It’s the greatest parenting advice I’ve ever received!
And, this advice has taken us into and almost through the college years with our kids.
We aren’t perfect, and they aren’t perfect; but, this wise bit of instruction has kept the relationships we have with our children open and positive.
The incredible advice was given to us when our children were very small.
We were living in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA.
It was during that time that we met some of our favorite people in this world, including our friends Debbie and Christie. Although these ladies were just a few years my senior, they were further along in raising their children.
Debbie had two teenage girls and Christie had 3 kids: one child in high school, one child in middle school, and an elementary student.
At that point; our son, Riley, was only about 4, and our daughter, Emily, was about 2.
As I spent time with these friends, I got to watch and see how they treated their children and their husbands.
I got to see what they did and hear what they said.
They modeled for me so many wise parenting principles and gave me so much great advice.
Although we were just “doing life together” and hanging out, their lives had a profound impact on my future and how I would learn to treat my husband and my kids.
It was during that period that I began to grasp this greatest parenting tip.
Are you ready to hear it?
The greatest parenting tip ever:
Win their HEARTS as little children and keep their hearts through their growing years.
When they are grown up, they will still like you and want to be around you because you never lost their HEARTS.
In short: Do everything you can to KEEP THEIR HEARTS!
It may not sound profound, but let’s walk through it:
As Newborns and Infants….
- They start out so small and fragile and cute.
- They come to us as little bundles of joy all wrapped up with a special little hat and tiny toes and fingers.
- We hold them, kiss them, rock them, feed them, change them and care for their every need.
- Helpless, precious and small, we are their 24-hour caregivers in those first few days.
As Little Babies…
- They start to grin and babble and “converse” with you.
- They rock to music, talk to their toys, roll, scoot, and some even crawl.
- They are needy and precious and many get quite “chunky” at this stage.
- They still need us for almost everything, but they are a little easier to handle.
As Babies on the move…
- Crawling or walking begin and life starts to get really crazy.
- The cabinet locks go on. The plug protectors go in.
- The doors and windows are barred. The sharp edges are rubberized.
- Life is now filled with bumps, bruises, and much exploration.
- They are so cute and busy at this stage.
- They Still need you.
During the Twos…
- They beg you not to leave them.
- Cling to you at the nursery.
- And, oh, they are into everything!
You can read the rest of this post on Missional Motherhood today, where I’m sharing a guest post.
You can get to Missional Motherhood HERE.
Need more parenting encouragement, support, and help??
I’ve got a great resource to share with you!
It’s called, How to Win Your Child’s Heart For Life.
You can find out more about this resource by clicking HERE.
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