The hard thing about a child’s heart is that it is small and empties quickly. The good thing about a child’s heart is that it is small and fills fast. Be intentional about filling them back up again today!
I have a great teaching tool with magnets for parents to teach children about the pull of connection in our hearts. I was so excited when I received this testimony from a mom taking our class. Kids understand this language!
“For the last two days, my son has shown me how magnets attract one another… I had not done this demonstration of attraction with him yet. Thank You, Father, for opening a door for sharing that beautiful lesson. A little later in the day, my son told me I was pushing him away like a magnet. Boom! Yes, son, I was. I’m sorry. Here is what you were needing. The way you were asking for it pushed me away. Let’s flip our magnets and connect again.”
Testimony from a father. This is what it is all about! The best parenting in the world means little if it does not love big.
“My wife and I discovered today which love language each of our children gravitates toward & made an intentional effort to fill them. The results were immediate & noticeable! It was as if their cup was running over & they had extra to share. Really neat!”
I have a family of five people. That means we have five different journeys, opinions, and experiences. My goal is not to have my children look, act, and talk just like me but to figure out how to do life together in unity because I trust God put us all together for a unifying purpose. I need them as much as they need me. Marrying our differences to make us better people. I do not tolerate things like slamming doors, screaming “I hate you,” or a child feeling isolated in my home. I have core values for unity, connection, and peace. Not superficial peace that suppresses one’s heart but actually processing things so that peace is the organic fruit. I believe my heart for my family comes from the Father’s heart for His family.
I will never forget the father who took our online Kingdom parenting class and wrote to me weeping as he told me how all these years, his daughter had annoyed him with her constant chatter. Holy Spirit revealed to him that that was her way of trying to connect with him and her love language. He was weeping for all the times he had become annoyed with her and told her to be quiet. He never saw her heart until that day, and it broke him. Love languages matter!
How would your childhood have been different if you would have had a parent who consistently called out the good in you? BE THAT KIND OF PARENT TO YOUR CHILDREN TODAY!
Testimony from a mom taking our online Kingdom parenting class: “Parenting with the Father works. I’ve spent 5-10 mins extra in the morning connecting with my three-year-old son to fill his love tank. Our transition to daycare in the morning has been seamless. He struggled with that transition in the past and would scream, cry, and cling to us as we tried to leave. Now he gives us a hug and a kiss goodbye and is excited to play with his friends.”
Ellie was invited to spend the day at the coast with friends. They were having so much fun that it turned into an impromptu sleepover. She came home the following morning 2 minutes after we walked in the door from church. We were rushing around getting things done as we had friends coming over for brunch. I greeted her, hugged her, and continued to get ready. The entire time our friends were here, she was in a funk. She was snapping at her siblings and just being unpleasant. After they left, I heard her respond unkind and asked her to come to me. I inquired if anything happened on her adventure with her friend that needed to be processed. Nope. I asked if she was tired from the late night and needed a quick nap. Nope. I asked if she was hungry as our lunch was off due to late brunch. Nope. I finally said, “Then what is agitating your heart so bad?” and she burst into tears. She began to tell me how much joy and fun she had with her friends and that when she walked in the door, it was like no one cared that she was back. BINGO! I vividly remember Emma having the exact same scenario play out years ago. She cried big tears, saying that when she came back home, no one asked her about her time or stopped doing what they were doing to welcome her. I did not fully understand the scope of it until Ellie experienced the exact same thing. Friends give us a deep sense of belonging, so when a child has a great sleepover, playdate, or outing with their friends, their love tank in the area of belonging is overflowing. When they re-enter the family, they need a few minutes to be welcomed back home with intention, or it can send the message, “You don’t belong here.”
I am convinced if the enemy can’t get you to turn from God, he uses busyness to get you distracted from God. Busyness is one of the top things that work against families. Too busy to connect. Too busy to hear/see your child’s heart. Too busy to play in the Kingdom. Too busy to rest. Too busy to get in their world. Too busy to empower/teach them. Too busy to work through heart splinters. Too busy to go to church. Too busy to worship as a family. Too busy to read the Word. Yep, you are TOO busy. Busyness is not the same as bearing fruit, and you have permission to say NO to the enemy’s trap of umpteen demands on your time and energy. I have a rule in my house – if I can’t do it in peace, then I won’t do it. I have said no to many good things but will not let even good things rob me of my peace or connection with my children.
Emotional and mental isolation is worse than physical isolation, as it is a breeding ground for the enemy’s lies. A real war is happening for your child, but you are not a prisoner, and there IS a way out. So rise up, Mama Bear! We need you, protective Father! We must help our children process their grief and help them stay connected to the family, others, and even themselves in this hour. JOY releases a chemical in their brains that gives them the will to fight and endure hard things. One of the most profound ways you can help them is to find pockets of joy throughout the day.
What is a pocket of joy? It is finding those little moments to crack a smile, giggle, or roar with laughter. It is dance parties in the middle of math, eating chocolate chip cookie dough, running in the rain, jumping on the bed, and being silly and childlike. Whatever your day looks like, let it include pockets of JOY! It is NOT entitlement and buying them whatever they want. It is joy through connection and face-to-face smiles, not just things.
I had four little children under four hanging on me ALL DAY LONG. It took a while to realize the reason it agitated me deeply was that touch IS my love language, and it was being used in a way that was depleting my tank, not filling it. The solution?
FIRST – Acknowledge that your love language matters and give yourself validation that it is hard to have touch being used in a way that drains you.
SECOND – Make sure your love tank is being filled with life-giving touch.
THIRD – Take breaks and have some intentional ‘no touch’ space. Hire a mother’s helper to come and play with the children while you are still home. Use nap time as downtime. If you do not have nappers, you can still create quiet time where everyone is in their own space playing quietly.
FOURTH – It is okay to teach your children HOW you want to be touched. I had to intentionally teach them not to hit, tap or hang on me. I explained the tank in my heart, and when they came and hit my arm to get my attention, it made my heart feel sad. I role-played how I wanted them to get my attention. When they were little, I would often say, “When you shook my arm, it made my heart feel sad. Can you do it in a way that gets my attention AND heart?” They were learning self-control, honor, and respect.