Thursday, April 4, 2019

#parentingtruth No. 12 - Tying Heartstrings

family relationships, unique children, family time

For our #parentingtruth this week I want to talk about tying heartstrings. I want to credit this train of thought to my dear friend Diana Waring who has taught for years and years about living a relational lifestyle while homeschooling. To look at the heart of how we relate with our children as even more important than how much they learn. You don't have to be a homeschooler to tie heartstrings, you just have to want to love your children better tomorrow than you have today.

For our family, tying heartstrings means sharing moments, memories, and the things we love. This photo was from the day several years ago when my Mom bought a new car. The girls and I went with her, because big events, or even small ones, are best when they are shared moments that turn into shared memories.

You can begin tying heartstrings with your children at any age, and then continue to do so for the rest of their lives. I'm 46 years old and I still enjoy experiencing things with my Mom... you're never too old to tie heartstrings! When you tie heartstrings through time spent with your children, you deepen the relationships you have. This is really important as they hit puberty, because that will be the time when it feels like they are cutting the heartstrings faster than you can tie them. But guess what, if you have tied enough of them during their earlier years, you will both weather those transitional years intact.

Cultivate those relationships with your children both in a group, and as individuals. Some times you are going to want to go on an expedition all together, maybe a trip to the zoo, to watch a baseball game, or to go hiking in the woods. On other days you are going to take time to go on adventures one on one. 

Remember that each of your children is an unique individual. Because of this, you need to set aside time to work on an activity that interests each child. As you value that time for them to be the center of your attention, they learn to share things that they are holding deep down in their hearts. That freedom to know Mom or Dad is listening can last a lifetime. Earlier this week Arlene (now 18) said to me, "Mom, I like when we have these deep philosophical discussions sometimes when it is just us in the car."

I didn't do anything special that you could not do to get to this point. I set aside time to listen to each child. I let them know they were safe, and I reminded them again and again that they are loved. 

As you think about your young children growing into young adults, imagine a relationship where you have so many heartstrings tied that you cannot even count them. It is possible, and it is how God wants us to live our lives. In community, with our families, loving one another.

Now go tie some heartstrings!

family relationships, unique children, family time

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