I heard a quick blurb on the radio on the 5 things your kids will remember for life. Even though I was running late while taking the kids to preschool, it sparked my interest. I even pulled off the road and pulled into a parking lot of one of the gas stations so I could give my full attention and take notes.
This series will contain the 5 things your kids will remember for life. Life! that is a long time.
Today is day 1: The Day that you were there for your kids
As I sat there, I tried to think of my childhood and the point in my kids lives now. Did these things match? Were they things that I remember? Will my kids feel the same way looking back? Listening to these 5 things or experiences, I would have to agree. These life experiences are all in line with what Becky and I try to teach our kids, and the way in which we really try to live our lives. A life full of love and of hope.
Day One: The times you made sure they felt safe from fear.
I know I would do anything for my kids… no matter what. We really try to keep them safe, but sometimes it just isn’t possible to make them FEEL safe.
Things happen- like getting a skinned knee, while falling off your bike, or getting a cold from a kid in class. Even things like a rollercoaster that pushed them just beyond their “I feel safe” zone. These are situations where we can be there to help hold them and tell them it will be OK, and they know it will be.
Our youngest son Ethan, 5 years old, has been having trouble sleeping since Halloween. Too many scary kid-shows on TV (that his big brothers watch), walking into stores (like Party City) that had Zombies and even houses in our neighborhood that had ghosts hanging from the porch… all together it triggered a major scare in him. Becky and I don’t want him to be afraid to sleep, so we have been making sure he feels safe at night.
Some things that we are trying:
1- Laying with him at night so he knows he is safe and the night time is not so scary. We want him to know that he is safe and that we will be there. We don’t want him to remember how he was scared at night, but rather that he felt protected by those who loved him.
2- Letting him sleep in his big brother’s room.
3- Hanging up pictures of things that make him smile beside the bed.
4- Telling him a funny story before he goes to sleep.
5- Saying his prayers with him and praying for things that he is thankful for.
There will be times when we can’t swoop in to save the day. However, there are times when we don’t know how to protect them, when we don’t have the answers to their questions that might make them feel safe.
These are the times that hit us so hard that we have to wonder ourselves will be OK. (Situations like 9-11, the attack on Paris, or a death of a friend.) In these times, we have to know that we have been there enough for our kids, offering support in the way of talks, hugs and time, that now they know that they can lean us on… or stand strong on their own.
The Number One thing that we can do for our kids: Hold strong to them and let them know that they can share their burdens with you and you will carry it for them. They can feel safe with you. Tell them this, often. “I will take care of you.”