In a recent blog, I highlighted some recent research about the most important factorwhen it comes to passing our faith and values on to our children. It isn’t regular teaching sessions, or setting the right example, or involving kids in larger communities that promote those values, like a church.
All those things are important, but the biggest key is a warm, close connection between the child and his or her father. I have kept thinking about this groundbreaking insight, and I believe there’s more I can do to help you apply this in practical ways with your children.
For example, what is a “warm” relationship with your child? What does it look like? How can you tell if you have one?
I was talking with another dad on our staff about this, and our discussion led to questions like, What’s the atmosphere when you’re together? Are you approachable as a dad? Is there a general feeling of easiness and acceptance, or tension and distance?
All relationships go through seasons where we feel more distant or more comfortable being together. But I think you probably know the overriding mood between you and your kids.
1. Make your kids a high priority, and let it show. I know you love your kids, but I also know they can tell when you’d rather be doing something besides hanging out with them. Just imagine what they’re thinking and feeling when you’re willing to put aside what you’re doing because you really do enjoy being with them. That’s when they start trusting you more, opening up about what’s going on in their lives and seeking you out to do things. Sure, it takes a lot of effort and energy, but it’s worth it.
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