How to Make Your Kids Feel Like They’re the Priority
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Over and over again she kept repeating it. “Mommy Mommy, Mommy!” Her eyes were wide and she had something she needed to tell me, but why did I feel so frustrated and annoyed at the interruption? Couldn’t she see that I was doing something important?
It seems like whenever I’m trying to accomplish something that I need to do there’s always a child at my feet wanting something.
And If I’m not careful to keep my heart in check, it’s easy to see my precious kiddos as interruption to the important things I’m doing.
That’s the LAST thing I want to do. And Yet I fail.
Can you identify? Do you ever have that feeling?
Why does the baby need to nurse, again?
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I just started folding this basket of laundry for the fifth time, and now my three-year-old needs help in the bathroom (I’m pretty sure I was just in the bathroom helping someone else.)
I’m enjoying a teeny, tiny moment of silence and my kids want to talk.
Interruption after interruption. It happens all day long.
What does my heart do with the interruptions? How does your heart respond?
Evaluate How You View Your Kids
When we fail to see our children as people and instead regard them as interruptions, resentment can build quickly.
These little people are made up of the very essence of my being. A part of me was given to create them. They carry my DNA.
So why do I feel so frustrated when the interruptions come?
Does a clean house really justify the irritated tone i use when I tell my little girl I can’t come and play right now? (You’ll definitely want to click the link and check out that article as soon as you’re done reading this one! 😉 )
How important is it that I finish my dishes or make sure the living room is clean? Facebook will wait for another time when my kids don’t need me. Do I really need to use the bathroom in peace, anyway? 🙂
How are you viewing raising kids? Do you feel like they make it difficult for you to accomplish everything you have planned each day? Do your kids feel like an interruption?
Realize That Children are Not an Interruption
I used to have a sign that hung in my house that said,
“Children are not a distraction from the most important work, they are the most important work.”
It hung right out in the open.
Why? Because I needed the reminder. And I still need the reminder.
(I created this pretty printable for you so you could hang it in a place where you’ll see it. My prayer is that it will help you remember to see your kids as the important work)
All throughout the day I have my agenda of what I think I will do and daily, the little people in my life have other plans.
How will I respond? The proof is in the pudding.
When they baby cries in the middle of the night, what is my response? When I can’t finish a hot plate of supper, what do my actions communicate? When I’m needed to soothe a broken heart or mend a skinned knee, do I show my kids I’m happy to do it?
We need to stop seeing kids as an interruption and remember that having kids is a blessing and an inheritance.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them! Psalm 127 3:5a (ESV)
Have you ever stopped to think that God has placed each of your children in your life for you to minister to? Ministry involves sacrifice. Having to stop what you’re doing because your kids ‘interrupt’ is a sacrifice.
It Might Not Even Be Intentional
If you’re like me, the thoughts of my kids even remotely wondering if they’re causing me to feel frustrated when they need me, makes my heart break.
I want my kids to feel like they have access to me whenever they need or want (always within reason!)
But in my desire to accomplish all that I want to, sometimes I’m guilty of making them feel not as welcome.
Ask Your Kids
There’s nothing more sobering than asking your kids for a ‘mommy’ evaluation.
Because they’ll tell you! And they usually don’t hold back!
But seriously, if you really want to know how you’re doing as a parent, and whether or not your kids feel like an interruption, ask them.
Be prepared to hear whatever they have to say and then take it to heart. If the answers aren’t what you had hoped for, be willing to change.
It’s OK to let your kids know that you’re working on making them feel more important and giving them your time and attention when they need it.
Take Time Out of Your Schedule to do Special Things
I love a good ‘to-do’ list! I’m funny like that! I’m very task oriented and that’s probably why I struggle with feeling like my kids are interrupting me.
I always have a lot I want to accomplish, and I’m focused on doing it!
But, you know what? My kids have special things they want to do as well. And they want to do those things with me and have my full (and willing) time and attention.
So I have to work really hard to make myself take the time to do what they’re asking (obviously within reason! 🙂 )
It’s totally OK to set time aside to spend just with your kids, doing something they really enjoy. It’ll mean a lot to them and it’ll help you connect with them, as well.
You’ll probably even find that you’ll start to see your kids as less of an interruption! And you may even find that your kids are actually ‘interrupting’ even less!
Spending time with your kids, doing something they love, is a great way to get your kids’ hearts.
Pray About It
I realize that ‘pray about it’ sounds cliche, but that may be exactly what you need in order to stop seeing your kids as an interruption and more like a blessing.
If you’ve really struggled with your attitude toward your kids, ask God to change your heart so you’ll start viewing parenting as a privilege and honor.
It’s Never Too Late!
Kids grow up so fast.
I still have seven kids in the house and already I look at the times when I pushed my kids aside to finish a project or accomplish something I thought was important at the time. (Which isn’t always wrong – there are times when it’s appropriate!)
Now, I’m thankful for God’s grace and I know that I’ll never be a perfect mom, but I do think there are times I could have done better.
Does that mean I wallow in the past, and wish away the rest of my time parenting, thinking how I could have changed?
Not at all!
I use my past mistakes to motivate me to do right in the future!
My friend, it’s never too late! Wherever you’re at in your parenting journey, remember that God can use the time going forward to help you see your kids as a blessing and not an interruption!
What Can You Do Instead?
Fill your child up emotionally. Take the extra two minutes to really listen when your daughter has something special to tell you.
Sit and visit a while at bedtime, talking all about pretend kingdoms that were conquered by imaginary friends.
Forgo your favorite TV show in lieu of your child’s favorite game.
Get to know your kids.
And the list goes on. Get creative!
The benefits are well worth it!
Begin to LOVE and enjoy the times when they come to you and want your attention. Sweet friend, your kids won’t always be there to interrupt you. You’ll have plenty of time to do all.the.things.
For now, linger, just a little longer. Embrace the toothless smile telling you her heart. Pay attention to your kids. Let them know they aren’t an interruption. They’re a blessing!
Do you ever struggle with seeing your kids as an interruption? Are there times you look back and wish you would have done things differently? How do you plan to go forward from here and start seeing your kids as a blessing? Comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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