No matter what, don’t neglect or abandon your kidsHealthy child development is nurtured in parental bonding. This includes dads and moms! A rhythm of bonding behaviors establishes trust in the core of your children. Trust is fundamental to development. If your kids don’t trust you to give them security, they will form a basic mistrust of people in general. In the early years, I was in my kids lives all the time. I attended events, coached teams, played basketball in our driveway with their friends. After divorce, my time with them was limited. For me, it was chronic emotional pain. However, I determined to stay in their life as much as possible even if at times it felt peripheral. Parents, be careful that you do not allow careers, household responsibilities, or the activities of your kids rob you of the quality time they need with you. Slow down and enjoy nurturing the relationship.
If you say you have values or beliefs then live themNothing worse than being a hypocrite to your children. Words have a diminished value if they are not supported by actions. Be true to your word. Don’t promise your children something you cannot deliver. Kids are influenced more by cultural messages streaming through media portals and their peers. You have your work cut out for you. [Tweet “Nothing worse than being a hypocrite to your children. Words have a diminished value if they are not supported by actions”] I also believe kids are starving for leadership. Be a hero by being consistent in your words and actions. When they enter adulthood they will trust the proven guidance they see in you. My son Justin was talking wedding plans with me the other day. He stated that he and Brandy are working hard on saving money. I treasure what he said next, “I remember those things you taught me growing up. It feels good.”
Encourage them to find their voiceWithin the core of an individual is a voice. I’m not being literal here. What I mean is kids need to be able to express themselves without fear of disapproval or shame. A parent who constantly corrects or criticizes a child, injures their spirit. Encourage your kids to express their thoughts and feelings. Do not be quick to interrupt because you don’t agree with what you hear. Let them finish. Validate them by conveying understanding. Afterwards give your input. I like what the Bible says, “Be quick to listen. Slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” From the time I was a young parent I always tried to encourage my kids to use their voice. Even recently when talking separately with each my adult kids I listened as they processed decisions they are facing. Only after they finished did I ask them if I could shed some additional light. I was impressed by how little I had to offer. As adults they show me they get it. They are figuring things out. Confidence emerges from the core.
Now it’s your turnWhat do you do to nurture healthy adult children? I would love to hear your suggestions! Feel free to post a comment below or on one of my social media sites listed here.
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