Do Your Kids Feel Valued?

By Kathy Koch
By Jill Savage
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Sometimes children feel like projects their parents are trying to finish or problems they're trying to solve. If your kids feel this way, here's how you can turn that around.

Many positive and negative behaviors have their roots in whether our children feel valued. Sometimes children feel like projects their parents are trying to finish or problems they’re trying to solve. If your kids feel this way, you can turn this around by:

• Teaching them how to change, rather than telling them to change.

• Making sure you’re not asking them to change something that can’t be changed.

• Affirming them for strengths with specific language so they believe you.

Kids need to know they are important in this world — and to us. The more we understand that and make decisions that answer their “Am I important to you?” question with a hearty “Yes,” the more we’ll help our kids find their way in this world.

I remember walking home from school with my friend Jill, knowing our mothers would be waiting for us with their questions. As a kid, I appreciated the genuine interest our moms showed.

I now understand that it may be natural for mothers to cherish their children, but it takes diligence to create nourishing interactions with them. Consider nurturing your relationship with your children through conversation:

Ask curious questions

Ask questions of your children when they are young and it will make them feel comfortable with questions as they get older.

Express an interest

Build connections by learning about the things your kids enjoy — questions about friendship, faith, grades and athletics will all nourish relationship.

Engage in two-way conversations

Encourage kids to both listen and speak, by sharing your beliefs and affirmation with your kids, and by allowing them to ask questions.

Copyright © 2014 by Jill Savage and Dr. Kathy Koch. Used by permission.

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About the Author

Kathy Koch

Dr. Kathy Koch is the founder and president of Celebrate Kids, Inc., an organization dedicated to helping parents and educators understand and meet the needs of today’s children, and a co-founder of Ignite the Family: A Movement of Awakened Parents. She is also an international speaker and the author of several books including Screens and Teens, No More Perfect Kids …

Jill Savage

Jill Savage is a popular public speaker and has written seven books including Professionalizing Motherhood, Real Moms … Real Jesus and No More Perfect Moms. She is the founder of Hearts at Home and served as the ministry’s director for 24 years. Jill and her husband, Mark, reside in Illinois. They have five children and several grandchildren. Learn more about …

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