Monday, November 17, 2014

5 Things Your Child Needs from You Today

I’ve been keeping a secret. It’s been in the works since last spring and now I finally get to tell you about it.

I’m teaching a mother-daughter dance class for moms and their first-through fifth grade daughters!!! {The same studio I grew up dancing in so how is that for awesome?!}

The dream came about when some of us danced with our daughters in the Christmas dance recital. Mothers expressed interest in the waiting area of continuing into spring, and I, a mother alongside them who also happens to work with struggling teens, realized this was the perfect opportunity.  Why not capitalize on her passion to create moments that matter?

I could give you a million statistical reasons to sell you on why together time is child important. I could tell you about the heartbreaking number of elementary school girls who are dieting without their parents knowing. I could brief you on bullying and this note that makes every parent think twice. I could share how youths who don’t know a true understanding of love often fall into the arms of counterfeit love and suffer life-changing pregnancies and STDs.  I could but I won’t. Because this weekend I found out a sweet little elementary girl lost one of her parents and suddenly statistics feel trite. In an unpredictable world, THIS is why it is important to do something unique with your child-

Your child needs your time-We “give” our children a lot of things. We put them to dance, drive them to soccer, usher them to piano, basketball, youth group, and the list goes on. We’ve been told that keeping our children busy will keep them out of trouble so taking them to good and noble things in the name of “opportunity” makes us feel better. But, if togetherness isn’t built in we are missing the most important thing to helping them stay on the track we wish for them. They don’t get to hear our heart, know what we believe and value, and understand our personal dreams. There is no substitute for YOU. A check can put your child in a lot of things, but it will never carry the same investment as bonding with you.


Your child needs to feel praised and secure-This world is really great at knocking all of us down, beginning with the least confident on the playground. We aren’t born with inflated self-confidence. It comes in knowing who we are. For your child to know they are loved no matter what, they can come to you with anything, and hear you speak the special qualities you identify in them will promote the emotional support they need to stand strong in trying times.


Your child needs you to listen- Multitasking is a trademark of our culture that may destroy more than build up. How many times is your child answering your questions or trying to talk with you while you’re making supper, answering a text, or reading something from their backpack? It happens in my house. But, when we give them our eyes and free ourselves of distraction we silently say, “you are my priority.” And, it allows our children moments to unfurl all they are needing to say.


Your child needs limits-Undoubtedly within this time when our children know they are secure to say whatever and we will give them our ears, some tough topics will emerge. Questions of self-worth, beauty, quality friends, how we use our words, media influence, things that make us happy and sad and what we’d like to do (all to be discussed through one-on-one directed stretch time in my class) will emerge. Older children might bring up drugs, alcohol, and sex. And, this is your time to kindly tell them what YOU believe. Contrary to popular thought, our children don’t want us to be there friend. They need someone to help steer them in a healthy direction or their friends and the media will become their compass. Known values and boundaries create security when children know the why behind it and, in a tough world, they CRAVE that.


Your child needs something shared with you-To have an activity/event to do together one-on-one creates connectedness. It’s like a love language without words that naturally continues bringing your child back to you so that you can nurture the parent-child bond, ensuring opportunity to be together, chat, laugh, and cry. {My hubby gets this through All Pro Dad and daddy/daughter dates. I’m excited to make this my special time.}

Every child needs these keys from their parent to grow up healthy and strong.  I encourage you to be intentional to build in this time with your child(ren) today. In doing so, you will keep the lines of communication open and ensure that you will remain their go-to person. I’m grateful for an opportunity to teach a class focusing on this with my young ones. It will enhance that foundation before adolescence hits J

Mom and dad, YOU matter!

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