Top Ten Messages You Want Your Kids To Get
Last Monday at my moms’ group, we had a guest speaker: Linda Anderson, founder of Mom to Mom Ministries. Our group uses the Mom to Mom curriculum, and I think Linda Anderson is one amazing lady. She is full of wonderful words of wisdom and encouragement for young mothers, and last week’s presentation was chock full of good stuff. I wanted to share my notes with you. The main text is from the handout, and the italics are my own notes.
Top Ten Messages You Want Your Kids To Get
Message #1: I love you unconditionally.
The foundation on which everything else is based. We can be conduits for God’s love.
- Learn how your kids can feel your love. (Ross Campbell, How To Really Love Your Child). A child can BE loved without FEELING loved. 1) Eye contact. 2) Physical contact. 3) Focused attention.
- Learn your kids’ love languages. (Gary Chapman, The Five Love Languages of Children)
- Explore ways to “send love” in their language. Your love is not withdrawn because of their behavior.
Message #2: I like you for who you are–just as you are.
Don’t miss who your child IS because you only see who your child ISN’T.
- Become a student of your children–find something you can like about them.
- Take an interest in what interests them.
- Listen–really listen–to them.
- Show up for their games, show, concerts, etc. Kids often spell love T-I-M-E.
Message #3: I believe in you.
Instill realistic (not inflated) self confidence in your child.
- Help them experience small successes.
- Help them compete (keep up in the world) and compensate (help them see their areas of strength). (James Dobson principles.)
- Give realistic–and genuine–affirmation.
- Always balance constructive criticism with at least twice as much praise.
Message #4: I love you too much to let you…”
- Let your kids know God is in charge, and He gave you this job.
- Basic message: There is a God, and He’s not you! Child needs to know: “I’m not the boss!”
- Set the right tone: discipline is at least 90% atmosphere (expectation, “the look,” the tone of voice) over specific set of actions.
- Don’t exasperate your kids (Ephesians 6). Do set realistic expectations, live what you preach, follow through consistently.
Message #5: God loves you even more than I do.
- Live a Deuteronomy 6 lifestyle. Get God’s words inside of you-and them!
- Transfer God’s tender love to them through your touch. (and tone!)
- Welcome questions (Deuteronomy 6). Be a good listener–God is! Tell them what God has done in your life. It’s okay to not have all the answers. Our homes can be a mirror, a window, and a skylight.
Message #6: Choices have consequences.
God always gives people choices. We want our children to learn about delayed gratification and advanced decision-making.
- Allow kids to experience small consequences to avoid bigger consequences.
- Resist the temptation to rescue them regularly.
- Beware the helicopter-mom syndrome.
- Help them learn–and practice–self-control.
Message #7: You–and I–will both blow it sometimes. But God will always forgive if we ask Him.
- Model apology and forgiveness.
- Teach kids to say “I’m sorry.” You say it, too.
- Allow for open window moments of tender conversation and fresh starts.
Message #8: God will never leave you or forsake you.
This message is particularly important for times when you aren’t with your kids: school, the mean girl or bully situation, peer pressure, etc.
- Read Bible stories that reinforce these truths. Talk about them. Act them out.
- Share you own personal stories of times and ways God has been with you.
- Encourage kids to talk with you about their fears.
- Pray with them regularly, and encourage them to bring their fears to God.
- Look for children’s books that reinforce discussion about both fears and God’s presence in real-life situations.
Message #9: It’s all grace. Living in God’s grace makes life fun.
It’s all about what God has done for us. It’s not about what we do or what our kids do.
- Make learning about God fun.
- Remember kids watch more than they listen. Make grace contagious.
- Keep your sense of humor, learn to laugh at yourself, and don’t take yourself too seriously.
- Remember laughter can build relationships.
Message #10: I will always pray for you.
Prayers are deathless. They outlive the lives of those who utter them.
- Practice prayer as a lifestyle. Let your kids see/hear you praying.
- Let your kids know you pray for them (cards, notes, text). Include “how can I pray for you?” into your daily questions.
- Pray with your kids for others–starting with their father.
- Watch prayer become reciprocal–One day they will pray for you!
Note to Moms: Amidst all the noise out there, amidst all the voices calling to your kids, the voice your kids will hear the loudest… is yours! You will—and do—make a difference!
Cara here: So much to learn from this, don’t you think?! Did any of these messages resonate with you? I feel like I need to work on ALL of them, but right now I’m focusing on #2 and #4 with The Little Apple.