By: Sue Searles
The following tips are not in order of the importance or inchronological order; they are just tips that I’ve learned over the years.
- Start praying for your children before they are born, whether that means you pray to get pregnant or once you are pregnant for a healthy baby and easy and quick delivery.
- Give your children a lot of hugs and kisses. Children need physical touch to be healthy, the reason so many of the orphan children in third world countries fail to thrive is because they do not have any physical touch. Don’t stop giving hugs even when they get bigger.
- Tell them you love them often and then teach them to say I love you back.
- Read to them often, some people start reading to their babies in the womb, I started reading to them when they were babies, I have many books memorized from reading them so many times. Keep reading until they don’t seem to be interested, it could be a long time.
- Start teaching them to pick up their own messes as soon as they are old enough to make them. Make it fun, perhaps sing the pick up song, and be realistic about what they are able to do at the age they are at. Teach them chores at a young age and when you do teach them be sure to teach them the proper way to do them and then hold them accountable for doing them right.
- Give them plenty of smiles and encouraging words, be their biggest fans. Kids need to see that you approve of them, it so important.
- Listen to them and give them your undivided attention, this may mean that as they get older you will have to stay up later. I remember my kids really opened up to me very late at night often.
- Discipline them, set boundaries and bed times at an early age. Kids are more secure when they know that you care enough to tell them no, be the “bad guy” if they get themselves into situations where they have a hard time saying no. Bed time is sooooo important, kids will be grouchy if they don’t get enough sleep, try to get into a good routine and keep it the same as much as possible.
- Share your faith with them, start young and keep it up until they leave home. My kids often want my prayers and advice because they know that it will help them in their lives.
- Remember that actions speak louder than words, if your words are saying one thing and your actions are saying something different then your children will be confused and may even get angry at you for having a double standard.
- Have fun with your kids, go outside to play with them, take them to parks, to play at the mall, go swimming with them, play games with them, pizza movie nights, where you sit down with them to watch a movie of their choice, go camping if you are able to, those times will build great esteem as you teach them proper ways of winning and losing, also will bring about good memories for many years to come.
- If you are married keep your husband your top priority, show your kids by your example how to respect and honor their father. To do this will make a much more peaceful home.
- Learn their love language it will change the way you feel about them and the way they feel about you
Words of Encouragement
Acts of Service
Physical Touch and closeness
- Cook and bake with them, whether they are boys or girls they will all need to learn how to cook basic meals, be sure to teach them to clean up as they go, those things are taught, don’t assume they will just do this without your guidance.
- Talk with them about making healthy food choices.
- Exercise with them and teach them the importance of keeping fit.
- Teach them good manners, once again children are not born knowing how to do things properly it is only because we teach them that they know how to not eat with their mouth full of food, not to interrupt when you are talking, to say please and thank you, especially to write thank you cards for birthday/Christmas gifts, you fill in the blank. . .
- Teach them to honor age and to be respectful, don’t expect them to be rebellious, this is something that you need to work on them at a young age.
- Remember your children are born without morals, anything they learn as far as not being selfish, mean, stingy, lying, hitting etc are only there if you teach them, they are born without knowing right from wrong and the only way they learn it is from you.
- Take them shopping with you and then while you’re there teach them how to look for good bargains, also a good time to teach them how to act and how not to act in public.
- Talk about the importance of budgeting their money, whether you give them an allowance or not is entirely up to you, but it is vital that you teach them about money or they will have a rude awakening the day they move out and realize that money doesn’t grow on trees.
Bonus: Teach your kids how to act around otherchildren/people who have disabilities, it’s never rude for them to say hi tothat person or to show interest in asking questions, instead of just staringwhich is rude.
I would like to encourage you to sit down and make up a listof things that are important for you to do or teach your children as they growup into responsible adults, because whether you want them to or not they aregoing to grow up and leave your home one day. I hope and pray that when they doyou can say with a good amount of humble pride you did the best you could foryour children and your family.
Sue Searles, who has been married to her husband Gordy for27 years, they are blessed to have 7 beautiful children, Daniel 26 who ismarried to Sarah, Amy 24, Natalie 22 who is married to Joshua, Isaiah 12 ½,Ezekiel almost 11, Luke 8 and Lily 6. If you would like to learn more about their family and Luke’s journeysince his near drowning accident 7 years ago check them out athowsluke.blogspot.com.