I am not sure how to quantify it, but as a father, I can tell you there are seasons when I have the heart of my kids and there are seasons, when I don’t. Another way to say it is, there are times when my kids heart and emotions are leaning towards me and other times when it is leaning away from me. So, how do you win the heart of your child?
One morning, Kari and I had the opportunity to eat with a family that in many ways has mentored us. As the pancakes and bacon were cooking on the griddle, one of their children peered around the corner. The disheveled hair and clutching of a blanket let us know he had just woken up.
When the mom and Dad saw him, you would have thought a party started. A buzz of excitement began to rise as they greeted their son into the day. “Good morning! How did you sleep? I am so excited you are finally awake!” All while moving his way to pick him up and give him huge hugs and kisses.
I remember being caught off guard. My experience has been morning is a time for being grumpy, slow-waking, and being tolerant of other humans, not welcoming. There was nothing special about the day – no birthday, no adventure waiting. Just a boring summer morning.
I remember this all because when the mom and dad welcomed the child, his countenance changed. He smiled from ear to ear. He felt welcomed. He felt appreciated. He knew he belonged in the family. His heart was leaning towards his mom and dad.
There are many ways to incline your children’s heart to you. Here is one that has been very helpful to me and Kari:
Greet and welcome your kids into the day with genuine excitement.
When they crack the door or walk down the stairs, stop what you are doing. Enter into their world. Pick them up and squeeze them. Sit down and cuddle with them. Tell them what you love about them.
Let’s be honest, engaging with your kids in the morning is easier because they haven’t done anything to frustrate you yet!
This isn’t a end all be all solution, but I can’t imagine it will hurt your relationship with your child if you are genuinely excited to see them every morning.