We’ve been talking about positive ways to win our children’s hearts. Today I’m going to talk about the negative side of it and share 3 mistakes that can turn your child’s heart from you!
These are all common mistakes you may not have thought of:
1. WE STRIVE TO LOOK RIGHT BUT FAIL TO EMPHASIZE THE HEART ISSUES THAT ARE IMPORTANT.
If you look at the way you discipline, often you may discover that you spend much of your time on changing their behavior, rather than changing their hearts.
This isn’t how to reach your child’s heart. Their heart isn’t touched, and God is concerned with the heart.
Ask for the Lord to give you wisdom to overcome these mistakes. Ask for Him to show you how to make it less important to be RIGHT, and more important to focus on heart issues in your own life so you can model them authentically to your child.
So much more is caught than taught!
Verbal communication encompasses just 10% of communication. The majority of our communication lives within our actions. As parents, there is a transfer that occurs in relationship with our children that shapes the course of their destiny for good or for ill.
From the book Parenting is Heart Work:
The greatest parenting tip we can share with you is this: maintain a strong connection to your heavenly father. He offers spiritual guidance and direction to help you work through your own heart issues so you can become effective with your children. Ask God to show you the real issues your son or daughter is facing, then PRAY.”
2. WE STRIVE TO KEEP OUR KIDS FROM THE WRONG WHILE FAILING TO BEFRIEND THEM OURSELVES.
In order to develop a relationship with our children and be connected families, we must spend time with them!
It’s not enough to protect them from the wrong influences, people, or activities. We have to fill that void, by spending time with them. We need to make that a priority!
Unfortunately, it’s not something we can always do on our own time table either. I believe it’s important to allow time in your schedule daily just to spend time with your kids, but I have found that often they need my attention or a listening ear at times when I’m busy with something else. Nothing is more important though than being there when they want to talk.
They open up on their schedule, not just when you are ready to listen and say “Hey, what’s on your heart that you want to talk about? I’ve got 15 minutes.”
If you are available to listen, or just be there for them when they’re going through a difficult time, as they share their emotions with you it will create a bond. They then are more willing to hear you out, because they know you care.
The key is availability! ( It is also very helpful to just include them in your cooking, cleaning, errands, etc. as that makes opportunities.)
3. WE STRIVE FOR COMPLIANCE AND FORGET THE RELATIONSHIP THAT WILL BRING COMPLIANCE.
In our efforts to raise “good children” and require obedience, it’s easy to become harsh as we strive to be firm. Harshness and/or anger are mistakes that will quickly destroy the relationship you have with your children.
Harshness and anger are mistakes that damage relationships!
It’s much, much better to appeal to our children on the basis of love, rather than using fear of our anger to get them to do what they should.
In the booklet Solving the Crisis in Christian Parenting, it talks about this very thing and says it SO well:
What we didn’t realize was that there is a great difference between intimidating children into subjection and winning their hearts into submission. Intimidating children into subjection merely gains outward compliance. Having their hearts means gaining greater opportunity to influence their values.”
It’s so important to also remember that anger doesn’t address the issue of the heart, and confuses the learning process. The child is focusing more on avoiding your anger, than changing their heart.
Dr. S.M. Davis counsels many Christian parents who are struggling with their children and has made the observation that when there is rebellion in a young person, there is almost always anger in one or both of the parents. The anger causes the parent to lose the child’s heart, and over time they rebel.
See details and purchase the Overcoming Anger God’s Way 7 week course at her Shop here.
Kathie Morrissey is the mother of 8 children, 16 grandchildren, and a wife to Alan for 40 years. She was a committed homeschooling mom of 31 years. She is the founder of The Character Corner, where she loves to blog about character building, parenting, family life, and homeschooling. Kathie is the author of two popular character curriculums, as well as several other books to encourage homeschooling parents. She is a well-known speaker at homeschool conventions and support groups, as well as ladies’ retreats. Her heart’s desire is to help and encourage parents to be purposeful in raising Godly children with strong Christian character, who walk in purity and have a heart for God.