Last week, I talked about the importance of showing children our faith. I discussed the fact that our kids are watching our faith. And not only are they watching our faith, they are mimicking it. Even at a young age.
In this segment, I’ll expound on two other key issues where our children are always recording: our priorities and what we allow into our minds.
A godly woman’s priorities can easily get disordered, especially in a busy world with so many things vying for our attention. Combine that with the constant struggle to manage our time well and wishing we had more of it. Suddenly, our best-intentioned priorities become out-of-whack. Sometimes those priorities can be as simple as frittering precious time away on our computers or cell phones. Social media, email, mindless browsing on devices, too much TV, unable to say no to every demand, and not staying on track can disintegrate the structure of our priorities.
It’s been said that we will make time for that which is truly important to us. Do our kids see what is truly important to us? That growing closer to God, spending time with our spouse and building a strong marriage (more about marriage in Part 4), and mothering our children are important to us? Or do they see a barrage of other “important” items filling up our days?
Here are some suggestions to keep our priorities in check:
Be there when your kids need you. So many parents today are absent, not only physically, but mentally. Our children face a harsh culture within an even harsher world. They need us to be physically, emotionally, and mentally present for them.
Give them your full attention when they talk. We must combat what I call the “uh-huh response” – nodding and saying “uh-huh” at “appropriate” times when our child is talking to us. There are times when we, as moms, are in the middle of working or another project and aren’t able to drop everything. In our house, if I can’t give one of my kids my full attention, including eye contact and being 100% present, I ask my kids to give me a minute to finish what I’m doing. This helps me to switch gears and be able to fully focus on them, and it teaches them patience.
Give ample time for open discussions. As I mentioned in my post How to Build Close Bonds with Your Kids, sometimes the car is the best place for conversations. The best place, that is, if they aren’t competing with the radio, movies, or other distractions.
Make sure your kids see you spending time with their dad and making that a priority.
Do things together as a family and create family traditions.
Model caring for your home and the duties that come along with that. This will vary depending on which spouse/parent is responsible for which duties in the home or if one is a single parent.
Spend time in God’s Word.
Take time to rest and refresh. It’s important that our kids see that we are not superhuman. We need down time. For us, after church on Sundays is our “veg” day. We don’t spend time on any cell phones or devices. Instead, we relax, read, play games, or go on a bike ride as a family.
2. What we allow into our minds.
What do we allow to fill our mind? What do we allow our eyes to see and our ears to hear? Do we tell our kids that they shouldn’t listen to certain music artists, watch certain movies, or read certain books? But then we do it ourselves? Yes, while we are adults and can listen to/watch/read more mature items than our children can, it’s important to set a good example.
We are told in Philippians 4:8 what types of things to focus on and allow into our minds.
“But, Mom, you watch those type of shows. But, Dad, you play those violent video games. Why can’t I?”
Guarding our own eyes and ears is of utmost importance.
What goes in will come out in our attitude, personality, and the way we treat others. Let’s be careful what we take in – because our children will see what comes out.
Before you go, check out these other posts: