Is God in Your Home?
When your child sees you, do they see Jesus?
When they hear you talk, do they hear Jesus?
Does your child have any self-esteem? Does your child see themselves as a child of God? Do they see you as a child of God? Does your child see your self-esteem?
If we are raising our children to be the best adults they can someday be, then we have to start at the beginning. We must realize that everything we do as parents will result in that outcome.
Yikes, that sounds so daunting. If we think about it in the grand scope we might just run and put our heads in the sand. But that won’t do our kids any good either. So…take it one event, one day at a time.
Let’s start with one small thing. Raising your child is more about RELATIONSHIP than the number of activities they are in! (Sound familiar…our relationship with Jesus is central to our lives as Christians!)
How connected can you be with your child if all you are doing is shuffling them from one activity to another? Short chats in the car are very important, but they don’t constitute connectivity.
Now don’t get all uptight and stop reading this. No one is saying to stop your child’s softball, soccer or gymnastics. As parent’s, we all feel pressure to have our children in the best and, sometimes, the most activities. We feel pressure to provide the best of everything, and most certainly to provide more than our parents did (even if that was lots).
But remember, every day is a new day. Every day is a new chance to be the best parent you can be. Decide how much of your kids ‘busy’ schedule they have to do. Is there anything they are doing that is just filler? A sport they really don’t care that much for? A club they really don’t care that much for. Is there an activity your child is doing that is so extremely inconvenient for your family it causes problems? Evaluate and then reevaluate. Pray and listen to God for His answers.
So, you ask, how do you know how much time should be spent at home with your child. That is up to you and your family to decide through prayer and communication. Is a family dinner, where you all sit together with no electronics, 4 nights a week enough? Do you want dinner with the family every night? Do you want all your kids to attend your other kids’ events? (This really requires planning!) Do you want to make sure you can attend each of your children’s events? Do you want enough time for homework as your child moves up in school? Do you want your child to do chores and be a productive member of your family? Do you want a family movie night, or game night? Is Sunday morning church as a family important?
These are all valid questions you can ask yourself, pray and work out with your family.
Please realize, your child may baulk big time. If you have allowed a busy schedule, un-busying it may cause friction at first. You must stand strong. Try to focus on how you are actually doing your child a favor and improving their self-esteem in the long run. Do not crater to your child’s demands.
How is this going to raise your child’s self-esteem? By doing the one thing that will make this transition easier, by building your relationship. Spend some of this extra time at home with your child. Not in front of the tele or playing video games with them. I mean really with them. Read a book to them, play a card game or go for a hike. Bake bread, cookies or just dinner together. Start planning special things to do on certain nights, like Friday night pizza night. Begin to study the Bible with your child and engage them in how Jesus fits into every part of their life. Your child will begin to look forward to these things and will soon forget the ‘busy’ they left behind.
In doing all of this, some amazing things just might happen. The activities your child remains in may become more treasured. Your child may have time for homework and family activities. Your child may become closer to Christ. Your children may begin to spend time together (if you have more than one) and, best of all, you just may begin to really know your child.
You will be building your child’s self-worth, their self-esteem by loving on them, spending time with them and showing them Jesus in the process!
Check back for part 2 on raising your child’s Self-Esteem.
God bless you and your family!