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Today, I am going to share with you the beginning of three ways that can be used to enhance the relationship with your child and their self-esteem.
Here is the first of three ways to start the process.

Three Ways To Build Self-esteem:
1) Communicate and Listen
(Be slow to Speak and Quick to Hear - James 1:19)

Parents are all the time saying to me, "I've tried to talk to my kids about that, but they won't even listen."

We have to remember that as parents, we will never be able to have a deep conversation with our children if we don't first have some silly conversations with them first.

If we aren't willing to listen to all the everyday things our children have to say, we won't be able to talk to them about the important things. It's called communicating.

We have to learn to be a good listener. For instance, sometimes when our children started talking to us, everything sounds so silly, we may feel like saying to them: "I'm too busy to listen right now. I have some important things to think about, so you just sit down and be still." But that's no good. We have to be willing to listen to them.

Let me give you a Scripture:
Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.
(Prov. 20:5)
I have to look at all six of my children and know that God has put a gift inside each of them.

Parents, we don't necessarily know the gifts our children have, because we don't have revelation on it at the moment. God has to show us just like He shows them.

I know, however, that as I listen to my children, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth will speak  (Matt 12:34). The desires of each child will be expressed. By listening to them, I will find out what they are interested in. Then I will know what to start praising about them.

Examples of Investing:
I read a story about an artist in which he tells how God gave him the ability and the talent, but that his mom put wings to the gift.

He told about one day when he was a little kid and his mom came in his room to find that he had taken ink bottles out for his "pictures" but in the course of doing that had made a mess everywhere.

Looking back on it, he wondered why his mom didn't punish him a little more about that. Instead of panicking, she walked over, picked up the picture he had done and began to brag on his work. She praised the work for about 10 minutes, before adding that they needed to work together to get the area cleaned up.

There are times in parenting when it can be easy to overlook a pivotal moment because it looks like an inconvenience.

Those are moments where you are storing up investments in your relationship that you can call on when it's time to talk about serious things.

Another story was told to me by a businessman who had been away on a trip. He said he had really missed his family, but as soon as he walked in the house he noticed that trash was running over in the kitchen (which was the job of his 15-year-old son to take out). His son came up to hug his dad's neck to welcome him home, but before his son reached him, the man started griping about him being irresponsible. Even after the son apologized, he had added more comments.

After they set down to dinner, the man realized that God was dealing with him and he had to change those little habits. "Your son ran up to hug your neck because he has a relationship with you and you just damaged it over some trash that could have been emptied in about 30 seconds."

If we don't watch out, we can do little things every day that can damage our relationship with our children and wound them.

The Word As Our Guide
We can still teach and train our children without hurting their spirits, but it will require that we be wise stewards. Praise God, His Word is a lamp to our feet and will guide us in our walk as parents.

When it looks to our children like everything is upside down and backwards, it's time for us to cheer them on.

Copyright © Joe McGee Ministries
All rights reserved.

Author Biography

Joe McGee
Web site: Joe McGee Ministries
Joe McGee, author, national conference speaker, father, and former school administrator, is the founder and director of Joe McGee Ministries, Inc. and Faith For Families Ministries.

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