What Do Kids REALLY Need From Their Parents?
Often times my friends laugh at me because I am the playful mom. The one who often builds forts, runs through the aisles swinging my kids in shopping carts till their hearts are content, or being the first to make a replica of a Camaro because #dreamcar. As desirable as it may be for some moms, for me it can often be selfish more than intentional. Not only because I love doing all the above mentioned things (reallllly, I do) but many times it’s on days I’m at my wits end as a work from home mom that I am trying to figure out how to keep them occupied without just turning on another episode of Baby Bums or Veggie Tales. (Because being real, many days consist of that as my go to, not dream forts in lego land or spinning through the aisles in magical fairy shopping carts.)
But what do kids really need from their parents?
Is the art of being playful? Sometimes, yes I believe it is.
But more often I believe kids need us to:
1.) Be a Protector: As a mother in the pursuit of Christ, one of the most powerful ways I can be a protector to my children is by praying a daily hedge of protection over them. Just as the Lord is a shelter and safe place for me in my motherhood journey and for my children, I also desire to be a safe place for them. A place they can find shelter from a hard day at school, or from someone pushing them on the playground. Psalm 32:7 paints a picture of the Lord as our protector, and a daily reminder that as I lead them by following Him, I can be that to them as well. Psalm 32 states: “You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.”
2.) Be a Pillar: A Pillar is a structure that builds stability. A pillar, or a person who can be relied upon to give a great deal of support and comfort to others. But a pillar, no matter how well constructed, can only serve its function if it is set on a solid foundation. Our SOLID FOUNDATION has to be Jesus himself, the Word of God. In Matthew 7:26 the pillar was set on sand, it would soon shift and harm the entire [family] structure. To be a Pillar of strength in our family, we must first be sure that we are setting our hearts and minds on the solid foundation of Truth found in God’s word, not by society, or our skewed views of ourselves.
3.) Be Present : If you’ve ever seen a mom buried behind a screen trying to capture every moment in fear of missing it, and wanting to document it, it was probably me.
As a professional photographer and blogger, I am constantly wanting to freeze time to savor and treasure these moments with my children, because everyone will tell you as a new mom, “the days are long, but the years are short.” The problem with the nagging “be present” mindset if we are not careful, is that it can quickly become based out of fear rather than love. The reminder to be present is great, but I daily have to resist the pressure to bow down to it in fear of I am losing something. I’ve had to seek to find tangible balance as a mother of two in the pursuit of being present for each of them. For me, this meant being intentional about finding balance behind the heart of being present, but also being realistic about expectations, and dare I say, being brave enough to feel what is there without always capturing it. The present moments have a way of dissolving fear in the awareness of it’s very existence. In the pursuit of being intentional with these moments, [most days,] I’m no longer racked with guilt, but instead focused on ways to spend intentional, undistracted time with my children. When I had my first child, we had a lot of mommy-daughter time together. But when our little guy came around 19 months later, I made it a goal to spend five minutes of uninterrupted one-on-one time with each of them every day. It’s amazing how much this simple commitment of taking time to be present does for my children’s happiness, behavior and our relationships!
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