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Are children difficult to love at times?
Absolutely. Children defy us and throw fits.
They argue. They prefer their immediate want versus obeying Mommy. They’re not well disciplined.
3 Tips to Hold Onto the Heart of Your Child
So how do you hold onto the heart of your child in the midst of imperfection?
1. Accept your child and love them for who they are
This first step is hard and critical. It means we have to give up on the dream of having a perfect little angel for a child.
It’s difficult, I know.
I’ve dreamt of having perfectly dressed children with immaculate manners who never give me a moment of grief. Let’s just say that my children are as imperfect as their mother.
This is a two-sided task. On the one hand, it means accepting the imperfections in your child, but on the other hand, it also means actively looking for what your child does right.
It easy to see all the mistakes. But we often focus on the mistakes to the detriment of the many things our children do right.
2. Listen to your child
This is difficult as children don’t communicate well. Don’t expect your child to communicate their feelings and thoughts to you.
Children don’t have the full range of vocabulary and experience to explain what they’re feeling and why. They just know they’re hurt, angry, and sad. It’s up to you, as their parent, to figure out the deep reason.
This means you simply have to sit back, listen while they rant, and not take what they say personally. Look for the reason behind the emotion.
It’s hard to sit and listen to their rant. Did I just say hard? Painfully and emotionally exhausting is more like it. But you have to listen, evaluate, and contemplate your child before responding.
3. Take time to be with your child and show you care
This doesn’t mean you have to be buddy-buddy and your child’s best friend. You don’t need to shower your child with presents and say I love you constantly. Showing you care doesn’t mean spoiling your child rotten.
Showing you care is simply a matter of being there for your child.
You can pop popcorn and watch a movie, bake cookies, or enjoy a cup of tea together.
My 4th child and I did the Thanksgiving shopping together. It was the best shopping experience of my life. He enthusiastically grabbed items off the shelf while chattering about how wonderful our meal was going to be.
For once, the crowded store didn’t bother me since the company was so pleasant.
Have you looked at your whole child today, both their imperfections and gifts? Taken time to actively listen to them, and spent time doing something fun together?
Have you connected with your child today?