Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What all Children Need to Hear

Q. My husband and I were praying about our children the other night. We really want to make sure we get this parenting thing right. What would you say are some of the important things to do for our children?

A. Steven Trader, Pathways Professional counselor in Linden, Grove Hill, and Selma will be answering your question today:

Have you ever met a parent that was not a good parent? I think we all may have. At times we may also feel as though we are not doing a good job in parenting our children. This can be frustrating, to say the least. Tragically, so many of us fail to see the desired results we want when it comes to our own parenting situations. What can we do to become the parents that we all desire to be? The answer is to model ourselves after the greatest Parent of all, God the Father. We need to do what He did with His Son, the Lord Jesus. In Matthew chapter three, at the baptism of Jesus, we hear powerful words of affirmation spoken to the Son by the Father. All children need words of affirmation from their parents. Sadly, many may never hear anything but words of criticism and harshness.

What were these powerful words spoken on that special day? Matthew 3:16-17 says, “After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well- pleased.’”

In that passage, the Father said two things that every child needs to hear and every parent needs to say.
  1. “I love you!” — “This is my beloved Son” … Children need to know that Mom and Dad love them. You would be amazed at how many people who I have talked to through the years admit that one or both parents never said these powerful and precious words. More often than not, it is their father who never said these words. How tragic this is for a family. People long to know they are loved. This is a great need that all people have and many never receive. Parents, tell your children you love them!
  2. “I am proud of you!” — “with whom I am well-pleased.”… Parents, let your kids know that you are proud of them. Let them hear those exact words. A man shared with me that he told his adult daughter these words just recently. He had never said this before. He said, “She broke down crying over the phone, and said how much that meant to her.” When these words are spoken, a child feels approved. Many people spend their entire life seeking the approval of Mom and Dad. Parents, tell your children you are proud of them!
Mom and Dad, remember that when it comes to parenting, the days may seem long but the years will be short. Make the most of your time with your children by speaking these powerful and life-transforming words!

Come back next week to see 15 ways to show your kids you love them.

*This column is not intended to substitute for an actual session with a licensed counselor.

If you have a question you would like to ask, EMAIL US: askanne@abchome.org or leave a comment. We would love to answer one of your questions.