The Bible makes it clear in John 16:21 and other passages like Psalm 127:3-5 that children are a blessing from God. Yet when your child has just vomited all over you or has disobeyed you for what seems like the 100th time in an hour, it doesn’t always feel like a blessing. In fact, many parents seem to want to spend as much time away from their children as possible.
Did you know a huge part of resilience is having a nurturing relationship with a parent? Do you also realize that being a faithful Christian requires a good deal of resilience? To your children, that nurturing relationship is only real if they feel loved and liked by you – and not in the almost academic way some people describe it – “I know my parents love me, even though they don’t know how to show it.” That may be a mature understanding of the situation, but it doesn’t feel like love to the child having to say it. And resilience depends on feeling loved and supported emotionally.
Sadly, it’s often the parents whose children fall into this unfortunate category who will deny or diminish the importance of making their children feel like they are a blessing to their parents. Hopefully all parents love their children, but if you are communicating you believe parenting them or they themselves are a burden, they don’t feel loved. And that’s a huge problem.
Are you communicating to your children that they are a blessing or a burden to you? Answer these questions and you will have a better idea.
- Do you regularly complain about your children to others?
- Do you describe your children in negative terms to them or others – using words like prickly, lazy, annoying, clingy, etc.?
- Do you let out a sigh or roll your eyes when they ask for your attention?
- Do you look at your phone or appear otherwise distracted when they are talking to you?
- Do you regularly talk about needing a break from being with your kids/parenting?
- Do you regularly work long hours or hang out with friends multiple times in a week to give yourself a break from parenting?
- Do you regularly complain about how parenting is holding back your career?
- Do you regularly tell your children to “get off” you or to “stop clinging” to you?
- Do you sign your children up for activities and camps primarily to give yourself a break?
- Do you regularly tell them you can’t wait until school starts or they move out of your house?
- Do you rarely hug them or tell them you love them?
- Do you avoid doing things like playing games with them or reading to them – especially if it is a favorite of theirs, but definitely not of yours?
- When they disobey, do you make it personal by saying they are bad, stupid or using other negative terms, rather than focusing on the poor choice?
- Do you ever say things in anger like “I wish you had never been born”?
- Do you regularly complain about how much money you are having to spend on them (outside of the context of them asking for extravagant gifts or complaining about high prices in general not in connection with having or not having children)?
- Do you complain or pout when you give up doing something you wanted to do to care for or support them in some way?
How many ”yes” answers did you have? Everybody slips up once in awhile, but the goal should be to say ”no” to all of the questions. What do you need to do to change those ”yes” answers to ”no”?
Children are smarter than most adults give them credit for. They can see whether or not your eyes light up when you see them and whether you think of them as a blessing or a burden. Give your children the gift of acknowledging and being grateful for the blessings they are. Don’t let them go through life believing they are a burden to the people who should love them more than anyone else in the world.