5 Ways to Connect More Genuinely with Your Awesome Offspring

One kid was sitting on my foot and another was clawing at my face, all I could hear was “Mom, Mom.”  I sighed, as my heart rate shot up and I yelled: “Stop!”

I needed to chant these words to myself- I am calm. I am peaceful. My child isn’t driving me loony. He will not end up in juvey or jail, due to our lack of connection.

My kids have some annoying behaviors or personality quirks, which cause me irritability. On those days, I try everything within myself to get a grip before I go ballistic.

Cleansing breaths on repeat.  Please tell me I’m not alone?

For example, one of my kids likes for me to put his socks on him. Somehow I put them on better!?!  He has to have all the lines lined up on his feet, or I need to re-do them.

OK, so this doesn’t sound bad you might be thinking, but at six in the morning or the multiple times I do it in a day, it’s extremely annoying. Let me add also, he’s older than six, he should be able to handle this.

Having conflicting personalities can cause life-long issues if they are addressed in a negative way, or if a parent labels their child.

If a child is constantly being reprimanded for his differences, as a result, the child may grow up thinking something is wrong with them and feel like he lacks connection.

How Not to Apply Labels

When I was little, I was gregarious and friendly with everyone. I was a deep thinker and needed to emotionally connect with others.

My other family members weren’t wired like me, so it caused a lot of strife in our family. I couldn’t understand them and they couldn’t understand me.

It was a mismatch of emotions and personalities. It was frustrating to all of us. Labels were affixed, and those labels have been carried on in my mind and heart.

Now as a parent, I don’t want to repeat this cycle. I don’t want my kids to feel like the odd man out, and I certainly don’t want to stick labels.

What do we do when our psyche is so different from our kids?

5 Ways to Connect More Genuinely with Your Awesome Offspring. Tips and truths for parents to have a greater relationship for life with kids. Children need acceptance. Mom's need a different perspective to help accept the differences in their sons and daughters.

 

How About Dropping the Expectations and Consider Connection

I love my kids, but can I admit that one of them has a conflicting personality with mine. It’s like I’m constantly trying to lead a stubborn donkey into the barn. Everything is a struggle, and it’s so hard to keep my cool.

I do own two donkeys and can I just say they are stubborn buggers.

Do you ever wish your child was different? You don’t say it out loud, but you’ve thought it in your head?

Honestly, I have, I wish my child was more easy-going and more agreeable. So I’d like to ditch the stubbornness, argumentative traits and connect to him more.

My expectation is that my child will act the way I want them to. Reality says my kids are learning and developing and I can’t expect them to be how I want them to.

However, when our children don’t mesh with our temperament, we can feel frustrated. Discouragement, unhappiness, fear or even resentment can be overcoming emotions we feel.

We may pull back in frustration and aggravation; the bond between us slowly is diminished. As the child ages, distance might increase due to the clash of personalities.

They Don’t Need to be Me

The thing is: do we want our kids to be just like us?

Honestly ponder this for a minute…sometimes I drive myself nuts. I don’t want another me nearby. I just said Amen out-loud.

When we do a perspective shift, we can thank God for the differences between our child and us. Click To Tweet

How God Uses Conflict to Inspire Growth

I firmly believe God puts people in our lives to help us change our hearts. I need to work on patience, so God sends me a child who is stubborn.

The jokes on her God says that’ll teach her patience.

So, God sent me a fickle and disagreeable blessing to work control out of me.

 5 Ways to Connect More Genuinely with Your Awesome Offspring. Tips and truths for parents to have a greater relationship for life with kids. Children need acceptance. Mom's need a different perspective to help accept the differences in their sons and daughters.

God didn’t make another you, He made your child. Click To Tweet

In the Bible, we can read about David and his son, Absalom.

Read 2 Samuel 14:25-18

Absalom tries to take over his Father’s throne, so Absalom gets the people to agree with him albeit through lies. He was jealous of his father’s popularity, so he schemed to get the people’s devotion shifted from his dad to him.

Eventually, Absalom wanted to kill his father, so David fled the city. The story ended with David returning to claim his throne,  and Absalom was killed instead.

I think this story turns out ironic, the conniving son gets what he sowed.

Don’t you think David wished his son had turned out differently, that they connected better? Absalom’s actions probably were grating and irritating to David.

They had other differences too.

For example:

  • David walked with God, and Absalom didn’t.
  • David’s eyes were set on eternal things, while Absalom was more interested in worldly gains.
  • David believed in God leading him, Absalom led himself.

Move Forward and Connect with Your Child

As a parent, we can follow the tips above, but is there something else we can do?

We can ask God to help us accept the differences, to love consistently and be the biggest cheerleader for our child.

Some days we will get it wrong, so it’s important to give grace to ourselves as we become intentional in this parenting journey.

God promises to give us wisdom and perspective when we ask Him. He can help us love our children in their own uniqueness.  Only He can give us the control to keep us restrained when our kids drive us crazy.

May our connection with our offspring be genuine and enduring. Acceptance and love are important gifts we can give to our children.

Heavenly Father- Thank you for the blessing of my child. I need your wisdom and guidance as I journey through parenting. Father, this is hard work. Help me embrace my child in their differences and help me overlook the mismatch between us. Give me the ability to connect and unconditionally love this child. Amen.

“The miracle of children is that we just don’t know how they will change or who they will become.”

-Eileen Kennedy- Moore

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24 thoughts on “5 Ways to Connect More Genuinely with Your Awesome Offspring

  1. I love this, Julie. When my older daughter was younger, I made some decisions based on what might have been best for me as a kid (or maybe just what I might have preferred), without really taking into account her much-different personality. Let’s just say I’ve learned my lesson! God wired her a certain way for many reasons, one of which is to help me grow and develop as a person! Your tips aren’t easy to accomplish all the time (or even some of the time?) but they are very helpful!

    1. Lois- thanks for sharing your story. I know my child with his mismatch personality is God’s way of helping me grow!
      Blessings to you!

  2. This is a beautiful post, Julie. Now that my children are all grown adults, I can look back and see so many times that I failed at the efforts you mentioned. But at the same time, I can see how God’s Grace still was at work, and how He took all of the prayers I offered, and saw my heart that was deeper than my limited abilities. I am so glad that HE “sets the lonely in families” and He does use all of these different personalities to bring us closer to Himself, and then to each other. Blessings to you!

    1. Bettie- thanks for sharing your insight! It’s great to hear even when I mess up, God works it out. Takes some of the pressure off 😉

  3. This is so good! What a great list of tips… I think we forget we are not raising mini-me’s! And we also tend to forget that our kids are human, which means as much as we’d love for them to be perfect and never sin or make poor choices –or simply choices we would not make… well, that’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works! 😉 Love wins. (And cleansing breaths save lives!)

  4. Never has this been so true as our kids mature, begin showing their independence. I learned (oh what am I saying, I’m still learning) that there’s something unique God must finish in them that has nothing to do with me, or having enough similarities… what a great topic! Thanks for your insight, Julie! Blessings!

  5. Oh, Julie! We are on day 3 of spring break here and this post hits me in all the places I’m trying to avoid this week! Praying for the strength to handle my littles the way God wants me to today! Thanks for the challenge! Blessings!

  6. Having raised two daughters who were both very different from each other and from me, I can relate to this. ha. I think releasing our expectations is such a huge game-changer. Thanks for sharing your wisdom, Julie!

  7. I love your beautiful reminders today! It’s so easy to think that our kids are mini versions of us and that they should think and act like we do, but God has other things in mind for them! Learning to appreciate that is such a freeing blessing!

    Also, the idea that we need to like ourselves……gold! When we like ourselves we’re not trying to get our kids to be just like us for validation. Go figure!

  8. Great post, Julie! I’ve had the same thoughts about my children. But I know God uses everyone around us to hone and shape our character, ESPECIALLY our children! I loved your five tips. Letting go of our expectations for our children is probably the hardest, but the most necessary, I believe.
    Thank you for speaking from your heart here. It brought truth and smiles of understanding.

  9. Letting go of our own expectations of how our children should act is so difficult! Thanks for the encouragement to allow them to be who God created them to be even when it is a struggle for us.

  10. Why, yes my 11 year old son has picky tendencies out the wazoo and not only do I chide myself for getting so frustrated with him, I find it’s “easier” to see when other family and friends let words seep out of their mouths with label-ish things, and then I get all mama bear. Isn’t it a weird back and forth? It wears me out sometimes and I am like help me God! I just laughed because the sock issue I have with two of mine! God really does want us to slow down and show compassion, and this is where great stretching comes into play. All I can say is, growth hurts ouch!! Thanks for sharing this personal story with scripture and linking up!

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