I do not like to be late! Drives me crazy to be running late to anything! But, alas, I am learning that I can't be perfect and so I am running a tad late on this post. I had intended this article to post between mother's day and father's day. Since, what I am espousing is still apropos, I will still publish it!
10 Gifts that parents can give their kids:
1) The love of Jesus. If we loved and lived as Jesus did, then the world wouldn't be going downhill like an out of control luge.
2) Boundaries. This would involve discipline and love. We give boundaries because we want to protect our kids. We discipline our kids because we don't want to them to grow up being great, big brats. We have too many of those already. What kind of boundaries? Well, that depends on the values of the family. Mine come from the Bible. Protect their minds, hearts, and bodies from the world. If you don't, no one else will!
3) Listening. We should make every effort to listen more and talk/preach less. Our kids will quickly pick up on the fact that we listen or we don't. If they learn early that we aren't listening, then they will stop talking to us. Communication is key when dealing with people and that includes our kids. If they learn that we are listening and we care, then they will confide in us throughout their lives.
4) Loving their mom/dad. Kids can pick up on whether their parents love each other. When possible, maintain a steady home. Kids learn how to interact with their spouse by watching their parents. Little things are noted like a pat on the bottom, teasing, kissing, and other such things. Loving also involves respect. We must show respect to one another. If we don't show respect, then our kids will not.
5) Imagination. Turn off the TV, XBox, Nintendo, MP3s, etc. Let kids play using their imaginations. This is part of the brain's development. I fear that this generation will be sorely lacking in this area!
6) Time away. I am always amazed when I hear parents of 2 or 3 year olds say that they have never left their children. What?!! Kids need to see you taking time for yourself and your marriage. They need to see that they can survive for at least a few hours without you. It also instills trust that you are coming back, effectively eradicating the fear of abandonment. So, go on a date. Go out for an afternoon alone, For Pete's sake, go away for the weekend! They will have a blast!
7) Trust. Trust your kids. They want to please you! Encourage that! Show them that you trust them to do their chores, behave in a manner that you expect, finish their school work, etc. When they fail(and they will), allow them to earn back your trust and don't throw their failures back in their faces. This will only serve to devalue the real estate of their minds.
8) A love of reading. If a child can learn to love to read, then education is always at his/her fingertips. Reading stimulates imagination(see #5). Let them get lost in a book. Assign 30+ minutes of reading time even in the summer! Their brains will grow and expand exponentially!
9) Responsibility. Kids want to help! Let them! Give them jobs to do around the house. Those of you with OCD will not like this but if we don't teach them to help out, then they will be crippled when they have to run their own homes. Boys or girls, it matters not! They can cook, sweep, fold laundry, dust, etc. They may not do it perfectly but help them to learn without belittling them(back to respect).
10) Laughter. Laughter is healthy! It stimulates seratonin in the brain. It cheers us up and makes us healthier. Laugh and laugh often. Be silly! Tell jokes! Watch funny movies! The sounds of children laughing brings a smile to any face. Don't be a grumpy old person! Smile, laugh, tease one another! You will never regret a home where there is laughter.
This is not an exclusive list but it is a start! Be a great parent! If you are not a parent, then do these things for yourself. You will be a better person for it!