Posts

Love Language #5 Acts of Service

Is the Act of Service a way of parenting that you have thought of? I hadn’t thought of it quite that way. I parented out of love, care, and the desire for our children to grow up as loving productive adults.

We are serving our children when we support them by taking them to sports, dance or music lessons and their games or recitals. I looked forward to watching our girls in dance practice and was excited to attend their recitals.

Supporting our children by questioning them about and helping them with their homework is another important area we can be of service to our children. I helped the girls as much as I could. When it came to math, however, I had to leave the help to my husband.

When our children are grown they will see how we blessed them with acts of service in all of the support given them while growing up.

Before we can do acts of service for our children we must take care of ourselves. By getting enough sleep, eating properly, and exercise we are more physically capable to handle the time we need to give to our children.

We also need to have a strong emotional outlook, self-esteem, and a balanced marriage relationship. The children need to see their parent or parents have separate relationships with others. It’s important that they see that everything doesn’t always center around them.

In a previous blog, I shared how our daughters made dinner for us and left us alone for the evening. It was so sweet of them to give us our special time. It was also a good lesson for them to learn how to do an Act of Service for others.

With our physical and emotional lives in balance, we are better equipped to raise strong well-rounded children.

Jesus taught us to serve others when He washed His disciple’s feet:

 

After that, He poured water into a basin

and began t

o wash the disciples’ feet,

and to wipe them with the towel with which

He was girded. Then He came to Simon Peter.

And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?”

Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing

you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”

Peter said t

o Him, “You shall never wash my feet!”

Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you,

you have no part with Me.” Simon Peter said to Him,

“Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”

10 Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only

to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you

are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew who

would betray Him; therefore, He said, “You are not all clean.”

12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments,

and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know

what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher

and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.

14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet,

you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I

have given you a

n example, that you should do as

I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you,

a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who

is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know

these things, blessed are you if you do them.[1]

If the Son of God can serve us, then we should happily do Acts of Service for our children.

As our children grow we need to teach them how to do different things around the house, such as cleaning, laundry, ironing, and cooking. They need these skills to be able to eventually live on their own.

How do you show your children Acts of Service? How do they show you Acts of Service?

[1] The New King James Version. (1982). (Jn 13:5–17). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Quality Time

 

We can turn any time with our children into quality time. Take advantage of a long ride. Ask a few questions or share something from your past. Your children will love to hear stories about how you met your husband.

Share a favorite memory of yours, or how you handled a similar situation that they are going through.

Plan quality time with each of your children. It could be a day alone with them. Go shopping, or to a movie, then their favorite restaurant for a meal. Another example could be reading together. If they can read have them read their favorite book or a few chapters to you.

If you have more than one child each parent should spend quality alone time with each of the kids. This will give them a strong feeling of love from each parent.

 

Don’t forget to have quality time with your husband too.

We planned one night a month for date night when the girls were young. There were many times that we couldn’t afford to go out for the evening. I would feed the girls and get them settled for the night. Then have a nice quiet dinner for two. I would get out the china and crystal and light some candles. Even if it was an inexpensive dinner it felt special.

One time the girls wanted to make our dinner and serve it. They made a menu to show us what our dinner would be. I can’t remember the main course, but the appetizer was sliced apples with straight cinnamon sprinkled on top. With a lot of water, we chocked down the cinnamon and apples. A few days later I explained that you needed to add sugar to the cinnamon before putting it on the apples.

Memories like these are priceless quality time for us and our girls.

What are some of your favorite times alone with your children?

Encouragement and Affirmation

Encouragement and affirmation are another part of the 5 Love Languages.

Encouraging our children with words of affirmation gives them the courage they need to grow up to be strong adults. What they learn with these types of lessons gives them the basis for treating others as they would like to be treated as well.

As young children grow we teach them the social skills they will need as well. This is done by confirming their good actions and positive remarks they make. When they are nice to someone we need to praise them. Encourage your children to also catch others doing something nice and to compliment or thank them for their nice act.

Listening to our children and teaching them to listen to others is an important skill. I know I’ve been guilty of only half listening as one of the kids comes in from school all excited about their day. I should have stopped what I was doing and listened intently to them. Instead I kept fixing dinner. We’re all guilty of things like that. Try to ask your child to wait just a minute so you can finish what you’re working on. Then sit down and give them your full attention. Your little action will do wonders to give them encouragement and the affirmation that they mean so much to you.

When your child does something good complement them on it. Watch for those opportunities. You can use a notebook to jot down ideas of things to watch for, such as picking up their clothes, putting their dishes in the sink, or helping a sibling with a task. What other ideas do you have of catching your child in the act of doing good.

There are many influences on our children’s lives. Social media, friends, other adults in the family and community. We need to make sure they are getting the right feedback from all of them as well. Listen to their conversations with others and if something doesn’t sound right talk with them and give them examples of how they should say something.

God gives us mostly positive guidance. We need to give our children as much positive affirmation as we can. With Adam and Eve, His only  negative reaction was to make them leave the Garden of Eden. Then He helped them in their new lives. He also gave us the Ten Commandments to live by, they are mostly positive as well. He loves us and wants what is best for us.

We do need to correct our children, but only when necessary. Try to look for the positive as much as possible in their lives. Even as our children are teens, we need to be careful and explain why we don’t want them to be involved with certain people and situations. Give them examples such as a teen dying from drugs or an accident, and how much their parents are hurting. That you don’t want to have to go through that pain if they make a wrong choice and die.

Be careful when giving an affirmation that you don’t negate it with something negative. I love you, but.… By saying I love you, and I need you to do this, or I love you but, I can’t believe you just did that. All the child hears is but…. They don’t hear your love.

How can you see different ways that you can give your child encouragement and affirmation?

The 5 Love Languages

The 5 Love Languages

By: Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell

 

I just learned of this book from some homeschool teachers. It’s a good book to use as discussion starters. I encourage you to buy the book and join in the discussion.

Each of us is different in how we experience love. As parents we are responsible to help our children to know that they are loved. We also need to figure out what each of our children need in order to feel loved. They must know that they are loved no matter what. We may not like their actions, but we still love them. Our unconditional love won’t spoil them. Giving of things rather than love and time is what can spoil a child. Keep in mind the age of the children, the way we show love may change as they get older.

They are facing so many more hurdles than we did. The social media can have a very negative affect on our children.

The 5 Love Languages are:

  • Physical touch
  • Words of affirmation
  • Quality time
  • Gifts
  • Acts of service

In the past we worried about self-esteem. A lot of parents went too far and praised the kids for everything. Giving awards for just being at the game, or activity. They lost the learning they should have from accepting that they can’t always win in life. The kids have a false sense of always being the best and that others should always praise them. They can also go in the opposite direction by thinking that they can’t do anything right and have bad self-esteem. Being a parent trying to walk the balance beam of helping our children become strong caring adults is very difficult. Learning the 5 Love Languages can be a big help in learning how to best reach out to our children. Remember to look at the stage your child is in and make adjustments in how you show the different love languages.

Have you read this book? If so how has it helped you? If not do you think this will help you understand you children better?

How Do You Teach Children Forgiveness?

1 John 1:8–9 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.[1]

 

 

Forgiveness is such an amazing  gift from God. It is also hard to accept this for ourselves and even harder to teach a child how to forgive.

Let’s start with verse eight we have to accept that we are sinful by nature. We are born into sin. A newborn baby sins because they only think of themselves and their needs. It will take a few years to learn to think of others needs and not just theirs. They will need to experience right and wrong so they can make knowledgeable choices. Then it is possible to teach a child how to forgive.

 

In verse nine we begin to teach children forgiveness by telling them that they need to ask God to forgive them for something that they did wrong.

I learned that lesson when I was about five. The neighbors bush had pretty white flowers that would make into a beautiful brides bouquet for my pretend wedding. It all went well until Mom asked me where I got the flowers. Then she asked if had gone to Mrs. Adcock and to see if I could pick them. Finding out that I hadn’t she walked me over to apologize for picking the flowers.

This is where we can begin to teach children forgiveness. At times they will hurt someone or take something that doesn’t belong to them; it’s natural for these things to happen. Your next step is to teach them to go to the person that they hurt or took one of their things and to apologize to them. Later, when you are alone with your child, talk to them about why they need to ask for forgiveness.

You can also bring up a time when they were hurt or had something taken from them. Ask them how they felt when they were hurt or their toy was taken away. This incident can now be used as teaching a child how to forgive. Have then tell you how they felt when the other child asked for forgiveness. Explain that their friend would also feel better when they were asked to forgive your child for something that had happened.

 

Now, you can tell your child that God will forgive them for the things that they have done wrong too. They should now say a prayer and ask God to forgive them and that they are sorry for doing something that they shouldn’t have done.

What are your experiences in teaching a child how to forgive?

[1] The New King James Version. (1982). (1 Jn 1:8–9). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

 

Children’s Writing Workshop

Schedule your workshop today:

I teach a Children’s Writing Workshop. There four stages in which they learn to write: Modeled, Shared, Guided, and Independent. The children will practice each stage of writing. Send me a message and I will schedule a date and time to work with your students.