It’s usually around Thanksgiving that family members start requesting every child sends them a Christmas list. There is absolutely nothing wrong with gift giving and enjoying things you’ve been given. However, too many parents will spend hundreds of dollars on gifts for their children that will quickly lose their value.
What I’m about to share with you won’t cost you a dime, but I promise it will revolutionize your relationship with your kids. The earlier you implement these things the greater the impact. I’ve learned most of these from my 17, 15, 13, and almost 7 year old boys. No, they’ve not told me these things directly, but in many ways they have made these truths very clear. Here are some gifts every child needs from their parents.
#1 TIME. Nothing can replace time spent with your kids. We all know they grow up too fast and with each age comes opportunity. I really believe that if my kids had to choose between buying something they’ve always wanted and their “daddy being involved in their lives” they would choose the latter. Your kids need to know they are priceless, a priority, and worth your time. If you don’t spend quality time with them today don’t be surprised when they feel a million miles away from you tomorrow. Without time spent with each other you can’t expect to grow closer or to have much positive influence on their everyday life.
#2 ATTENTION. You can spend a lot of time in the same room with your child and yet never get to know them. Every child is unique and you can’t understand them until you give them your undivided attention. Ask them how things are going in their lives. Let them know their thoughts and opinions do matter. Give attention to what they say, what they do, and praise them every chance you get for their efforts and accomplishments.
#3 UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. Kids live in a world full of people who size them up, critique every move, and only love them based on their performance alone. If you choose to be that parent who only appears to love your child when they meet your standards, expect your child to ultimately drown under the pressure. Your kids need to know they are loved no matter what they accomplish or achieve in this life. Too many parents are seeking to live vicariously through their children which only leads to resentment and disappointment. Your kids need to hear and see that no matter what happens in their life you will be there and they will be loved.
#4 GUIDANCE. The bible tells us that as we go through life we are to impress upon our children the way they should go according to God’s word. By they way, this always begins by being a living example. Now, most children don’t realize how much they need your guidance, but deep inside they crave it. A few years ago one of my boys ran into my room saying, “Daddy, aren’t we going to have our devotion.” We’re talking just 10 – 15 minutes of reading a scripture, a short story that illustrates that scripture, and then a closing prayer. I can see it in my boys’ eyes anytime I take time to listen, to love, and to guide them in the way they should go. My children need me to lead them with God’s absolute truth in a world full of uncertainties and unknowns.
#5 FAITH. Faith in Jesus Christ is the foundation that all healthy families are built upon. Only faith can keep mom and dad together. Only faith can keep everyone in the house on the same page. Many speak about God, but few choose to put their faith in God. As we open the pages of God’s word we either read those words for entertainment or we apply them by faith. As a man, as a husband, and as a dad I must never think I am self-made. I’ve got to trust God for everything and through anything. A family not resting on a solid foundation of faith is bound to crash it’s just a matter of when this happens.
(Deuteronomy 6:7-8) “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
Join Pastor Craig @ Refuge Church on Sundays 9:15 or 11am. They are located at 203 Eddie Chasteen Dr, Walterboro. Your family will always be loved and encouraged. Come as you are, Never leave the same!