Monday, October 3, 2011

Parents Heart

One thing I feel that is very important to help our children understand as they are growing up is their parent's heart. It's easy to take this for granted, to assume they understand. 

What Is A Parent's Heart?

When our kids are little we love them and they love us back so generously. It's seems so easy to play and laugh with them, to enjoy life together. "I love you mommy" slips easily out of their mouths and "I love you too, sweetheart", is naturally given in reply. We assume from these experiences that they know we love them. What happens then when they become a teen or tween and their moods and expressions change?

As their hormones and outlook on life begin to change they can easily grow distant from us. Struggles within themselves can lead to struggles with parents and others. To safeguard your relationship with your growing
child it's best to start building trust and understanding early on, and build on that foundation.

The true heart of a parent is that we want the best for our children.

We want them to be fulfilled, happy & prosperous as an adult. However, this doesn't happen just because they have a lovely & fun childhood. Wanting the best for our children doesn't mean fulfilling all their desires. This can be a confusing point for both parents and children. Children can develop resentment if they hear "No" all the time, yet they can also become spoiled and delusional about life if they get what they want all the time. This is why core values, discipline & structure are essential.

Children need to develop confidence in themselves, learn self-discipline, and develop a clear set of values to navigate through this life. Although we may have the best of intentions, while trying to teach our children these important life lessons they sometimes misunderstand  and even rebel. Reaching each child from your heart of parental love to their heart of a child's love is not always easy. This is why understanding each child's personality and "love language" can be very helpful.

Let's face it, life is difficult and it often seems unfair. What your children see all around them as they grow up is often confusing. Television & movies make it seem like everyone is rich and happy and problems get solved easily. It might appear that people who do whatever they want have the best life, and people who follow "rules" live in drudgery. When a child becomes a preteen or teen they begin to examine what they see in the world and compare it with their experiences and desires.

Here's the problem though: a teenager's experience in life is limited, their desires are still very self oriented, and they can only "see" from their own limited perspective. Life is complex, we need to learn a larger perspective, and good relationships require a degree of humility, self-sacrifice and commitment. Even though you may be a great role model for your kids, the world around them can still confuse them.

Sometimes even as adults we have not completely worked these things out.

It's okay to let your children know that you are still learning too. That's part of a parent's heart, while we want what's best for our children, and we are trying to guide their growth, we are still learning too. Sometimes I've told my children, "I'm not the most disciplined person in the world, but your dad has a lot of self-discipline and that's why we are good for each other." Sometimes I've told them, "I'm not perfect, but I love you deeply so I'm trying to do what's best for you".

Let them know you have needs too, and you are aware of the whole family's needs.

I was a "comfy cushion", a "taxi" and a "doormat", until I got smart. I learned that being "the provider" also meant providing limits, by letting them know that parents also have limits, as all human beings do. Parents are in a position to oversee the whole family's needs and well being, therefor we must take care of ourselves. Children have no way of knowing what it's like to be a parent and they take for granted the things you do. So to avoid an eventual "martyr meltdown", it's best to be open and honest in a non-threatening way about your limits and needs as you raise your family. Don't forget to let them know you are doing your best for the whole family too.

Love is a lifetime commitment to care about each other.

Love is not always easy and it doesn't always feel good. This may be one of the hardest lessons you teach your children, but the most important. Television, books, movies and music like to woo us into that dreamland of "happily ever after". Telling children "fairy tales" is a tradition that needs balance, otherwise our children will grow up with impossible expectations. Don't forget to tell them the real life stories of success through diligence, determination and commitment. Don't forget to tell the stories of generations past who sacrificed and worked hard in unbearable conditions, or who fought and died to make the future better for everyone.

As we strive to pass on prosperity and happiness to our children, let's also strive to instill the internal values that help the development of good character. Without good character we can't fulfill our goals and ambitions in life, or develop good relationships. We want what's best for our children, and we know that often the best things come through patience, hard work and commitment.  That is a parent's heart, isn't it?


  1. This is excellent! I am the mother of a 16 year old daughter and raising a teen is certainly a challenge! I remind myself regularly what it was like to be her age. The teen years are definitely the "me" years, the only thing they can see is themselves, in every situation. It's important for parents to keep this in mind, they have just not had enough life experience to think beyond themselves yet. I could go on and on!

    I'm visiting from the Alexa hop, I'm so glad I stopped by. I reviewed your site as well :-)

    Stacey @

  2. Great information. So glad I stopped by to read. I'm here from the MBS Alexa hop. Reviewed your site also. Great content and I'll be back!
    Debbie and

  3. Wonderful post and one I really identified with. Thankyou. New follower on board from

  4. So true! My 9 year old is going through a transition that has been hard on us all. I really enjoy your site and want to award you the Versatile blogger award. You can stop by my site later today to get it.


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