behaviors they need to know that the most important people in their lives- their parents- are in their corner and on their side in life.
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