Last post was about giving full attention to our kids and their questions. It’s hard, but the long-term reward is a solid relationship of love and trust. The only way to keep them coming back as they get older is to make time now.
But...the inevitable question...what about when I have to say no? We can't just give our kids whatever they want so they will like us! I am still responsible for doing what's best for my kids, which means the answer is no when the question is....
"Can I have Oreos for breakfast?"
"Would you put another movie on?"
"Could I stay up late with you and Daddy while you have date night?"
"Can I help you sweep up the broken glass?"
No, no, and no...of course not. But the answer is not the main thing. I used to think it was. I used to cringe when I had to tell my kids no. I thought I was disappointing them! Now, when they ask to sweep up broken glass with me, I try to make time to squat down and say, "That would be great if we could do that together wouldn't it? Thanks for asking! I love you so much. I better do it by myself this time so that you don't get cut, ok?"
And they are never disappointed! They know they are loved and weren't rejected by me, even if their request was. Isn't that what matters? Just as long as they keep coming back!
I mainly wanted to post the following questions I ask myself to test my motives and the emotional tenor of our home. I hope they help! What do you do to make sure you reserve your best attention for your kids?
My Questions for Reflection
- How do I feel/react when my children approach me with requests?
- Do they approach me in a relaxed, happy, respectful manner, or whining and stressed out even before they ask? Could I help them change their attitude by being more approachable? Would I then be more happy to see them and answer their requests?
- When they approach me, do I stop and make eye contact them when possible?
- Do I make sure to love them even when I have to tell them no?