That moment you met your children for the very first time is etched in your memory forever. No doubt your heart swelled with a love so deep it brought you to tears. It’s hard to imagine that tiny life growing up and into his/her own person. But before you know it those little ones begin to develop and your parenting must continue to evolve and grow with them. As time goes on you can learn to love your kids well at any stage.
I have three resources to share with you to help you love your kids well. They have each been a wonderful asset for me as a parent. My hope is to encourage you as you build up your family and adventure through life.
Love Your Kids Well by Taking Them On Dates
Carve out special one-on-one time to spend with each of your kids. The more time you spend with them, the more you will get to know them. This may sound counter-intuitive, but resist the urge to pepper them with questions. Let the conversation flow naturally and just keep the focus on your time together. Learn to enjoy what they enjoy. These can be some of the most meaningful conversations you have one-on-one. On busy weeks sometimes this looks like a Target trip together. Make the most of opportunities to date your kids and find ways to show them how special they are. Rowan and I did a day date to Congaree National Park because he wanted to work on some photography and it was so nice to get that time together in a place he chose focused on something he loves.
Speak Your Kid’s Love Language
Every child perceives love differently. Heck, every adult perceives love differently. There are 5 common love languages we all respond to and it can be beneficial to learn the love language your kids speak. You could be giving them love in a language that doesn’t translate well. Check out Gary Chapman’s book titled The Five Love Languages of Children if you want to read in depth. As a very brief summary every human can find themselves in one of these five categories: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, or physical touch. One of the best ways to determine which category your child fits in is to observe how he/she SHOWS love. We all have a tendency to give love in the way we wish to receive it. Now put it in to practice and watch your relationship grow!
Begin to Hone in on Personality
I don’t want to proselytize on any specific personality test because there are quite a few out there that give really quality information. And I will add that it can be difficult to pin things down when your children are young. So, don’t get stuck in trying to set things in stone too early. This is a beginning step to help you on the path to love your kids well.
Our family has found great success in using the Enneagram as a guide for understanding our children. It’s amazing how uniquely created they are even though they came from the same two genetic pools. The purpose in understanding your kids is so you can understand how you relate to them and how they contribute to the family unit. It is NOT to focus on downfalls within his/her personality. Although it’s important to see weaknesses so we can give guidance, the focus is best left at developing the positives.