When we are mothers, there is nothing in the world like the special bond that we have with our babies. That special understanding that goes unsaid between a mother and her child is beautiful to me. I hope that every mother gets to experience it.
Sometimes though, that bond can seem nonexistent. It may feel like there’s something going on that you aren’t aware of and it can bring up many questions and doubts about the bond. Usually, those doubts can lead us to feeling disconnected from our child and then we begin to doubt if we are failing at parenthood.
When we feel like we’re failing, the devil has us right where he wants us. He has us in his snares of believing his lies. When we believe his lies, then we are letting him have his way.
This is a way that the devil gets in our world, we let him in by believing the things that he tells us about ourselves without listening to the truth: God’s word.
It’s easy to ignore the truth and it’s easy to believe the lies. But what we are meant for on this earth isn’t. supposed. to. be. easy.
When we start to believe the devil’s lies about ourselves, that puts our children at risk. That leaves a door wide open for the devil to use us to get to our children. The devil doesn’t want just us, he wants our children too. They are the future of our world, so he wants to make sure that he has us right where he wants us so that he can control the outcome: our children’s futures.
When we are weak, then the devil sees that as an opportunity to go after our children.
Keeping ourselves in check and keeping ahold of that bond that we have with our sweet arrows will help us stand against the devil’s schemes and it will help us remain aware of when the devil is attacking.
I’d like to share some things that have helped me maintain a good bond with both of my boys. They are both different, so I’ve had to do trial and error with both of them separately. I haven’t figured it all out completely, but this is what has been working in general for us lately:
There’s nothing like a child coming to you and asking you to hold their hand while you pray with them or while they pray. Having a relationship with God together through prayer is one of the greatest bonds a parent can have with their child. Teaching them to pray is pointless unless you are the one taking the time to pray with them. They only learn truly from you and it helps build a deep spiritual connection. Being spiritually connected to your child helps build a bond that nothing can break.
This is my first go to after prayer, because I am an avid reader myself. I’ve always been interested in books and I feel like they have always been a big part of my life. Books are a good way to learn, help us to use our imaginations, and when you’re able to do that together, it’s bonding. Our favorite book that we’re reading now is A Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis. Taking at least 15 minutes a day to sit and spend time in a book together is NOT too much to ask. Even if you do not like books yourself, just taking time for them to look at pictures in a book (you don’t even have to read the exact words in the book, you can even make up your own) with you is something that they will treasure for a lifetime.
New adventures are always fun! When you’re showing your child that you’re learning too, they will not only gain more respect for you but they will feel like you are on their level. When you are on their level, they will open up to you and you will learn more about them than ever before.
A lot of parents feel like it’s not good to cry in front of their child. I feel like crying in front of your children is the best way to show them that you are human. When they see that it’s okay to express emotion, then we’re telling them that we aren’t an emotionless robot. Children don’t want robots for parents. We are weak too sometimes. If we show them that we cry too and we find a way to come out of that negative emotion in a healthy way, they will learn from that. (Remember, there’s a difference between crying and blubbering or nagging, those could possibly teach them bad habits and who wants those?). Also, they will see that you’ve been there and they’ll feel like you understand their pain when they experience those emotions themselves. They will remember that you had cried before and that will help them see that crying isn’t a bad thing all the time. They will see that you possibly understand their situation and the fact that you understand their pain will make them open up to you about their struggles and they will come to you more often to “kiss their booboos”. A better understand emotionally will help build that bond.
Play with their toys with them, play games, sing, dance, take them outside to do something they’ll love doing. Some parents don’t have the energy to do this. I know that it takes energy just to smile sometimes. Much less get up and dance or get on the floor and play with toys. So it takes extra effort to do these things. When has extra effort ever been a bad thing? Show your kids that you still have that kid inside of you waiting to have someone to play with too. When they connect with that side of you, it will build a bond that they’ll remember in every stage of their life.
Building a bond is important for every child. When we build positive relationships with our children from the beginning, then we will be able to make small adjustments as they get older and grow to keep up that relationship. Because when they grow older, it will be harder to start a relationship that has that bond that every parent wants with their child.
I am still learning how to nurture that bond with my boys and it takes a lot of Trial and Error ! But I feel like it is worth it and there will be no doubt that my arrows will be sharpened through the effort.
What are some methods that you use to strengthen the bonds that you have with your children? I would love some more ideas!