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Monday, January 20, 2014

Give attention to your children! Love & Enjoy!!!

I woke up this morning so thankful again for my two beautiful sons. It amazes me that not only do I love them more everyday, but they actually teach me to love more. I woke them up with silly kisses on their cheeks and rubbing their backs while softly saying, wake up boys, good morning, and I love you. If you start their day out right then they with continue to have a good, positive outlook on the rest of their day. I just love to love on them. Children are such a blessing.  I actually am very blessed to have grown up in a household "rich in love" as my parents would say. We are very affectionate and I show my sons this as well. The pure love of innocent children is so enriching to your life. We as parents need to encourage this love and not obscure this kind of love by letting the business of life get in the way. We need to enjoy each other and life. 

What happened to "Old fashion values?" I know, sad to say they are sometimes referred to as old fashion family values in general. See, when I grew up my parents were at all of our events. They were involved in everything we did.  We sat down as a family, prayed, and ate dinner all together without a TV on or phones. We talked about our day and shared stories. That kind of time is important in bonding as a family. Setting traditions like that will carry on and create close, heartfelt memories.

View this following example from these children's thoughts. The other day I took my boys to the park and there was another mom there with her two children. I left my phone in the car so I wouldn't be interrupted while playing with my boys. As my boys and I were playing tag I noticed the other children were just starring at us playing and smiling. They looked eager to have their mom play with them as well. I could tell by the way they would look at us and have a huge smile and then look at their mom on the phone. We invited them to play, but they were timid and chose not to. We went on the swings and had a contest on who can swing the highest and touch the tree branches with our feet. I think I laughed more than my boys did. It really feels good to be a kid. I noticed the other kids pulling on their mom's shirt and calling her name. She had been on the phone since she walked out of her car. She hadn't said a word to them beside "SSSHHHHH" and "NOT NOW, I AM ON THE PHONE!" I felt so badly for them. Think how that rejection can echo in a delicate child’s ears, heart, and mind. They saw us playing and all they wanted was for their mom to play with them. They continued to seek her attention and she would walk away covering her free ear. Take my boys in this situation verses the other two children, what state of mind and heart does it leave these children in, now and for the future? During all the time of my boys and I running around, I heard that mom calling out for her son repeatedly. He was gone. She yelled for a while without actually walking around looking for him. I kept looking around to see if I noticed where he was. Finally, she told whoever was on the phone (in an annoyed tone) I have to go, my son ran off somewhere. He finally appeared sometime later. He was in the bathroom. She would have known that if she had just listened and acknowledged him when he tried to tell her. That just made my heart so sad. What are people teaching their kids when everything else is more important then they are.

         What quality of life is one giving their children if they just offer worldly opportunities, buy them off with gifts, and not spend precious time with them? It's a sad thought actually. Not to forget that if you teach them and show them love, they will share that back. Think about this, if you are older or when you are and you haven't given your children the time they need they may not have that to give it back to you either. Now, think about sitting alone with no one to take care of you or just spend time hanging out with you when your elderly because they don't have those values instilled in them or the natural desire to care for you.  This reminds me of a song, "Cats in a Cradle" by: Harry Chapin. If you have ever listened to the words, it is relatable to this topic and can make you think. What you give to them is what they will know and be capable of sharing. They are a reflection of you. Wouldn't it be nice if you showed them a better way of loving so they can hand that down each generation rather than an empty life without the enjoyment of cherished, precious family memories? 

You can’t buy their love and respect either. Kids know the difference. Sure, buy them everything and think they will love you more. Not true! All that does is condition them to come to you when they want something for the moment. You become a Disneyland parent. It’s kind of like instant gratification. That feeling fades quickly. Show them faith, love, respect, to have integrity, and give them your time and attention. Teach them to work hard and to take pride in their work. You build trust in consistency and being reliable. Follow through with what you say and they will carry on that trait as well. In these things you can have a lasting and close relationship. 

Have you ever been running around, making dinner, trying to get something knocked off the list and your little one keeps calling on you for attention? Instead of just saying one moment or let me finish up, just stop and acknowledge them. Ask, hey what is it that you want, my love. Most of the time all they want is a hug or to tell you they love you. Pay attention parents, kids are a blessing, not a chore. 

     Give your children the love and attention they deserve. Relative to school, don't just place all the work of teaching your kids on the teachers. Help them at home. In fact, pay attention to their grades and help them to excel and want to achieve better grades. Make it fun, but get involved. When my older son needed more attention in some areas of certain classes, I got a tutor and I also asked how I could tutor him at home. The more people involved in the learning process, the more your child can grow. We made learning even more fun. Example: Spelling was difficult, so we made a fun game of black light- spelling word- treasure hunt.  I remember when I was younger we painted words or pictures on an area of the walls with laundry detergent (you can’t see it unless you had a back light). I used that and painted the spelling words on the walls in a hallway for my son (It washes right off). He used a backlight to find the words, write them down, and then repeat them aloud. He received 100% from then on. We don't have to continue that game because it clicked somehow. Now, we have spelling bees in the cars between my two boys. Competition brings out a fun learning exercise for my boys. BTW- He just got all A's and made the Principle's List. My other son did the same. I am so proud of them.

    Most importantly, the best trait to teach a child is to have faith. Faith for us is trusting in our Lord, Jesus Christ. I believe he is our savior that paid a debt for all of us. We know that we are held accountable for everything in life including being obedient to the Word.  We are very blessed to enjoy every moment together that we are given. Be thankful and cherish your time with those you love, always. As you know, time is precious and our children and family are even more precious. ENJOY them!!!


Jillian Schmidt

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