We have their hearts, but for a moment. As my firstborn daughter found this little treasure on our nature walk the other day, I was reminded of this. It's kind of special that there were 3 hearts, one for each babe of mine.
What will I do with these hearts? Will I spend my days pushing them aside, speaking harsh words, crushing them with my apathy? Because there is a temptation to be apathetic when raising children... to rush through our days and just grow bodies instead of hearts.
Bodies grow with food and water, hearts grow with love and purpose.
1) Don't rush through your days, look for moments to make your child's heart smile. Each person wants to feel special. You do. I do... so does your child. Find special ways to pull each child aside in your day and show them they are special.
2) Give lots of affection... hearts grow big and bright this way. Find ways to hug and kiss and love on your child each day. Their hearts grow big and bright in an instant... just watch their face light up first!
3) Speak the words... I love you, often. Tell your kids you love them. Maybe it's hard for you to do this. Just start... and keep at it... even (and especially) in the frustrating parental moments. Stop. Say it. Let the grace calm the chaos.
4) Give them gifts. There will be moments for material gifts, but the gift of yourself... over and over, is what your child truly craves.
5) Compliment them every day. If you had to evaluate your words spoken to your children, they would most likely be things like don't do that, and why would you do such a thing? Training is important, but compliments and praise go twice as far.
How do YOU enlarge your child's heart?