One of the most important aspects of communication is the ability to share ones feelings. Although this seems such a basic form of communication it can be easily overlooked in the training of our children. Yesterday we talked about how our current culture is so distracted and fast paced that we cannot take our job of training our children to communicate for granted. It must be something that is done very intentionally.
When children are younger we are constantly reminding them to, “Use your Words”, in order to help them communicate. As they grow older we may allow them to try and communicate through emotions, such as anger or frustration, because we have grown weary of the time it takes to deal with their behavior . However, when our children are acting out in frustration or anger, we need to remind them to use their words. If our children are not trained how to communicate their feelings both positive and negative, it can lead to some destructive behavior patterns. Bottling up emotions can be very dangerous. When you are teaching your child how to communicate their feelings, you are also beginning to help them learn how to process through their emotions. Emotions that are raw and un-processed can also lead to destructive behaviors. We must be constantly in tune with our children’s day to day so that we can remind them to “use their words. “
During the month of August we will be discussing one of the areas that can impact your child’s future. We will be talking about training your kids to communicate. This is one of those valuable tools that will help your kids be marriageable and employable in the future.
There are many adults today that have not been trained how to communicate. Because of the distractions of today’s culture this is something that we have to make a priority for the family. In the past families did things together for entertainment so communication was more natural. With the introduction of television the entertainment was moved from internal, or within the family, to external. This and other technological advances have made it that we must be intentional in training our children to communicate.
Choosing to home school or send your children to Christian school brings up different focal points for parenting toward independence. The homeschooled child needs to have times of interaction with other children. There are many opportunities today for homeschoolers to learn socialization skills. There are many home school groups that meet, for PE classes or other classes that are difficult to do individually, during the week. It is also important to have your child involved in the children’s ministry at your church, where they can interact with kids their own age.
A focal point that is positive for both children who are homeschooled and who go to Christian school, is making sure that children can have some supervised interaction with people in the community. Community sports leagues or gymnastic classes are great for this. You can be there to observe but it gives your child a great learning opportunity. As they are around people who do not share their belief system it creates opportunities for communication. You can take your child out for ice cream and talk to them about what they’ve experienced. This can be a wonderful time with your child to help them process.
The trait that we will discuss today, is a very important trait but it is also one that is forgotten often in the rush of our day to day lives. It is the concept of affirmation. Children need to hear “well done” from their father. For many reasons there are few others in your children’s lives who can speak this level of affirmation.
This means that you have to be aware and involved in the day to day of your children. They need to see you cheering on the side line. They need to see you in the audience after a recital or performance. They need to hear “You did a great job! I am so proud of you!” These simple words speak such volumes, they are carried in their hearts into adulthood.
Children need to hear well done for the daily things as well. Such as doing a good job at their chores, being helping to their mom, or getting along with their sibling. They also need to know that you are proud of them when they make the right choice in a hard decision or do well in school. Positive reinforcement from their father has such an impact on the choices your children will make. Don’t just give consequences for the poor choices or poor behavior. Reinforce the good ones by tell your children “well done!”
We get so much of our sense of worth from our dad. Sadly, so many in this culture struggle with self-worth because they didn’t have a dad around or because he didn’t know how to communicate affirmation. But today’s dad can rise above the way he was raised and pour affirmation into his children’s lives.
There are many ways a Dad can communicate worth and value. One of the simplest ways is to simply give your children your time. This may be easier said than done, but it is worth putting into your schedule. When children are younger “time” means trying to get home from the office as soon as possible, to spend time with them. It may be trying to take lunches at home to be with them. Even as simple as making sure you focus your attention on them when you get home from work and not the evening news. When you are home … be home. As children get older, worth is communicated by one on one time. This is where the concept of “dating you children” is so valuable. Set up a time where you can take out each child separately. This may mean getting up early to take them to breakfast before school, or taking them out after school. It’s not really important when it is done it’s just important that it is done. The bottom line is spending time with your children communicates volumes and it communicates to them that you think they are worth the time!