5 Things Your Kids Want From You
This article originally appeared on Crosswalk.com
Contrary to what they may say, if our kids had to choose only a handful of things to receive from us, the list wouldn’t start with an iPhone or an endless supply of sugary treats (well, hopefully not). Luckily, they won’t require superhuman strength or the brains of a nuclear physicist, and perhaps the best news— it won’t cost us any money (not directly anyway).
What these five things will require is something worth far more than we can imagine. It’s impossible to put a price tag on them because, truthfully, it will require both selfless living, and enormous amounts of time.
1. Attention – yes, ours.
Regardless of how old they are, whether we are rocking babes to sleep at night, or arguing over the length of our pre-teen’s skirt, what our children desperately long for is our attention. That means putting down our phones, being present at the dinner table, and getting on the floor to play Legos. It means splashing in the pool instead of reading in our chair, playing tag at the park instead of supervising from afar, and tuning into the kids movie that they are begging us to watch instead of working in the next room during family night. It means showing up for the games, listening when they flop onto our bed in a melancholy way, and learning the art of texting, even if that’s not our preferred method of communicating. They desire to be seen and heard, just as we do as adults.
2. Approval – this one is hard—because we won’t always be able to give it.
But whenever possible, hand it out generously! This is obviously a bit easier when the kids are younger, and will get more difficult to navigate the older they get. If your daughter wants pink hair, let her do it! Your under-five-foot tall son wants to try out for the basketball team, grab your pom-poms. When they start talking about “a special friend” and you want to lock them in their room—wait. Our approval of their good choices will put the deposits into the relationship so that when it’s time to hand out lectures and say “no” later, it will be greeted with less disdain. Unless what they’re doing is morally corrupt, life-threatening, or illegal, be the parent who says “yes” and champions them, more than the one that doubts them and says “no.”
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