In my last post I talked how the Holy Spirit longs to encourage us and give us wisdom. If you missed it, you can catch up here, Parenting with the Holy Spirit, Heavenly Encouragement (part 2) .
God wants to partner with you. He wants to give you heavenly ideas to reach your child. He wants to give you everything you need to parent. In fact, He has given us everything we need.
2 Peter 1:3 “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know Him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.”
A godly life, is parenting included. His wants us to succeed, to raise up sons and daughters of the King who will be influencers for His kingdom; He wants us to succeed so they can succeed. In this way, everyone wins.
Let me take you back a few months.
So here it is December 2018, and I’d have about 2 decent days to the 5 days I would struggle through the week with my son. I began falling asleep every night almost in tears and praying for the Holy Spirit to give me ideas, because I was out of them.
Somewhere in the early fall Uriah had begun saying this horrendous “NO!”. I’m not sure where he learned it, I think kids just instinctively do certain things, because He definitely didn’t hear that in our house and he doesn’t go to preschool. It was the ugliest no, I’ve ever heard. You know the one I’m talking about. The one where you just want to slap that little mouth and never hear that word said that way again, (and no, I did not do that. haha).
It got to the point where my husband and I would just ask a simple question, we weren’t even giving him a direction and he’d say it. It would go something like this, “Uriah, would you like to go outside?” “NO!” (side note, he’d never actually say “no” to that; he adores outside. haha). We would calmly explain to him, “Uriah, we don’t talk like that”.
It would happen, ALL.DAY.LONG. I was exhausted from hearing the word “no” and especially being screamed at in that tone. If it got too much we would discipline him and send him to timeout.
One day I was in the kitchen after hearing that horrid “no” for the umpteenth time that day, when I heard Holy Spirit sweetly whisper, “Why don’t you try telling him what he can say instead?”. OOHHH…Hey, now that’s an idea! So, the next time Uriah said his ugly no, I told him that it wasn’t ok to talk like that, but that he could simply say “No, thank you” or ” Ok, mama,” depending on question. And wouldn’t you know, it worked! His voice was even sweet when he repeated it back to me. It was like the heavens opened right there in my kitchen. Every time he would start with that “no”, I would remind him that we don’t talk that way, and then tell him how we do talk.
Do I still here that “no”? Sometimes, but it is not often and as soon as I remind him of the above, it usually changes the atmosphere. That might have been obvious to you, but for me it was a Holy Spirit coaching moment. He clearly understood how to reach my son and He will do the same for you.
In November my husband and I did a marriage class at our church. One of the weeks focused on love languages and how we engage and interpret love. It wasn’t new to me. I’ve heard about them and studied them before with John. It was a good refresher and if nothing else was a good conversation starter, because hey, as time goes on we change and grow and our needs become different, in different seasons of our lives. Shortly after that teaching, I was thinking through some of what had been said and felt the Holy Spirit say, “That could work the same way for Uriah”. “Hmm…good idea!” I started thinking back and realized I had stopped hugging him and kissing him as much as I used to. It happened slowly, the bigger my pregnant belly got, the less time he was able to have in my lap. I didn’t mean to stop hugging and kissing him, it wasn’t intentional, but it happened. And if that’s one of Uriah’s love languages I wasn’t communicating to him that “mommy still loves you”. (Side note, I always hugged and kissed him good morning/good night, and especially after discipline, I’m talking about the in between hours).
The next day I became super intentional about having him sit in my lap and giving him extra tickles, smooches and hugs. WE.HAD.A.GREAT.DAY. It was definitely noticeable how different our day went. Shortly after this, I came across this article. It just reaffirms our children’s need for healthy physical touch and interaction.
(1) Children need a minimum of 8 touches during a day to feel connected to a parent.
If they’re going through a particularly challenging time, it’s a minimum of 12 a day. This doesn’t have to be a big deal–it could be the straightening of a collar, a pat on the shoulder, or a simple hug. (powerofmoms.com)
There is actually a book called The 5 Love Languages of Children. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s on my list…I’d be reading it now, but I’m still finishing up the Dobson’s Strong-Willed Child LOL. I have however read other books by Gary Chapman, as well as, his adult version The 5 Love Languages and it is very good. They also have an audio version, which can be helpful if you need to listen in the car or on the go.
I met up with a friend a few weeks ago and we were discussing parenting. I’ve known her since high school. She’s such a gem. Her daughter was born 6 weeks before Uriah and we love getting together for play dates, even if they aren’t as frequent as we’d like.
She was telling me that she too had just started having similar situations with her daughter. (Look out mamas, you aren’t alone! None of this is uncommon). She said after a particularly grueling day with her daughter, she got the idea to just stop and have a dance party. So she blared the music and her and her daughter just danced to the music.
I love how the Holy Spirit inspired this idea. Did she hear Him say to do this? No, but I would bet it’s safe to say He inspired the idea. Many times He speaks simply by putting thoughts/ideas in our head. (Side note: I have found, the more I thank Him for His ideas or reminders, the more I’m aware of them the next time they happen. It’s a glorious cycle.) Holy Spirit likes to have fun too. He knows when our children are worn out and done,just as much as we are. Sometimes we have to let the teaching, training or disciplining moment go and just have some fun. This is such an important part of parenting. If we lose this, we run the risk of losing our child’s trust and dampening their spirits.
I hope this encourages you to ask Holy Spirit for ideas and wisdom. These are just a few instances where Hes given me new ideas to try. He’s so ready and willing to help us. We are evangelists to our children. Who knows more on how to reach them than the Spirit of God?
Do you have a time where the Holy Spirit helped you with parenting? I’d love to hear about it! Feel free to comment below.
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