What does it LOOK like to win a child’s heart?
THE OPEN DOOR POLICY
As parents, we’ve always communicated to our kids that we have an open door policy. It’s not just the standard, “You can tell us anything” policy, it’s more like, when they have an issue that they are processing, or a conflict with a sibling, they need to know that they can come to us and we will help them sort it out, without over-reacting. Keeping an open door policy means that we are always asking them questions.
How am I doing as a mother or father? What things do I do that makes you feel the most loved? How would you have handled that particular situation? What do you think God is teaching our family right now? Asking questions is a great way to keep those doors of communication wide open, and will keep their tender hearts coming back for more.
Teaching our kids how to resolve conflict with one another has been one of the most effective ways to winning their hearts. In a home where ten different personality types live, conflict is unavoidable. We call our home, the laboratory for life and teach our sons that the way they treat their mother and sisters is the way they will one day treat their wives and daughters. Likewise to our daughters, the way they speak to their father and brothers is the way they will one day speak to their husbands and sons.
That is a sobering thought, but it’s true.
God in His grace has given us His WORD to teach us how to treat people and given us the FAMILY to practice on a daily basis. Parents have the unique opportunity while their children live under their roof to teach, train, and mentor them in conflict resolution.
THE HOT SEAT
There are times when a child sins, and we have found out about it, Joey and I bring them to what we call, “The hot seat”. The hot seat is where the offender sits, faced by both parents, and the sin is addressed. This is not the norm, we don’t implement the hot seat every time sometime disobeys, but rather, when a child reaches the age of around 12 to 16, and we believe that they need us both in order to “come clean”. The secret to the success of the hot seat is simple.
- Maintain a united front
- Use scripture as your guide
- Take all the time you need
The goal of the hot seat is confession and repentance.
Sometimes the hot seat lasts for hours, with layers upon layers of deceit and offenses needing to be uprooted. Sometimes it only takes a few minutes. The end result has always been, that we win their hearts and build another brick in the wall of their character.
God has given us His word to show us how to love others. Seek to win your child’s heart and the actions will follow.