“Kindness, gentleness, long-suffering, forbearance, patience, sympathy, a willingness to enter into childish troubles, a readiness to take part in childish joys, – these are the cords by which a child may be led most easily, – these are the clues you must follow if you would find the way to his heart.” ~J.C. Ryle
Building a relationship with our children takes an investment of our time and of ourselves. Capturing their hearts involves knowing their interests, their likes and dislikes, their hopes and dreams.
How we accomplish this looks different depending on our children’s ages. Having a child work alongside us to complete a task, joining her while she plays, taking a walk together, or having one child accompany us when we run an errand can give us a chance to communicate and give that child our attention.
Currently, I have “talking time” with each girl individually for about 10-15 minutes one night a week. Obviously we talk at other times, but this is a designated period of time for them to discuss any subject they choose. We find a spot in the house for just the two of us (usually the master bedroom) so they don’t have to worry about being overheard by a sister. I started scheduling this into our week when they were much younger as I wanted us to be in the habit of doing it as they got older.
It’s much easier to lead and guide our children if they’re confident in our love for them. I know that I often miss opportunities to strengthen those cords that tie my heart to that of my children, so I’m trying to be more aware of them and take advantage of those moments in our day.
In what ways are you able to spend time getting to know your children?