February 7, 2009

Capturing Your Child's Heart

Grandma Farm said...

Hi Jena,
I'm really enjoying your blog...
I have a question. Can you expand more on how you captured your children's hearts in the early years? Obviously you have a great relationship with your oldest college student.

This is a great question. In fact, I believe having your child's heart is the most important factor in successful parenting and home schooling. Thanks for bringing it up.

How do you know if you've captured your child's heart?

Your child trusts you.

Your child wants to please you more than anyone else.

Your child wants to be around you.

Your child seeks your advice and takes it.

What prevents us from holding our child's heart?

"I'm angry at you."

"I'm too busy for you."

"I think you're stupid."

As a young mom I read two books that changed my life forever. They were The Search for Significanceand How to Really Love Your Child.The first one made me look at myself and how I needed to change my thinking. The other taught me how to communicate love to my children. Another important book was The Blessing.That's where I learned to say this often to my kids: "You are a treasure and a blessing from God."

With a heart turned toward your children and time to be together, home schooling is the perfect environment to capture your child's heart. Build that strong foundation from the beginning and shore up the sides as long as you can. You're building for the future. Then when your child hits those turbulent years looking for independence, you have that history of love and respect. Just yesterday I thought Melissa was acting a little disrespectful toward me. I said, "Melissa, I am always kind to you. I just don't get it." And a few minutes later she said, "I love you, Mom....Thank you, Mom."

Practical Ideas for Capturing Your Child's Heart

Just be together. Share life.

Look your child in the eyes when he talks to you.

Keep your promises.

Respond positively to your child's cries and complaints. You are building trust.

Let your child sit on you, hang on you, and follow you around. You are communicating that they are important to you and not a nuisance. Don't worry. They eventually go off without you someday.

Believe in your child's ability to succeed. They learn who they are and what they can be from their important people--you. Every child can find what they love to do and what they can be good at.

Of course, I could go on forever, but I believe these are the basic building blocks of holding your child's heart. Then when they get older, they'll find someone else and you can pass their heart on to that person. But in the meantime, keep it safe and warm.

Related Posts
Yes, I scrolled through my entire blog and pulled out things even remotely related.

My Education Philosophy

Facing Resistance

What Makes a Good Home Schooling Parent?

A New Phase of Life

It's Easier to Build Strong Children

Home Schooling in 1745 England

Timing is Everything

Home School Meets Public School

Our Home

Saying No to Your Kids

Setting Boundaries for Kids

Everything You Need to Know About Parenting

Motivating a Child to Learn


Patricia said...

Thanks for putting such good advice altogether here.

Unknown said...

As my kids type to their friends, "OMG". Jena, this is probably one of my very favorite posts. I always tell new parents that unschooling/homeschooling is trusting our children but I never thought to share with them that it is them trusting us too.

Heather said...

We have focused on this since our discussion of it before our oldest was born. I grew up NOT trusting my parents and my husband DID trust his. We evaluated why and then decided to do what his mother did that made him trust her--for us this meant not doing imaginary holiday characters, being honest and open about things, choosing to take time to be with our kids and listen to their concerns.

We are hitting the beginning of turbulent stuff with the oldest and we have found that giving her time when she gets overwrought and she will come back and say she is sorry.

Traci said...

We are studying The Search for Signifigance in our class at church. I've only read one chapter but I'm already impressed! I look forward to having some time to go through your list.

Grandma Farm said...

Thanks for answering the question, Jena! I love that having our kids with us all the time creates the perfect atmosphere for capturing their hearts.

pamajama said...

Love your blog:)

Dana said...

I LOVE this post! This has become a personal quest of mine...how to keep friendship with my children. And here you are writing just the things I need to hear. Don't you just love when things come together so beautifully!

I will be linking to this post in the near future so I can keep it close at hand. And I am very interested in the books you recommend.

Thank You!

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