Making a heart connection with a child is a special part of parenting. One reason connecting emotionally is so important is that the heart is a person’s spiritual center; that’s why God chooses to live there. It’s also where parents can impact their kids spiritually. When you connect with your children on an emotional level, they’re more willing to listen to spiritual truth and less resistant to your leadership.
When we ask children to whom they talk when they’re upset, answers vary greatly. Some children talk to their friends, their parents, other family members, youth leaders, or teachers. And some children don’t feel comfortable talking about their problems with anyone.
Most children lack emotional coordination and are awkward about their feelings. It takes a patient parent to work with a child who’s inexperienced in the emotion department. These kids need a parent willing to draw them out and pursue greater understanding.
In 1 Peter 1:22, Peter tells believers how to have closer relationships, “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.” That’s a helpful command for parents, too. Moms and dads tend to want to keep things moving with the day organized and on track. Parents must continually evaluate their choices and decide what issues are most important in family life.
As you make those tough trade-offs, be careful not to minimize the value of time well spent on relationship with your kids. Connecting emotionally takes time, but the reward of closer family relationships is great.
This parenting tip comes from the book Parenting is Heart Work by Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.