The relationships we have with our children will not always run smoothly. There will be times they need training and discipline. There will be times we provoke them or hurt them, even if it is unintentional. While it would be easy to say, “That’s part of life; they’ll get over it”, and move right along; it is crucially important we don’t. There is a strong tie between a child and their parent; a bond that is more than just blood. When our relationships are injured and strained, we need to draw them back in and retie those strings.
How do we retie strings once they have been pulled or cut? Here are some great suggestions that have been given to our family:
- Smile often and express joy in your child.
- Go out on a date and have a good time!
- Enjoy their company. Pick a book, a movie, or something they like and enjoy it together.
- Have a tickle war!
- Go on an adventure; even a hike can be adventurous.
- Make something together; it can be as simple as dinner or as complex as a treehouse.
- Include them in your daily responsibilities. When children have an opportunity to help out, they feel loved, respected, and needed.
- Hug often! Even big kids secretly like to be hugged; just grab them and let them know you are there.
- Tell them you love them; sometimes we take this for granted, but kids need to hear the words.
- Surprise them with “blessings”. Even something silly, like their favorite gum, can touch their hearts.
I am sure the list could go on and on, but it is definitely a starting point. As our children get older and as their personalities change, we will have to adapt the ideas; constantly growing along with our kids.
More often than I would like, I find myself in a position of needing to discipline my kids. While this is important and needs to be done, I also need to make sure I retie those strings of our relationship; reaffirming my love and affection.
If I fail to retie those bonds, my children will find me to be a tyrant or a bully. They will turn away from me, refusing to hear my words and rebelling against our authority. If I fail to retie the strings of our relationship, my children will cut themselves loose and I would lose their hearts.
The relationship I have with my children is crucially important. I need to be constantly aware of the “ties that bind” and ensure that they are strong.
“And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? ‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.’ It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?…”
~ Hebrews 12:5-11
Chime In!: How do you “tie strings”?