“Raising Spiritually Healthy Kids” – Part 3

As we continue on the topic of raising spiritually healthy kids, let’s take a quick look at the previous key words:

  • Aware
  • Authentic

And here is part 3: Be Available

The time factor has generated more guilt in parents than just about anything I know of. We all know spending time with our kids is important, but it’s still difficult to do sometime. The bottom line is this…being available to your kids is less about “quantity” and more about “quality.”

Here’s a couple of thoughts in relation to being available to your kids:

  • Don’t beat yourself up because you can’t spend as much time with each of your kids as you would like. Do what you can but be intentional about it or it may not happen.
  • Do something that they want to do. You may hate their favorite TV show, may not be interested in the YouTube videos they watch or you may not be at all interested in skateboards, but it’s not about you. Availability is about finding ways to spend time with your kids. Don’t expect them to flex to your interest, you flex to theirs.
  • Talk about things that interest them even if you don’t understand what they are saying, haha. This availability creates an open door of communication, which will eventually give you an opportunity to talk about God. But timing is everything. Parents often get caught forcing conversations, especially with teenagers. Be patient for the opportunity to ask questions like, “how’s your relationship with God going? Or what are your friendships like at school?”

My oldest son was more open to discussions lying on his bed just before bedtime with the lights off. If I took the time to just lay on the bed with him with the lights out, he would talk about just about anything. But when I tried to “force” conversation, it usually caused more frustration than connection. With my youngest son, I discovered a great time connect with him is on Friday afternoon. School is over with, he’s looking forward to the weekend, in a great mood and he is not feeling the pressure of homework or tests at that moment. That’s just a couple of examples.

Just remember this…being available looks different for everyone. Being available means you are “in the moment” with them. Fully engage with them. If you are just physically present but mentally absent, they will catch on. BE IN THE MOMENT WITH THEM.

Make the most of even the little moments.

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