Keeping relationship with our children
By Nick Sigur
Back in August, I wrote about the rights of Christian students and suggested a program of loving listening to attract non-believers to Christ. After a couple of months, it might be a good idea to see how we are doing.
The first days of school are exciting in that they offer a fresh start, new challenges and new possibilities. Grade sheets are clean. Relationships may have had a “cooling off” period during the summer vacation. There are new relationships or fresh starts in relationships that may have gone off the rails in the previous school year.
Now a couple of months have passed. Old patterns have replaced fresh promise. Best intentions have faded into inertial reality. It’s not too late. Let’s make a plan to get back on track.
Have a sit down with your kids. Put away the phone, yours and theirs. It’s time to be loving listeners to your kids. Ask how things are going. It’s your responsibility to know with whom your kids are hanging. Ask if there are any kids who seem to be struggling or isolated. Encourage the kids to engage those cut from the herd with a loving listening program. This isn’t going to work as a one time sit down. It has to arise from an ongoing loving listening program.
Be alert to the possibility that your own children are not “fitting in.” Kids can be labelled. There are cliques of every kind. It can be tough for a kid who wants to move out of and/or into a group. Walking with Jesus in school can result in a “negative” label. If a child opts out of some of the popular activity, he can be isolated. Don’t be naive. Even in middle school, kids are using drugs, watching porn, having sex, and contemplating suicide. Their parents probably think their kids are fine; just like you. Don’t be shocked or over react if you find your “special” kids aren’t as you thought. Listen. Love.
Before anyone can be a loving listener, he must be comfortable in who he is, a loved child of God. Stay in a loving listen relationship with your kids so they can do the same.