Thursday, June 3, 2010

Being Proactive with Our Children

Due to various dynamics of life and being at the end of my pregnancy, I have struggled with putting my children first.  It is easy to become overwhelmed with all of the work that is on my plate – feeling like the housework is never done… feeling the CRUNCH of trying to finish the school year well… feeling energy continually zapped from my body and soul as I deal with my children’s character issues repeatedly.  Juggling the many hats in life is never easy.  However, recent issues in my home have caused God to tug at my heart again and cause me to see the needs of my children. 

Children need a lot of affection, proactive affection from their parents.  It is easy to get into reactive mode – where we react to our children’s needs and behavior with love or discipline.  The demands of life overtake us, and we push our children aside, giving them the minimal amount of attention.  Oftentimes we don’t really see how much we are pushing our children aside until behavioral issues come up.  “Why is ______ acting this way"?  Although there are oftentimes multiple factors, one of them is usually a simple desire for love and attention.

Children really need us to be proactive.  They need us to be a step ahead of them.  They need us to be the leaders of good character.  They need us to be pouring into their love tanks and strengthening them.  When we are able to be the initiators, rather than just reactors, it seems that children are happier.  They sense purpose.  They feel loved.  They know someone is watching over them, caring about their desires.  They don’t feel pushed aside, but instead feel a sense of belonging.  Behavioral issues don’t disappear completely but many are remedied, softened by the power of love and grace.

I am working on this with my daughter, in particular, right now.  She has been dealing with various attitudes and manifesting them in unpleasant ways.  Yes, we are still training her through those attitudes, but I am trying to get a step ahead of her.  I am trying to think of ways to spend time with her.  “What does she like to do and how can I fit that into my day?”  I am trying to think of ways to encourage her.  “How is she struggling and what could she afford to hear that would make her feel more secure?”  I want to be reassured in my heart that I am making her feel loved and appreciated, that there is no lack on my part.  It is not an easy task, but bit by bit, by God’s grace, I am trying to improve. 

Even with my sons, I see a need for more affection.  I notice myself  thinking “stop hanging on me” when they are doting on me at times.  Recently I have stopped to think, “How often am I doting on them?  How often am I being proactive with my love towards them?” 

May the busyness of life not choke out what is truly good, profitable, and necessary – giving our lives to our children proactively and unreservedly.

This is a great post on children’s need for attention and how some have a greater need than others.

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