Personal Power in Parenting – For Healthy Families, Healthy Children
 
Parenting could qualify as one of the hardest jobs you’ll ever love!  In the day-to-day mire of tantrums and chatter and grime and fear, it’s important to stay focused on the goal — to rear healthy, well-adjusted children who can manage the tasks of adulthood with confidence and joy.
 
Here are three principles to help you stay focused:
 
1.  Make sure to demonstrate physical affection to your children every day.  Changing diapers...rough-housing in the living room floor...hugs and kisses...ruffling their hair as they pass by...exchanging high fives...all demonstrate to your children the bonding power of healthy human touch.  Start when the kids are little, and when they are teenagers, though they may dodge with a muttered “Mom!  Dad!” they will still know they belong to you and that you love them.
 
2.  Listen.  When your child comes to you with a concern or conflict, make sure you affirm the validity of his input by listening...either now, or by appointment.  Neither “soon” nor “later” are on the clock or the calendar; so establish a specific time to take up whatever the issue may be.  By setting a specific time (“after dinner tonight” qualifies) you validate both your child and the importance of his concern as important and deserving of your undivided attention.
 
3.  Ask their forgiveness.  When you are spiritually convicted of slighting or disrespecting them as fellow human beings, ask your children to forgive you.  A mere, “I’m sorry,” gets old, worn out and meaningless in a hurry.  Purposefully using some form of the word “forgiveness” in your apology conveys your own humanness and vulnerability.  It says you realize you’re only their “human” father/mother, even though still standing in the stead of God Himself in this divine role.  Never be too high and mighty, all-wise and all-glorious that you yourself can’t “become as a little child” to ask forgiveness when you know you’ve hurt their hearts.
 
  --Will Weathersby, Unit Director, The Children's Home of Lubbock