This past week I came across an article by Dave Willis titled Five Things Your Kids Will Remember about You (www.patheos.com/blogs/davewillis/the-5-things-your-kids-will-remember-about-you/). The article was followed by encouragement to share it with others.
As parents, we tend to stress about things that don’t matter all that much. Our kids probably aren’t going to remember every detail of our home decor, or how perfect our landscaping looked or whether our refrigerator was stocked with name brands or generics. Let’s focus on what really matters. If you want to know what your kids will remember about you, here it is:
1. The times you made them feel safe (or the times you made them feel unsafe).
There’s a vulnerability and a need for protection in the heart of every child. Your kids will remember those moments you chased the monsters from under their bed or held them after a nightmare, but they’ll also remember the times your temper became the monster they feared. Our kids are probably going to see us angry sometimes, because that’s part of life, but make it your mission to make your children feel safe and secure at all times when they’re with you.
2. The times you gave them your undivided attention.
Kids measure love primarily by our attentiveness to them. The times you stop what you’re doing to have a tea party or go outside to throw a ball or jump on a trampoline with be memories etched into their minds and hearts forever. Take the time to do the little things with your kids, because in the end, they’ll be the moments that matter most.
3. The way you interacted with your spouse.
Our kids are forming their views of love in large part by watching how we treat our husband or wife. Strive to have the kind of marriage that makes them excited to get married someday. Give them the security that comes from seeing their Mom and Dad in a committed, loving relationship with each other.
4. Your words of affirmation AND your words of criticism.
A child’s heart is like wet cement and the impression made early in life will harden over time. They’ll base their sense of identity, capability and even self-worth largely upon the words you speak to them in those formative years. Part of our job as parents is to correct and discipline, but even in correction, let your words be full of love, encouragement and positive reinforcement.
5. Your family traditions.
Kids love spontaneity, but they also have deep need for predictability. They’ll remember with great fondness the “traditions” you establish whether it’s a weekly family movie (or game) night, a place you regularly travel for family getaways, the way you celebrate birthdays and special events or any other special tradition. Be intentional about creating some traditions that they’ll want to pass on to their own children someday.
While not specifically mentioned in the article, you and I would surely want to amplify this list, perhaps in the family traditions category, by adding items near and dear to our Christian heart. Examples might include reading Bible stories to our children, teaching them to pray, to worship, to sing, to share, to forgive, and to have compassion on the needy, the lonely, the outcast.
This will hopefully be helpful to you and your family. Many blessings!
P.S. Addendum to Entrepreneurial Ministries and Conferences:
- Best Practices in Ministry Conference additional Web site: www.cclphoenix.org/bpm.html
- Grace Place Wellness Ministries (Lugar de Gracia in Spanish) (www.graceplacewellness.org) was founded in 1999 by John D. Eckrich, M.D., to keep church workers and their spouses healthy, joyful, vigorous and balanced in body, mind and spirit to effectively serve the people placed in their care. This ministry and its leaders have served thousands of Lutheran church workers, leaders and their families in America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America.