In The Life Of Your Child

Picture of Kylie and me at Moms weekendWhen my daughter Kylie invited me to join her for Mom’s Weekend, I was thrilled. You see, my daughter has not always wanted to be around me. In fact, I annoyed her most of the time. We have very different personalities and without knowing it, I rejected her.

Going to visit my daughter during “Mom’s Weekend” sponsored by the University of Illinois was a test of my heart. How would I demonstrate my love?

As it stands right now, my daughter attends the community college as she works two jobs to save money, pay for her expenses, and establish residency with the hopes to attend U of I next year. I visited her for the first time since she moved to the small town of Champaign at the beginning of the year.

Before my visit, I asked people to pray for me to connect with my daughter. I felt lifted up and I trusted God to answer that prayer even when I threw up in her car. That right, I have extreme motion sickness and the flight into Chicago was a turbulent one. In fact, the pilot made two attempts at landing due to fog and air traffic. Fortunately, when I vomited in her car I made it into the paper bag I carried with me.

Earlier I had asked God for wisdom so that I could express the love of Jesus to Kylie and hoped she would see Him in me. As I reclined in her car, I trusted God that this would be used for good. Little words were spoken on the drive home as I slept most of the way during the four hours it took in stop and go traffic. I rejoiced that she never once seemed annoyed with me.

Promise from God

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks he must believe and not doubt” (James 1:5-6).

3 Ways to communicate Love to Your Child

Put yourself in their shoes.

Communicate that you want to know everything about their daily life. I asked my daughter to show me where she spent her time. I wanted to know where she studied at the library. Where did she work? Who were her friends? Where did she workout? I wanted to have a visual in my mind of where she was when I talked to her over the phone.

When Joe’s Brewery offered the moms the opportunity to work alongside their son or daughter, enthusiastically I signed up. Together we worked side by side serving food and beverages. After five hours of serving I was exhausted, my feet hurt, and I had a new appreciation for what my daughter does to make ends meet as a college student.

Stay focused on them instead of other people.

For those who are expressive, sometimes we have the attitude the more the merrier. In certain environments this can be alright, but for those who are expecting quality time, hold off on talking to other people. Stay focused on that person and avoid getting into conversations that takes your time from your child. When others interrupt or pull you away, say, “Excuse me, I really need to end our conversation, since I want to spend time with my daughter. I need to focus on her right now.”

Build-up with affirmation.

Our kids need to hear that we’re proud of them. God tells us to build people up according to what will benefit them and others who are listening. They may do some things that disappoint, annoy, or cause us concern, but on the other hand, they are probably doing some things right. Build them up with words of encouragement like “You’re doing a great job in that class.” “I like the way you decorate your room.” “You have good discernment when it comes to choosing friends.” “I think you will go far in this world because you’re so disciplined.” “I’m proud of you for working so hard.”

Kylie and I had a wonderful weekend. Finally, I took the time to understand her and really made a point to know about her life. My efforts bonded us together and she expressed her appreciation for my working alongside her and coming to visit. If you struggle to understand your child, at whatever stage they are in, put yourself in their shoes for a day, stay focused on them and build them up with words of affirmation. It will make a difference in your relationship. I guarantee it.

Prayer to God

Dear Father God, please give me wisdom to know how to communicate my love for my children. Help me to put myself in their shoes, to be aware of their struggles and what’s pulling them away from you. Help me to minister your love and grace by staying focused on them and not being distracted by other things and people. Also, help me to remember to build my children up instead of always pointing out what they do wrong. I want my words to benefit them and those who are listening with words of praise and adoration and encouragement in Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Leave a comment

3 Comments

  1. Sylvia Thomas

     /  April 25, 2013

    This is wonderful Kirsten! I’m so glad you had this special time with your daughter and could share a little piece with us. Thanks for the encouragement!

    Reply
    • Thanks Sylvia! God is faithful to hear the cry of our heart for unity and reconciliation. May He bless you my friend. Thanks for being part of this community. I’m here for you. Missing you at Bible study. Hope you’re enjoying fellowship with other sisters.

      Reply
  2. Donna

     /  April 23, 2013

    Wonderful overall post. You’ve given stumped parents a great place to start in looking to connect with their child. Stepping into their shoes is huge! Really opens our eyes. So happy for your special time with her.

    Reply

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