Building a Loving Environment For Children

( [email protected] ) Feb 10, 2004 01:51 PM EST

When teens feel a void in their lives, that’s when they begin attempting to fill the void with other things. Here are things during the day you can do to build the loving environment teens need to keep not just their values but their personal relationship with God strong.

1. Establish together time. Establish a regular weekly routine for doing something special with your children. Allocate some time so your children can share with you events about their day. Keeping an open line for communication is important. If there is no time, make time. When there is a will to express interest and affection in your children, there will be a way for you to make the time available. It is good be there after school when children can easily misdirect their time in hanging with the wrong crowd or engaging in non-productive activities. The time you spend with your children will also give them a center and a leader figure they can turn to for guidance.

2. Go on outings. Even taking them along while you do errands will give you time to talk with them in the car. Outings are a great way to teach your children about life in general in everyday settings. Seeing an argument on the street could inspire you to teach your children about forgiveness or going to a grocery store may give you a chance to explain how to pick out fruits. Many lessons can be relevant to your children’s growth a child of God and as a person living in this world. Outings can also encourage your children to talk more with you about things that they see that interest them.

3. Have family meetings. Meetings will give both you and your children a chance to bring up issues and concerns that may have been inappropriate to bring up other times. It will help the family unite more as a unit, distinguishing the parents as the heads. But it also represents a circle of co-working together just as we co-work with God to establish His Kingdom. It shows the children that we are in together. Parents may address discipline and lay out house rules such as curfew and chore responsibilities. Children may seek the parents’ permission to go on an outing with their friends or discuss frustration with school or house rules. Constructive discussion can help strengthen the family, helping them carry each other’s load.

4. Ask. Seek. Knock. Don’t be afraid to ask where your kids are going, who they’ll be with and what they’ll be doing. Get to know who your children’s friends and the friends’ parents. Knowing about everything in your children’s life is not being nosey, but caring.

5. Hold Prayer Meetings Together. No picture can be complete without God. He is the center of any family and is true love. In order to spread the right type of love to your children, through prayer, you can ask to resemble the image of God more, which is the image of love. Even 5 minutes together will help your family secure the vertical support with God needed to bind your horizontal relationships together.