Holding Your Child's Heart
by Susan Dyer
Welcome parents, grandparents. Congratulations to the students of the Kindergarten Class of 2011. We honor the teachers for their dedication and commitment to train and equip students.
It’s been a rewarding year with many memories for us. It would be hard to find a kindergarten teacher who hasn’t said, “I need to write a book. They say the cutest things.” One teacher shares that she was teaching on respecting authority, student said, “My dad is the boss until Grandma comes over and then he’s just one of us!”
I recently asked a soon to be graduate what his plans were after graduation, “I’m going to find me a wife.”
Deciding to have a child is one of the most significant decisions you could ever make. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. You will realize the fullness of that in twelve years, when you release your child to be on their own.
Who holds the heart of your child now? Would your child prefer spending time with grandparents, friends, TV or games? Whatever or whoever offers your child the most hope, hold his/her heart. A father/mother keeps the heart of their child by giving their relationship meaning and by having a vision for future blessings, it fills them. Children won’t feel the inner compulsion to find someone else with whom to identify whether it be a person, place or thing.
3 Keys in successful training of the heart:
1. Keep your child’s heart:
Build relationship – you are the most important person in their life, the primary educator, spiritual guide and influence. One day a guy was driving with his four-year-old daughter and beeped his car horn by mistake. She turned and looked at him for an explanation. He said, "I did that by accident." She replied, "I know that, Daddy." He replied, "How'd you know?" The girl said, "Because you didn't say 'JERK' afterwards!"
Ways to build a relatonship:
Invest in their life – give of yourself
Treat each child as an individual; value his/her uniqueness
Love language - know them, understand the five and how to use them effectively
Temperament - study them and respond to them as to who they are, not who you are.
Communicate expectations and follow through consistently
2. Train your child’s heart:
First time obedience, respect for authority.
Allow them to fall and learn from experience. Your job is not to keep them happy and comfortable all the time. That’s not real life. Are you training them to impress the world, or to be a useful member of society.
Be a good gatekeeper - be consistent with rules, consequences and expectation.
Don’t allow them to control you. A child centered home is “As long as I do what they want, everything is okay.”
Train them to be a servant, to prefer and honor
Tell them siblings are their best friend, watch out for them.
Train them in the power of a thought to choose joy. Give them opportunities to think and make good choices. A teacher was telling her class the story of the Good Samaritan, in which a man was beaten, robbed and left for dead. She described the situation in vivid detail so her students would catch the drama. Then she asked the class, "If you saw a person lying on the roadside all wounded and bleeding, what would you do?"
A thoughtful little girl broke the hushed silence, "I think I'd throw up!"
3. Guard your child’s heart:
Be their protector. You wouldn’t let a thief come into your house. Guard who speaks into their life, books they read, what they are watching.
You carry a spirit that affects the climate of your home. Demonstrate self control before you discipline.
Build healthy, caring relationship by watching over their heart by keeping, training and guarding your child for adulthood
Your goal should be to be the significant figure in your child’s life and offer the most hope.
In twelve years your child will walk down this aisle again. This time trained and equipped for a success in life. This time when you ask them what they are going to do after graduation, their answer will be “I want to marry someone just like you!”
Children are the hands by which we hold heaven. What a precious gift and a loving memory. Enjoy these years and make the most of your time together.