Not Provoking Our Children – Way #10

Way #1 – Don’t expect more of them than they are capable of doing or giving.

Way #2 – Be careful how you reprimand them.

Way #3 – Practice what you preach and avoid double standards.

Way #4 - Teach them proper values.

Way #5 – Have good times with your kids.

Way #6 – Communicate affirmation, appreciation and encouragement.

Way #7 – Allow them to make mistakes.

Way #8 – Make known expectations, rules and regulations.

Way #9 – Admit to our own mistakes and ask for forgiveness.

 Way #10 – Be approachable and attentive

James 1:19 gives us sage advice. The verse instructs us thusly, “This you know, my beloved brethren. But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger…” Be quick to hear. Great advice for parents. 

There is a children’s book series with the lead character named Jacob Two Two. He is called Jacob Two Two because he is the youngest of five children and he has to always repeat himself because nobody hears him the first time.

How often in the course of a day do our children have to repeat themselves because they are not heard the first time? When people don’t listen to us, it can be very exasperating.

James teaches us to listen well. God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason.

Parent should be both approachable and available to their children whenever they speak. It’s difficult, but not impossible. 

I used to keep the door to my study open whenever I worked at home so my kids could come into my office whenever they wanted to speak to me. I wanted to be approachable and available when at home.

Whenever possible, I would bend over or kneel down to listen to my children when they were small so that I would be more attentive and they would know that they had my attention. I still try to do this with my grandkids and the kids in our church (although it is harder with age). 

One final thought. Proverbs 18:13 says, “He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him.” One thing that can really provoke our children is giving them an answer, which clearly shows that we weren’t listening to them. 

Something to think about…