Talking to your Children Before Bedtime

Have you ever noticed that kids want to talk more right before its time to go to sleep? It’s not that they completely are trying to avoid sleeptime, but its actually the perfect time for children to open up. Bedtime routines bring feelings of intimacy and closeness with their parents allowing them to voice their concerns about whatmay have happened throughout their day at school or with friends. This is why, bedtime is perfect to let your children know a few important things that could really make a difference in their lives.

You Are Proud
Let your child(ren) know how proud you are of them. This helps them know that they are doing things right. This also helps them focus on the positive. Feedback from parents is essential to maintain a good connection with them. And feedback is something that you will continue to give throughout their entire life so its best to guide them in the right direction early on. Telling your kids you are proud of them is not just to say it, but this also helps them in developing their own sense of pride and accomplishments, which have no age limit.

You Believe In Them
Encourage your child to never give up. Failing is okay, every one fails. It is the times that they get back up to accomplish what they want that matters most. Parents have to let their children know that they believe in them. Sticking with your child through thick and thin is exactly what they need especially if they didn’t get the grade they expected on their science project or if they failed to catch the ball at their baseball game. If you give up on them they will grow up with that same mentality and end up giving up on themselves as adults. Strong willed children end up growing into leaders who do not get bent up when something goes wrong in their plans.

Bad Days Happen
Children will have bad days and when they do they depend on you to guide them in the right direction. Remind them that bad days happen, But that doesn’t mean that it is a reflection of who they are and that just because they had a bad day today it does not mean that they shouldn’t look forward to having a great day tomorrow. Comfort them and let them know the day has already happened and now they can focus on the good things that did happen. Practice reflective listening during this hard time with them. Each time they feel heard it brings the emotion down and they can see whatever made their day so bad, as what it is and not make more out of it.

You Support Them
Tell your child that they will always have your support. We get so busy in life and making sure our children eat, do homework, chores, and bathe that we get distracted from the most important thing: How our children feel. Let your child know that no matter what happens you will always be their number one supporter. It is crucial for them to know that you will always value their views and opinions. Just a simple, “I will always support you no matter what.” will open up the door for them come to you with their fears, thoughts, and impressions about anything and everything. Reassure them that you are listening and not judging.

You Love Them
When you are angry with your children, you love them. When you are happy with your children, you love them. You love them when you wake up, when you drop them off at school, and when you are busy making dinner. They need to know that there is no one in the world that could love them as much as you do. They need to know that you love them unconditionally even amidst disagreements and arguments. Let them know that your love for them is not one that fades away or could ever. Regardless of who they are, what they do, who they become, how they perform, what they accomplish or don’t accomplish, they will always have your love. Love tells them that they are valuable. It gives them courage, hope, and joy.

When kids feel a strong sense of acceptance and love they develop a positive self esteem and they feel safe and secure not only within themselves, but you as well. Talking to your kids before shutting down for the night resets their thinking for a better tomorrow with the confidence that they need. Letting our children know that they can talk with us about anything will encourage them to deal with whatever they are feeling outwardly instead of holding it all in. Take the time and talk with you kids tonight and see what a difference it will make.

Family Parenting

The Forgiving Hearts of our Children

I know that you have had some pretty questionable days that leave you feeling as if you are an unworthy parent. If anything, it was simply a tough day for you. The children were at each others throats again and you could not seem to get anything done around the house without dealing with their temper tantrums, screaming and crying, and, “Mommmmmmmm!” be called out all day long. So what did you do? You put one in timeout for hitting his little sister. You yelled at the other. You probably even threatened to punish them both from their games and television at some point.

Later in the evening after bathing the children and sending them to sleep you laid your exhausted body down and thought, “I was really harsh today. I should have been more patient with them. I shouldn’t have reacted the way I did.” It is normal for us to grow weary after being frayed at the edges and pulled tight in every direction.

We tend to be highly critical of ourselves after having a stressful day with the kids. We truly make ourselves believe that we are inadequate parents and feel extremely guilty for showing tough love at times. The next day we may even fall into the trap of being a little too lenient with them due to the remorseful feeling that lingered on from the day before. We still have to remember to stay consistent about behaviors that are and aren’t acceptable in order to raise kids that will grow to be responsible adults with great mannerisms.

What you probably have not yet realized, is that our children have the most forgiving hearts that we could ever know and there is no need to be hard on ourselves for having days where we are emotionally and mentally strained.

I am profoundly humbled by my son when I have a difficult day with him. After yelling at him or placing him in timeout, he quickly forgives. It is almost as if he had forgotten that I just got after him. He still hugs and showers me with kisses right after. He looks at me with the most loving eyes. Our kids are no grudge holders. They do not hold the tough days against us. Even after him upsetting me I still feel annoyed a few hours later, but when I see how forgiving his heart is, it inspires me to be as forgiving as he. The next day all I can do is vow to have more patience with him and to remember to forgive as quickly as him.

Some things shouldn’t even matter like water being spilt on the floor, or getting their outfit dirty. We have to keep in mind that carpets dry, clothes get washed, but our babies, well, they only stay little for a little while so we must soak it all in while we have the chance. If only we had the forgiving hearts of a child, who knows how different the world would be today.

Your little ones still think of you as their hero. You still hold the keys to their pure hearts. They look up to you regardless of how awful you think you acted with them today. You could do no wrong in their eyes. So, tonight when you lay your tired head down and you are left in the middle of the night tossing and turning with a heavy heart, know that they have already forgiven you. They love you. They don’t see you as a monster even if they cried like you were one earlier. Tomorrow is another day and they will love you just as much if not more. You have been forgiven already and don’t even know it yet. You need only to have the same forgiving hearts as they and forgive yourself.