Connecting with kids

Are you loving and accepting your child (as you might have read in a previous post) and still deal with disrespect and disobedience? Well hang in there, there is still hope!

I am so excited when the Lord answers my prayers!!

I've been noticing my kids behavior get a little disrespectful and independent. It started to concern me because I was going all out for them, taking them to beach and other places, and trust me I don't typically go out with them all to relax. But the response I would get back is rude and disrespectful behavior. It grieved me because I didn't want to stop treating them to fun activities but I saw no other solution. Of coarse I brought this issue to my dearest Father(God) and what do you know he answered and quite quickly actually.

The answer came in one word. CONNECTION. Everywhere, I noticed that word jump out at me until the light bulb came on and I finally realized that I'm the one in need of some discipline lol. Yes, I'm a good mother I take care of my kids, take them places, feed them and even clean up after them. But all those things don't matter when my child isn't getting the closeness and the connection with me that they so desperately want. Thats the funny thing about kids, they don't usually come and tell you that they just want to spend time with you, instead they act it out in anger, frustration, disobedience and disrespect. But all that they are saying through that is please notice me, I'm still here and I want to be with you.

The day I finally clicked with the word CONNECTION I immediately put it into practice. I was washing dishes after dinner one night and my baby girl kept crying and tugging at me, I kept hoping they would give me a peaceful moment to finish what I was doing but no not this time. So I looked down at her and decided to just stop what I was doing and give her attention. I picked her up and held her, then went on to play with her, she immediately stopped the bad attitude and was as happy as could be. It only took a few seconds before all the kids figured out that mommy is being generous with her play time and I was attacked by all four of them! I played with them until each one had their fill and ran off one by one, I was left sitting there on the floor feeling fulfilled and happy, thinking how could I have forgotten the secret to my happy children.

That night as I was putting the twins to bed I didn't have to ask the older kids multiple times to pick up their things around the house before bed. I came out to a huge surprise, it was all picked up and they were on the floor all ready for bed working on something together! That was huge for me because the quarreling between those two was non stop for a while now, so for me to see a clean (enough) house and my kids playing quietly together was so heart warming. They were actually writing notes :) 

To know that I have most of that "power" is mind blowing. I knew all this but it's always so good to be reminded and to realize how much it actually works. That night after putting them down my oldest kept coming out to give me an extra hug and she kept saying I have the best mommy and daddy in the whole world. Parents can tell when kids say it just to say it or when they actually truly mean it and I know that she did. Her tank was full and that was the outpour from her heart. 

I did make a mess of their behavior though by depleting their tanks, and now I'm doing a few things to clean it up.

  • First I am disciplining myself to always STOP, LOOK and LISTEN when a child is talking to me or needs my attention. Making eye contact it's the easiest way to get your mind focused on the child. When your attention is on them don't just listen and brush them off but try to meet their current need. Our children need to feel secure in our love. 
  • Second I am not allowing rudeness or disrespect. If a child is yelling at me or using the wrong tone, I stop them and give them another chance to say all that again but this time respectfully. If they don't take that second chance then discipline follows. Discipline is a lot of work so I've made myself available to stay on top of it. But kids are so quick to react to their surrounding that when they are full on connection with mom and dad they want to obey and have good manners, it's just natural for them. 
  • Third thing I'm doing is taking a child or two, (I have the advantage to work in stets cause they are so close in age) and I work with them on two things, be it manners, household chores or a habit of theirs but only two things are the focus. That way the child isn't overwhelmed and gets good habits down that will last them a lifetime. It's actually all quite simple. But it does take patience and consistency.

I have two things I'm focusing on for myself as well, mommy doesn't get let off the hook either. :)

  • First I make getting enough sleep a priority (I don't drink coffee) and dealing with kids all day requires a lot of energy.
  • Second a huge priority in my day is to be connected. Spending time with the Lord is the first thing I try to do in my day, it's most important to me and the children know that and they enjoy our worship time together every morning. After that is my commitment to have a date night every week with my husband. And I am also recommitting to date my kids weekly. I'm making it simple but being intentional. 

The truth is our children reflect us and if we look closely enough we will see it. So if we don't like what we see in our children maybe we need to evaluate the situation and put things in place to make change happen. Proclaim the word of God over your family and never stop praying. And stay connected to God, your spouse and your children.  

Correction and connection in balance, is key. 

"Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying." -Romans 12:12