In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and a new year, it is easy to get caught up in the stress and anxiety of creating those perfect memories for your family. Kids are overtired, everyone is home together more often, extended family sometimes comes to stay, schedules are different, and the stress of it all sometimes has mom exhausted!
If there’s one key idea I’ve learned during my parenting journey, it’s that we should not react in anger to situations that come up with our children. Too often we do react in anger, and we hurt our children with our words. The best advice I can give is to s-l-o-w- down and take some time to really listen to your children. God’s word clearly says to be quick to hear and slow to speak (James 1:19). So make sure you take the time to truly hear what your children are saying. This must be done intentionally. That’s right – you must put the iPhone down, disconnect from that tablet, look up from your stack of post-holiday bills and really focus on your child, face-to-face.
They need this from you; they long for this from you. Just the simple act of physically putting down what you are working on to focus on your child speaks volumes into their lives. It tells your children that you are available for them, and that they are your highest priority.
Begin to discern the times when your child is most comfortable sharing with you. Is it right after school, or in the car? Is it at dinnertime after they’ve refreshed from a busy day? Is it at midnight, when the house is still? Once you’ve discerned their natural timing, it will be easier to anticipate the times when your full attention will need to be brought to your children.
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