I hear the the Vacation Bible School song in my head, Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight! Jesus loves the little children of the world.
Dads, be aware!! Children deserve respect!!
I’m very thankful to be a counselor to moms and dads realizing any emotional, relational, or mental healing in their lives will impact the parenting they do. When I help a couple dialogue to intentionally make the space between them emotionally safe, it’s not unusual for me to hear a comment like this. “Judy, learning this communication with my spouse has helped me connect with my teenager! It’s changed my parenting!”
Every adult I encounter has a childhood past. I’m exposed to stories of unintentional wounds inflicted by unaware parents. It’s my belief that an adult’s poor coping skills, anxiety, depression and other difficulties are exacerbated by the lack of attunement received as a child by his or her caregivers.
I’m all for enjoying and having fun with one’s children. On the other hand, playing with them without being in tune with their emotions, facial expressions, body language and verbal cues becomes exploitative.
A small child can’t say, “Dad, I’m about to have a panic attack when you throw me up in the air like that. Be careful because I don’t want to have a diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder when I’m older.”
A pre-adolescent girl can’t say, “Dad, please stop tickling me when I say, ‘NO’. I want my ’NO’ to mean something when my boyfriend touches me in ways I’m uncomfortable with.”
Children DESERVE utmost respect from their parents, caregivers, and all of humanity. My heart breaks over the physical abuse of children. It breaks even more over the “normal” emotional/mental/verbal abuse that goes on as parents rationalize, “it’s no big deal.”
Children DESERVE to be treated with dignity, honor and value. They DESERVE to be listened to and validated. They DESERVE to be protected and nurtured. They DESERVE a peaceful home environment. They DESERVE to live in this world free from fear and emotional torment.
Dad’s, listen to your children’s mothers. Don’t disregard their concerns. Be open to their perspective. Trust their intuition if you are scolded for being too rough. It may be play for you, but it may be torment for your child. Be sensitive to their non-verbal cues. Be the emotional protector of their hearts.
Always remember, they are precious in His sight!