“Mom, you can come on the field trip, just don’t sit by me.”
Any middle-schoolers in your house?
My daughter and I have always been close. But I knew this time would come.
In a few months, she will be a teenager.
The “no you didn’t” shake-of-her-head-as-she-wags-her-finger attitude is in full swing.
Attitude checks and strong wills are coming head to head.
This is the time Melanie Redd refers to as the Dark Side in her parenting book, How to Win Your Child’s Heart for Life.
Thankfully, the Dark Side is just a season when your child goes through changing hormones, emotions, mood swings, and being embarrassed by you.
I’ve gotten to know Melanie Redd and love her posts on Ministry of Hope. She is one of the biggest encouragers I know! I knew her book would provide encouragement for parents like me and give direction and helpful feedback.
How can you win and keep your child’s heart?
Melanie’s book gives hope and useful strategies to help parents navigate through the rough rapids of parenting during each stage of their development.
This book speaks to parents of children all ages.
The key principal is:
“Win their hearts as little children and keep their hearts through their growing up years, and you’ll have their hearts for life.”
Melanie asks you to take a true hard look at your relationship with each of your kids and ask yourself, “Do I truly have the heart of each of my children?”
Then she takes you through eight parenting strategies and gives you practical tips, instruction and Biblical principals to help you win your child’s heart.
These strategies are:
Make prayer a top priority in your home
Always be learning and growing as a parent
Seek out older, wiser friends who can give you insight and perspective
Stop barking at your kids
Teach your children when they are most teachable
Choose your battles wisely
Make your home a place of laughter, joy, humor and fun
Never stop loving and encouraging your kids
One of my favorite strategies was, ”Teach your children when they are the most teachable.”
“We cram and push and lecture when we should be serving, inviting, sharing and discussing.”
After a recent attitude check with my daughter, she wrote me this sweet note:
I am sorry that I don’t listen. I am sorry that I argue with you and give you body language and roll my eyes. I am going through a phase, like the terrible twos. I am beginning to start my teenage years and I am sorry if I anger you during them. I just can’t help myself. I always have to have the last word or look. I am sure this will pass. I am sorry that I argue with my siblings and tease them when they antagonize me. It’s just starting to become a hobby I don’t like. Please forgive me.
As I read this note, I knew I still had her heart. I will tuck this note away for future reference when that teenage-phase drama appears again and I feel like she’s pulling (slipping) away.
I will remember Melanie’s advice. If I work at keeping my child’s heart…then she will come back. I will have her heart forever. It will just be a season.
As parents, we need to find ways to encourage our children towards good behavior while keeping their hearts at the same time. We need to have an understanding of their development so we can have patience and live with them in an understanding way.
We need to find ways to encourage our children towards good behavior while keeping their hearts. Click To Tweet
This involves heart to heart communication and love.
Each chapter in How to Win Your Child’s Heart For Life, is followed by a list of applicable questions that will get you to think about where you struggle and how you might implement the strategy.
I love the practical insights and Godly wisdom in this book! This would make an excellent small group study as well.
Melanie was kind enough to send me an extra book to give away. You can enter to win here.
Blogger, author, speaker, encourager and teacher, Melanie’s passion is to offer HOPE! Married to Randy for 25 years; the couple enjoys travel, eating out, and hanging out with their two college-aged kids. You can read more from Melanie on her blog at www.melanieredd.com.