Am I Still A Good Parent If I Messed Up?

 

“Am I still a good mother if I have messed up?”

Growing up, I dreamed of being a mother and raising many babies.  It truly was what I wanted.

I almost wrote, “It truly was all I wanted.”  It’s interesting how a simple defining word can change the meaning of a sentence.  Sometimes, I hear the timid apology in the middle of the sentence — the attempt to justify the fact that I can be content with simply being a mother.  Even, the word “simply” though is diminishing the impact and importance of the calling to be a mother.

As many mothers can testify, there is nothing simple about being a mom and raising children.  In fact, parenting will involve every part of you — physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

There is no job that has brought me to my knees as much as raising children — five people that I am responsible to help shape into whole, healthy individuals.

There is no job that requires me to be so selfless, so giving, so patient, so wise, so gracious, so humble, so forgiving, so creative, and so loving, above all else.

Then, you factor in that we are all still a process of God’s grace.  We still mess up at times.

When we mess up as moms, which we all do at times, the question some of us ask is, “Are we still a good mom?”

Most moms want to be the best mom to their kids.

It’s interesting how we complicate parenting  — how I complicate parenting…  There are definitely life skills my kids need to learn, but sometimes in the pressure of all the other details, I forget the most important two things my kids need above everything else: to be generously loved and to know how much God generously loves them.

I have a dear friend who is such a beautiful reminder of this truth just by how she lives.  Actually, I have two friends like that.  One mommy friend has seven children, but she wildly loves her children and lets them know that every. single. day.  My other friend has two kids, and I just love to hear how she speaks life and love into them every. single. day.  These two moms get it.  They don’t feel the pressure to run their kids to this activity and that activity.  Instead, they do things like let their kids play in the dirt, splash in rain puddles, cuddle with a pile of books, pet animals, and ride bikes.

Somehow, in our desire to be the best mom, we have so often turned parenting into a list of places to take our kids, activities to plan, and paid lessons for enhancement.  We spend our time chauffeuring our kids instead of actually engaging with our kids.

As a mother of older children, there is an adjustment that happens.  They do have more activities, and they don’t want to cuddle on our laps or play in dirt any more.  Yet, teens still need time just to sit and chat.

What our kids want more than anything else is our love.  

My one friend (I mentioned earlier) also wrote in her Instagram account, #kissingontheporchswing, that our kids also want to know they are liked and loved. 

I wonder if our constant driving from activity to activity is conveying the wrong message?  Does our busyness allow us to relationally connect with our kids?  Does our busyness somehow inadvertently convey to our kids the wrong message that somehow we don’t want to simply be with them?

It’s actually okay to simply like to be with our kids — not that there’s anything simple about it.  It’s that we are content with motherhood.  We are fulfilled in being a mother.

I am entering the autumn season of raising some of my kids, and I am feeling it.  I miss those days of playing in the rain with my now oldest kids, sledding down hills with my once-little boys, and watching them play for hours in the dirt and with bugs.  Those were wildly, crazy days — insanely exhausting and emotionally-depleting days.  Those were also days when my kids were happy with the simplest things.  Those were the days of sweet, innocent childhood and when all that my kids wanted was my love.

What happens though if we have not been always loving?  Are we still a good mom? There are some reading this who have truly messed up in big ways.  Your kids are now adults and expressing all their emotional baggage from the ways that maybe you messed up in your parenting.  Your heart aches for healing and the ability to forgive yourself.

I was struggling with this very question the other day because I am not the perfect mom.  I tried to be the perfect mom for so long, but that whole description is a false one.  There are no perfect parents.

Some of you don’t feel you are bad parents, but you wonder if you are a good parent.  “Am I a good mom?”  What defines good though in the sense of parenting?  There are some obvious good and bad parents, but what about the parents that are doing a lot right, trying their very best, mess up, fess up to their kids and to God, but still sometimes mess up?

I was asking God this question, and He spoke to my heart this truth: “Your children will be given the opportunity to experience my grace just like you have.”  In other words, God was telling me that just like God has given me His grace for the areas in which my parents were not perfect, He will also give my kids the grace to heal in the areas that I have failed them.  

The reality is that we all need grace.  We need to repent of our idols of perfection which are pride and fear-based, and we need to first recognize that we need Jesus.  We need His grace.  We need it for us and for our past wounds, and we need it for our kids.

Our kids need grace and need to see us live in the reality of grace — that it’s not perfection we idolize, but it’s grace that allows us to repent, to change, to forgive, and to release.  It’s grace that allows us to be okay with the healing process that God is doing within us.  We don’t want to stop or force the healing process before its ready because of our own impatience.  We don’t want to be in love with a “perfect work” instead of the Perfecter of our lives.

Jesus, alone, is Perfect.  True perfection is only righteous-based, and that is something Jesus alone can do within our lives.

…So, repent, release, forgive, and heal, but this is a work that only God can do in your life.  Let Him take control of your healing.

 

Ingredients for Kids

Spices

(FreeImages.com/MassimoZunino)

The other day, my husband and I were discussing our kids and their strengths and weaknesses.

It’s easy when you see various character flaws in your kids to become discouraged.

I couldn’t help but think how preparing food relates a lot to kids.

I realized that we often want to see the finished product when we are still in the mixing stage with our kids. 

It helps to understand that you can’t expect to see a finished product when you are still at the stage of adding in a generous dash of patience, a cup of kindness, a teaspoon of generosity, two cups of truth, one quart of grace, etc…

Parenting and baking require diligence and careful measuring so that the right ingredients go into the finished product.

Some days, I have to toss out the batch because I missed an important ingredient when I am baking.

Other days, I forget that it takes a lot of patience to wait for the baking to complete.

Baking also needs to happen at the right temperatures.  If it’s too “hot,” our products are scorched.  If temperatures are too cold, the product is never finished.

It’s all about patience, the right ingredients, right amount of ingredients, and the right “temperature” within the baking environment when you prepare food.  It’s the same way when it comes to raising kids.

Lord, give me patience.

Afraid Of My Children… Part One

Recently as God was dealing with me in the area of fear, He began to reveal specific fears I had.  I knew I was a fearful person in many ways.  It started when I was quite young.

As a child, I can remember hiding behind my mother when meeting strangers.

I remember crying when I had to get my first job.  I know, sounds silly.

There is nothing silly about fear though. 

Fear is very real and very powerful in the way it affects our lives.  It can cripple our living and hold us hostage to its impact.

I struggled with fears about storms, loved ones dying, disease, financial ruin, growing old, you name it…

One of the fears that I began to recognize I had and that God wanted to help me overcome was the fear of my children.

Yes, I was afraid of my children.

My guess is that I am not the only parent who struggles with this, and that’s why I am writing this blog…

It began soon after my first child was born.  All of a sudden, the reality of life “hit me in the face” when I had a newborn who began to display a temper soon after birth.  He was not happy when he had to wait for my milk to “let down” in order to guzzle his dinner as quickly as he wanted.  I quickly learned tricks to settle him down so he could nurse, but I had already begun to feel like motherhood was not so easily controlled as I had envisioned. 

That lack of control was not only something I feared, but my “need” for control was also indicative of a fear problem.

Becoming a mother personally was a bit of a rude awakening.  I had held this “Cinderella” view of motherhood, and the reality just wasn’t like the fairy tale dreams.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved being a mother and I loved my son, but parenting was so much harder than it looked watching everyone else raise their children.

Then came the birth of my second child.  I had two little ones, born 16 1/2 months apart, and they both were so needy.  I was exhausted, was suffering from undiagnosed and untreated hypothyroidism (for the first several months), and began to feel incapable of being a “good” mommy to these two little boys.

Fast forward a few more years and a few more kids.  The challenges kept increasing.  I would seem to figure out a new technique for each new challenge, and then a new one would present itself.

With some challenges, it didn’t seem to matter how many techniques and methods and principles and advice I heard and read.  The challenges didn’t seem to diminish or even to be improved effectively.

I became weary of bad or ineffective advice.  I became weary of my own inconsistent and/or wrong application of good advice.  Each new thing I heard seemed to be another “nail in my coffin” when it came to my role as a mom.
I felt like one big “failure.”  I also began to fear my children.

You fear what you can’t control, and you try to control what you fear.  Vicious cycle!

There are a lot of you reading this who think that you have never “feared” your children.

Fear though manifests itself in different ways.

  • For some, fear takes the role of victim.  The victim feels hopeless and helpless and unable to ever succeed.
  • For some, fear takes the role of critic.  As the book, Freedom From Fear, says, “The Critic never feels good about himself or what he has done.  He is discouraged and defeated even before… [the fear] hits.”
  • For some, fear takes the role of the perfectionist.  As the book, Freedom From Fear, says, “They never have any peace of mind because they can never achieve perfection.  Their overwhelming need to accomplish more and more makes them driven, stressed, irritable. … they can’t stand to fail, especially in public.”

Fear of your children manifests itself in two very different ways:

  • You either give up, and your children dominate you. Children in this type of home are rebellious, disobedient, lack self-control, and are privately insecure.  The victim mindset and the critic mindset can fit within this category.
  • Or, your fear causes you to have unhealthy control over your children, and you dominate them.  Your children will be very “controlled,” but the control isn’t healthy.  It’s fear-based, manipulative, and will produce either rebellion or unhealthy dependence in your children.  Your children will “appear” very obedient, but the reality is they have never been given the freedom to think their own thoughts and to determine their own convictions.  You have determined them all for them.  The perfectionist mindset fits in this category.

The root of both manifestations is the same motivation: fear.

It was recently said to me that wise parenting teaches children how to be good stewards of their freedom.

This means giving your children freedom and understanding that we must want our children to live freely the plan that God has for their lives — not that we have for their lives.  It means giving our children the tools to wisely steward this freedom so that they can truly be and live the freedom God intended them to have!

My next blog post will address what the solutions are for finally overcoming this fear and finding freedom from it.  Stay tuned.

Dear Daughter, I Noticed…

KnightFamilyShoot(62of180)(Picture taken by Laura Patrick Photography.)

Dear Girlie-O,

I noticed the first time I held you and marveled that I had a daughter!!!  That was so surprising after having three sons.  I had to change your diaper extra times, just to make sure you were “still” a girl.

I noticed what a beautiful little girl you were, even as an infant.

I noticed how in awe your “big” brothers were of you.

I noticed how you love princesses, dresses, fancy shoes, and jewelry but also love to collect bugs with your brothers.

I noticed how you love to try on my shoes and parade across the bedroom in them.

I noticed how delighted you were to wear my necklace to preschool one day.

I noticed how you are not afraid to jump on top of a pile of wrestling brothers.

I noticed how you love to pick dandelions and to hand them to me to put in a vase.

I noticed how you love when Daddy takes you on dates.

I noticed how you loved when I painted your nails for the first time.

I noticed how you lovingly say, “my boys.”

I noticed how protective and nurturing you are of your little brother.

I noticed how independent and yet sensitive you are.

I noticed how you love Jesus and talk about Him.

I noticed how spiritually-sensitive and aware you are.

I noticed how you love to help me cook and clean.

I noticed how you love to have me rock you and how perfectly you fit on my lap still.

I noticed how tall you are getting and how I want to treasure these moments as much as possible.

I noticed how accomplished you are at helping me put together puzzles and how you won “Candyland” and “Chutes and Ladders” when we played last.

I noticed how your preschool teacher said you would be a great mother because you were protective and nurturing of everyone in your class.

I noticed how your preschool teacher said that when you grow up, you want to be a princess and marry the king — not just the prince.

I noticed how you have a great sense of fashion and color-coordination.

I noticed how you are quick to apologize when you do wrong and to give hugs.

Precious daughter, I treasure these times when I can watch you enjoy the sweetness of princesses, dolls, and tumbling with your brothers.  I love the fact that you are my daughter — in all of your femininity and strength!  I love your courage and your kindness!  You are and always will be, a princess to Daddy and me!  I love you.

W-2, I Noticed…

Dear Son,

I noticed the first time I “fell in love” with you.  It was the day you were born, and the first time I held you in my arms.

I noticed what a contented baby you were and so calm.

I noticed how you loved people and began to “knowingly” smile at people at only two weeks old.

I noticed how you loved to laugh and to make others laugh at a very young age.

I noticed your long eyelashes and knew you were going to be a “heart-stopper.”

I noticed your determination to finally conquer the skill of walking, after months of challenges.

I noticed how you love our neighbor’s dog that is three-times-your-size and how he loves you.

I noticed how you have a great imagination and love to make your animals kiss each other and talk to each other.

I noticed how affectionate you are with your kisses.

I noticed how you love to greet strangers and to make them smile.

I noticed how you brought tears to a young man’s eyes due to your friendly greeting.

I noticed how you like to help clean up your toys and then dump them out again.

I noticed how you have learned to sit at the top of the stairs and wait for someone to get you.

I noticed how you have a quick temper but also an eager willingness to love people.

I noticed how loved you are by everyone in this family, and how they all love to play with you and to hold you.

I noticed how you love to look at books.

I noticed how you absolutely love music, to dance to it, and have great rhythm.

I noticed how you call me, “Momma,” and I absolutely love it!

I noticed the time you sang to me, “I love you,” and it melted my heart.

Son, I noticed that you were an unexpected but absolutely wonderful blessing from God, for which I am completely and unashamedly thankful!

I love you.

L-Son, I Noticed…

 

Dear L-Son,

I noticed all of the times you would pick dandelions and other flowers and give them to your sister or myself.

I noticed the times you shared your only gift cards to buy me a special treat.

I noticed all the times you made special bracelets and gave them away.

I noticed the times you defended the “under-dog” and comforted the hurting.

I noticed how you play with your younger siblings and share your special toys with them.

I noticed how athletic you are and how you won the first place award for top boy athlete in your class of 21 students.

I noticed how passionate you are about life and how you put your whole heart into whatever you do.

I noticed how you wanted to be baptized, along with your brothers, last Sunday.

I noticed how you love to read books and read well.

I noticed how willing you are to work hard to help others, including moving in new neighbors and shoveling the neighbors’ sidewalks.

I noticed how you looked out for your great grandmother and held the door for her and made sure she was okay getting in and out of the car.

I noticed how you love to fix your sister’s hair and love to see her wear pretty things.

I noticed how you love people and make friends easily.

I noticed how you love back-rubs and talking time.

I noticed how give great hugs and sloppy kisses.

I noticed how you get scared easily but will courageously stand up for someone in need.

I noticed how spiritually-sensitive and aware you are.

I noticed the time when you had been hurt by someone, and I encouraged you to picture putting all the hurts in a garbage bag and then handing them to Jesus.  I noticed how I asked you then what that made you, and you said “free!”

I noticed the time you were so upset because of forgetfulness on your part and as a result, your little brother had gotten hurt.  I noticed how when I asked you why you wouldn’t let me comfort you and what the lie was you were believing, you said, “That I am not to accept love… because I didn’t deserve it.”

I noticed how much better you seemed after I explained to you that was a lie and told you the truth: that you are forgiven, precious, and loved by God.

I noticed that you are an excellent student and received the highest award for top grades.

Son, I noticed that you are sensitive, caring, a fighter for good causes, enthusiastic, energetic, and affectionate.

Son, most of all, I noticed how thankful I am that you are my son — my sweet “light-bringer.”  I love you!

I’m Sorry, Kids

To the precious five little people in my life,

I’m sorry, kids, for those times when I raised my voice and taught you that dirt and spilled milk was more important then showing you what grace and patience looks like.

I’m sorry, kids, for those times when I insisted that sitting perfectly still in church was more important than helping you to see that worshiping God is not for perfect people but for the redeemed.

I’m sorry, kids, for times when I didn’t demonstrate that it is possible to disagree with Daddy and still be completely respectful at the same time.

I’m sorry, kids, for times when I was more intentional with pursuing my own goals and worth then in listening to your own dreams and building your own sense of worth.

I’m sorry, kids, for times when I “cheated” you out of opportunities to see how great our God is by spending more time in the mediocre then in fellowshiping with our God.

I’m sorry, kids, for times when my words criticized and blamed you rather than showing you that the message of the Gospel is grace.  It’s grace in the home.  It’s grace in our words.  It’s grace in our actions. 

I’m sorry, kids, for times when instead of praising you for all the effort you did, I pressured you to keep performing better.

I’m sorry, kids, for times when I didn’t see past your anger to understand the thin guise it was for covering hurts and fears.

I’m sorry, kids, for the many times when I didn’t have the right answer, didn’t have enough strength and accepted defeat instead of teaching you that God is always enough.

I’m sorry, kids, I wasn’t the perfect mom.  Yet, maybe that will help you to understand that you don’t have to be the “perfect” kid to be used by God and loved by God.

God did give me, you kids, to raise.  He knew that I would learn through, you kids, what grace really looks like.  Grace is when I recognize the greatness of my God to be more than sufficient to help me raise you guys.

Grace is when I say I am sorry and mean it.

Grace is when I understand that God doesn’t call “perfect” people to be parents.  He calls redeemed people to remember that it’s only grace that brought us and only grace that will keep us.

Kids, I am not sorry that I have taught you that we have a God who is so much greater than us!

We have a God Who loves you perfectly and delights in you!  We have a God who will be faithful to keep you.  We have a God who has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you — to give you a hope and a future.”

So, kids, there is nothing I want to leave with you more than for you to know, really believe, how much God loves you and that it’s His grace that will keep you.

Blessings or Blesser?

IMG_9292 edited & cropped

There was a time that I was unable to blog, as I mentioned in the blog: https://graceinthemoment.wordpress.com/2015/05/13/still-alive-living-abundantly.

At first, I was annoyed, then disappointed, then resigned, then accepting.  I realized that when God takes something away, it’s always for a reason.

I realized the reason why I was so sad.  I recognized that I was still trying to find my worth by “being somebody.”  I was still trying to prove that I mattered — mattered because of what I did.  I longed for people’s affirmation.

I was not living in my “identity” as His daughter — completely at rest in the all-encompassing, unconditional love of my Heavenly Father.  (See my testimony regarding this: https://graceinthemoment.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/the-second-part-of-my-testimony-the-second-most-incredible-experience-of-my-life.)

God took away something that had become an idol in my life.  Such is anything we pursue in order to find a sense of belonging and worth that is outside of God.

As a girl and young woman, my idol was getting married to a man who would make me feel like the most incredible gift ever.  I actually did marry a man who did that as much as any human can do.

But, you can suck a person and a relationship dry if you seek to pull from it what only God can give.

As a new mother, I hoped to get that sense of worth by being a godly mother.  I couldn’t wait to practice all of my teaching and ministry skills on my own kids.  Somehow, I had this “Cinderella” idea that I could make my kids into perfect little “robots” of perfection.  Silly, right?

When you idolize your kids, you tend to create unhealthy “soul ties” (heart connections) of co-dependency and attempt to control and unconsciously prevent your children from “flying” independently.  The opposite is also true, you resent and “reject” your kids because they become “symbols of your failure.” 

I struggled with resenting my kids at times because they had a way of demonstrating their worst moments in front of people.  Some of these people made me feel even more like a failure.  I responded to my own personal feelings of failure and to the outside negativity by exerting even more pressure on my kids to be little models of perfection.  It was a set-up for failure.

Poor little people!  I was expecting them to do the impossible, and I was perpetuating the lies of performance-based worth.

I love what the book, Glimpses of Grace, by Gloria Furman says about this.  She says:

When we immortalize the material and elevate it to the highest good, we set up idols to worship and pay homage to.  This can happen when we attach our reason for being to our current role in life — even roles like being a mother or housewife.

Do you serve your image of a good mother?

…When we’re tempted to either despise our everyday lives or worship our everyday lives, we need to remember what Paul said in Romans 12:1-2…”

God does want us to serve with gladness.  He wants us to enjoy the gifts He has given us: marriage, children, homes, talents, strengths, clothing, food, friends… They are all good gifts, for which we can and should be thankful.

Our worth and God’s love though is completely independent from our performance, possessions, and abilities. 

I like what Glimpses of Grace says in relationship to service within the home:

 “Living your everyday life for God’s sake is spiritual worship. …Seeing the brilliance of the cross and embracing its message are at the core of how God wants to work in our mundane to bring glory to Himself.

…When we are engaged in seeing and savoring the beauty of Jesus, the vain things that charm us most fade away into the distance.”

How do we keep from idolizing the blessings/the gifts from superseding the Blesser in our life?

Glimpses of Grace says,

“…when we say the ‘gift of God’, we are actually saying the gift is God Himself.  God is good.  And He said, ‘I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name The Lord’He is the ultimate Good.

…rejoicing in the Lord’s faithfulness to His name.”

Let’s not forget that as wonderful as our blessings are, they are merely a “star” in the vast “universe” of Who God is!

It will take an eternity to be able to receive all the overflowing abundant goodness of His love towards us and of Who He is!

Finding Unconditional Love And Acceptance

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It has been taught by some of the greatest minds in counseling that the three greatest needs that humans have are to be accepted/loved, to belong, and to feel safe.

As infants, we enter this world seeking to have these needs met.

The struggle to meet these in-bred needs manifests itself in cries for attention and in beautiful smiles when attention is given.

Business journals and articles recognize this need and how it impacts the working environment.  (See attached link from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/christinecomaford/2013/03/13/the-3-things-all-humans-crave-and-how-to-motivate-anyone-anytime-anywhere.)

Even within loving families, we can still struggle to find our own sense of purpose and destiny, to feel loved no matter what we do and who we are.

So much of life is spent searching for this feeling of complete and utter acceptance — to be completely accepted and loved just the way we are — for who we are, where we are, what we are.

When we haven’t experienced this kind of love, we will be endlessly trying to please others.

We will base our feelings of worth on how successful we are in business, finance, relationships, physical attractiveness, religious activities, moral “standing”, and educational achievements.

Our calendars will be indicative of this need to prove ourselves by a ridiculously overloaded schedule that leaves us and our families exhausted, frazzled, and certainly not “abiding” in the Lord.  (See my earlier blog: https://graceinthemoment.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/being-or-doing.)

We will be known by close acquaintances for our inability to relax and rest.  We will forever be doing — always seeking for something…  We will struggle to fully understand our own calling/destiny.

The struggle comes when we look in the wrong places.

After encountering much hurt in our attempts to find this acceptance in the wrong places, it is easy to become afraid to reach out any more towards experiencing true love.  We begin to build “walls” around our hearts to keep ourselves “protected” from those and that which could hurt us more.

What we don’t know is that we have only “walled” ourselves within our selves, and the only thing we have left is our own abilities to cope.  Then enter tragedies, the challenges of life, imperfect people who are insensitive, false representations of God, religious abuse, and suffering.  We begin to crumble.  Outwardly, we may put on “happy faces.”  We may even strive harder to out-perform, out-serve, out-maneuver everyone around us.  We will even say all the right words because our “worth is based on how others perceive us, including fellow “Christians”.  We can live a very “godly” life, doing all the right things.  We can even think the right things and therefore think we believe the right things.

What we believe though is always what we live.

If we are still struggling, still anxious, still concerned more about pleasing others than about resting in God, still devastated when others reject us or think we are less-than-perfect, then we haven’t yet experienced what it means to truly be loved, accepted, and walking in our life purpose.

This does not mean we aren’t truly being loved.  It means that we aren’t personally experiencing it.  Perhaps, because we aren’t allowing ourselves to because we are afraid to entrust our hearts to anyone, including God.

Perhaps a painful situation from the past, left us feeling (in our heart of hearts) that God really wasn’t there for us, really isn’t a good God.

You can say that God is a good God, but do you really accept it?  Do you live it?

When we decide that God is not a good God, we rob ourselves of the opportunity to see how He will transform even life’s worst circumstances into something beautiful.  

Diamonds are formed from extreme heat and pressure.  It is through this process of “suffering” that a diamond is transformed into something beautiful.

Gold is also purified by heating it so that the impurities are burned away.

The process is never easy, but the outcome is always far surpassing in beauty and magnificence.

When we surrender ourselves into the hand of the One Who loves us and desires to bring us into our “destinies,” we reflect the brilliance of His own character!

God always uses the painful circumstances in our lives for something good.  When we are in the middle of the circumstance, we may not be able to see the good.  By faith though, we trust and know that good will come.

When we are finally able to accept that He is a good God, then we will be able to trust Him enough to receive His love. 

Once we begin to experience the perfection of His love, we will know what it means to be loved perfectly, to belong unconditionally, and to thrive fully in the capacity for which we were designed.

We must first trust God to release the little girl and little boy within us to run to Abba-

Love Is Simple

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I am going to keep this simple because a lot of times that’s all we have time and energy for — simple instructions and simple ideas. 

I wanted to share some quick ideas on how to show your kids that you love them.

What your kids care the most about is whether or not you love them.  So just love them!

Here are some simple ideas on how to demonstrate your love:

First, always tell them.

Second, demonstrate it by giving an appropriate hug and kiss.  For some kids, it might mean a back rub, tickle-time, or chasing them around like a dinosaur.

Discover your kids’ love languages, and use that knowledge to enhance their perceptions of your love. 

At the end of last week, I decided to do a simple but fun activity that also used my knowledge of their love languages.  I took a post-it-note and wrote a specific message on the note for each child.  I then attached the notes to the undersides of their dinner plates.

The kids loved finding their notes and then carrying out the instructions on the individual notes.  It was a simple but fun way to demonstrate to my kids that they are loved.  The activity also taught the kids practically how they could also express love to one another.  (I will post pictures of the notes so you get the idea…)

It’s important to let your kids know you love them, but expressing that doesn’t need to be complicated.  Keep it simple but love them!

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