We focus a lot on finding our own purpose, but what about our kids? How can we help them find emotional happiness?
Heather Johnson shares how to learn what is valuable to your child, and help them connect to a life purpose.
The Meaning of Life from the Mind of a Child
As parents, we want to make our children’s dreams come true. So what basics do they need? What do they really value and hope for? There are certain basic emotional needs every child craves to find meaning in their daily lives.
Here are five principles that will help connect your children to their life purpose.
Kids hope that every day will be stable. Stability comes for kids when they are connected to their family and community. These provide children with a solid foundation that helps them build their identity. Every day should be filled with meaningful patterns of interaction. This could be a bedtime routine or an afterschool ritual.
A FAMILY NARRATIVE
A family narrative could be the single greatest predictor of a child’s happiness. Every time we share stories and experiences from our families, we are gifting our child a family narrative. These could be traditions or narrations passed down from generations. When a child knows the stories of their parents, grandparents, and their great grandparents, they feel more connected to home and to you, as their parents. A family narrative gives children an identity that spans time.
LOVE AND EMOTIONAL SUPPORT
When we neglect to give our child emotional support, it actually sends the message that we don’t love them. Love creates understanding and when you feel understood, you learn to trust. Giving your child the emotional support they need builds a strong relationship built on mutual trust.
Children crave learning. They crave it in the schoolroom and they crave it at home. Teach your child life skills. When our children have knowledge, they feel more prepared. And when they feel more prepared, they feel more in control. Teachers and parents dictate a child’s everyday life. Education allows children to try new things and ultimately succeed in greater ways.
We think our children don’t want structure. The truth is, children want to know how to contribute to the family and society at large. They want rules, routine, and consequences. Give them the structure they need to thrive in their little lives. Predictability leads to feelings of safety in our children.
Children should come to their mom or dad and expect the same response from each. Be on the same page as your spouse. If you do this, you will create a “team mentality” in your home.
If we don’t spend time with our kids, we don’t get to experience what true parenthood is. You are also depriving your children of what it feels like to have a dependable, loving parent. Time solves most parenting problems. A child that drags their feet at bed time is really saying, “I didn’t get enough time with you today.” A child who throws a fit at the store is saying, “You haven’t spent enough time understanding me.”
Heather Johnson M.S. completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Brigham Young University, and has been an adjunct faculty member for the last 15 years. She teaches students the principles behind successful families and the importance of families spending time together.
With a desire to help beyond the classroom, Heather is a Marriage and Relationship Coach where she helps couples and families learn to love, forgive, and communicate. She loves watching individuals find confidence and joy in marriage and parenting.
Heather’s favorite place to be is next to her husband. Married for 16 years, her greatest joy comes from being a wife, and mother to their 6 children (ages 15 to 2 years). Marriage and motherhood have been her most humbling adventure.
To contact Heather for counseling, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.familyvolley.blogspot.com