Ok, back into some Growing Kids stuff! Even though we've wrapped our small group! :) This is the lesson I remember looking forward to our first time around, but for whatever reason, didn't make it. So this was my first time to hear this lesson and let me tell you, it might just be my favorite!
And I have to say, I was kinda thinking that it was going to go all "Dads..you must to THIS THIS THIS...." etc, but it was very encouraging and really spoke to me as well.
Ok, here I go. Hopefully this will come across coherent and not end up too long. I will be going off some of my notes and bullet points. :) Maybe you can get a little nugget or two.
TRUST. We want our kids to trust us, right. How do you you earn their trust? Well, practice quality and quantity time. It is the vehicle to take us to the goal of gaining the trust of our children. If our children do not trust Robert (us) more that their peers, their peers will shape their future.
Life is hard and filled many disappointments. Does your child know that no matter how fearful life becomes Dad will be there to love, accept, help, and guide?
Children need to sense our relationship with them is of high priority. We become so interested in their outward behavior what we communicate is that we only care about what they do, not who they are.
Learning to Build Trust
8 Mandates of a father:
1. Fathers need to cultivate a sense of family identity - a place to belong.
Know where you are going with your family identity. It sets you apart and what draws your children to you.
2. A father must provide an on going demonstration of love for his wife. (How can a child trust his Dad who doesn't love his Mom?) interesting!
3. A father needs to understand and respect his children's private world.
a. public world - time away from home, work, etc
b. personal world - time with friends/relatives
c. private world - most secret of all places - cannot visit unless invited. (don't give busy signals, be available, open window? don't go in and rearrange.....LISTEN!)
We want to be invited into our children's private world. There are little things called "open windows" that children will give you that are often missed by us parents. Sometimes it's right before you close the door at night and you child will say, "Daddy/Mommy, do you think I'm pretty?" etc. All the sudden they are trusting you with the treasure of their heart. A parent can establish a trusting relationship in the private places of a child, but it can destroy it there as well.
4. A father must give his children the freedom to fail. Children don't want to fail. But failing without effort is unacceptable.
5. Father need to be the encourager of the family. Phone calls, notes/cards that he signs himself.
Under this bullet point they give the example of sticking a hand written note in your child's lunch. Dr. Ezzo even gave permission for the wife to chase their husband around the house until he does it. This was SO funny because just the week before I had asked Robert to do this and he said OK but forgot. So the day after this lesson I asked him to and he said something like, "Let me go downstairs and if I remember I will." I slammed the door and escorted him (kindly) to the kitchen and made him do it. I told him, "Dr. Ezzo told me I could do this!" HA! And that day, the kids LOVED it. Lillian even carried hers in her dress pocket all day and at the park, pulled it out for my friend (who is all in the class) and she said, "Look what MY Daddy put in my lunch today!!!" It's pays off BIG!!
6. As a father, you must guard your tongue and your tone and learn to mearsure you response against the excitement on their faces. (don't destroy special moment with your response, be sure to share in their joy and not crush it.)
7. Father need to touch their children. (fond affection is never hindered by age, gender, or time)
8. If you are going to build a trusting relationshp with your children, it must be built on God's Truth and not on man's wisdom. (We need to be the wise man and build our house on the rock - Matt. 7:24-27)
Fathers need to verbalize their commitment to their family whenever appropriate. Make encouraging statements like "this is really a terrific family" "I'm so thankful the Lord put us all together." "You kids have such a great mom." As you talk about your family, you gain credibility in your role as the head of the home. Your child's confidence in you grows as he or she sees that Dad is on board.
The quality and quantity of trust our children have in us is the only legitimate benchmark measuring our relationship with them.
Whew...that's a lot of good info! Hope you can pick out a few little encouraging points from there!!