I recently had a conversation with my daughter’s Dad. Something that was brought to the surface was spending quality time with Christina. For those of you who don’t know, her Dad and I were together for seven years. We split up when Christina was five, he always served a very active role, seeing her every other weekend and eating lunch with her on the weekends he didn’t see her. When she got into middle school however the dynamic between their relationship changed a lot.
I wrote a post before about raising a teenage daughter go back and read it if you have a chance. In the post I talked about the challenges I faced raising my daughter. I thank God for instilling wisdom in me at the time, because I completely switched up my parenting style. As an educator, I am aware that when a child is acting out, they really need attention. I decided to change the rhythm in my home and gave my daughter my undivided attention.
Her father was venting to me about her recent behavior at his house so far during summer break. She has been pushing her limits. I mentioned to him that she was venting earlier about feeling neglected. Isn’t it crazy that our children can feel neglected when we as parents feel like we are doing our very best and giving them everything. Sometimes to hear those words are a hard pill to swallow.
The truth about parenting is that we are always having to evolve or grow. It undeniably requires us to take an introspective approach. I want to share something from our conversation that I believe will help other parents especially those with pre-teens/ teens. Her Dad said, “Man during the week, I get home, work out, eat dinner and then its time for bed”. I chuckled a little and said, “I definitely understand I do the same thing lol, however the day we committed to having a child, we have to sacrifice. I told him every night Christina and I eat dinner together, we watch shows together, work out together. Now your routine as a parent may look different but I want to challenge all the parents out there, to spend intentional time with your children and watch how the atmosphere in your home switch. My daughter is more confident, she tells me everything (some things that are uncomfortable but I’m grateful she trust me with the information), she’s a honor roll student and she’s an amazing kid to be around all together.
Now I would be lying to you all if I said I didn’t feel guilty for some the emotional turmoil she is experiencing due to her parents not being together. I meditated on our conversation for days. I kept thinking to myself, wow this is why it is so important to follow God’s design for our life. A healthy marriage is a building block for creating safe, secure, emotionally sound children. I know I can’t dwell in the past and that’s why I work so hard to have open and honest communication with her Dad. Despite how uncomfortable the conversations may get, I’m grateful that he was receptive to my words and implementing some ideas immediately.
As I plan to extend my family, I have certainly learned that my home will always be my first ministry and I want my future husband to embody that same type of mindset. I had a conversation with this guy once and he told me he works so hard right now financially, so when he starts a family nothing will take his attention away from giving his family his all. That statement was huge to me, because you rarely hear people talk about the time and attention that a family requires. Now I wonder how much of a difference we would see in the world, if family units stayed together and parents emotionally invest in their children the same way they do financially ?
Father God, please continue to instill wisdom in all the parents and future parents, let their hearts be receptive to change, let your holy spirit move over their hearts and cultivate them into true leaders of their homes, preparing sound minded, emotionally well, purpose driven children. In Jesus name I pray amen.
Your Sista on the Sofa,