Having spent the last 23 years raising children, and most of our marriage living life with college students, my husband and I have made it our goal to learn how not to drive the younger generation away. We have seen parents unintentionally create a wedge between themselves and their precious children. I don’t want to do that, and I am sure you don’t want to either!
If we are not aware of the things that could potentially frustrate our children, we could hinder the amazing privilege we have been given to live life with them. I passionately believe that the next generation is worth taking the time to tune in to, and spending the time getting to know!
It’s never too early to begin offering our children the following gifts:
15 Gifts We Can Offer Our Children:
- When your child asks you for advice, don’t always begin your answer with the phrase “When I was your age…” Don’t talk constantly about when you were a child, or tell the same stories over and over.
- Don’t constantly criticize the latest trends, their music, hairstyles, clothing, Facebook, etc. Take the time to get to know the things they are interested in, and what they are listening to.
- Take the time to keep up on the latest technology (cell phones, texting, computers) so that you are able to speak their language. Don’t complain about the latest technology as if it’s the down fall of the generation, (as if you didn’t have anything that distracted you when you were young).
- Don’t relate to them like they know nothing.
- Don’t tease them or be sarcastic. Be sure to talk to them with respect, no matter what age they are.
- Don’t expect them to act like adults, and don’t to hold up unrealistic standards.
- Don’t always focus on their immaturity. Try to point out the ways in which they are growing.
- Try not to lecture and preach to them every time you have a conversation.
- Don’t forget that they are young and will make mistakes. Be sure to offer them much grace!
- As they get older, don’t expect them to do everything you did when you were their age. Don’t become offended every time they do something different than you did, and don’t take everything they do personally.
- Be sure to give them time to adjust as they enter new season’s of life and are growing.
- Don’t expect them to do everything right the first time, and offer much grace as they are learning.
- Don’t talk about your generation as if it did everything right, and the present generation as if it does everything wrong. Don’t act as if the way things used to be done is always better than the way things are now.
- Have ongoing conversations with them, and make sure the you don’t fall into the habit of only talking with them when they have done something wrong. Take time to encourage them and tell them about the things they are doing well.
- Daily ask them how they are doing. Take the time to listen to their thoughts.
If you are faithful to offer your children these 15 gifts, you will find your relationship with them, and influence on them, will be great. They will learn to view you as one who is on their side and truly interested in them as individuals!
They are worth taking the time to tune in to, and spending the time getting to know. Don’t you think?
This is so good. Some days I’m so self-centered and the day has gone by before I realize that I’ve pushed him away to focus on something else. He’s not even 3 yet so I know that I have plenty of time for God to change the bad and discouraging habits I’ve developed so that I can be that unconditionally loving mommy whom he has good memories of and am the example for how God loves that he needs me to be. Thanks for the post and encouragement!