This is the first of a two-part blog series covering our last Eagle Mama Luncheon – both messages were just too good to condense into one blog.
Once a quarter, the Legacy Parent Teacher Fellowship hosts the Eagle Mama Luncheon at Stonebriar Country Club. It is an opportunity for mothers of Legacy students and their guests to get together for fellowship, a good meal, and an encouraging message. The luncheons offer practical guidance with a spiritual foundation as well as the ability to connect with families who are often experiencing the same joys and challenges of parenting.
Dr. Lana Snear, our South Campus Guidance Counselor (pictured left) spoke about the importance of communicating with our children. While it is seemingly obvious advice, she rooted it with the acronym ALLIES, and her message hit the mark. There are three types of parents; the dictator, who is harsh, the passive parent, who is a cheerleader, and the ally, who has open lines of communication with their child. To becomes one of your child’s ALLIES, mind the following:
Be Accessible/Available – kids truly have an innate desire to communicate but are afraid to, which is why you often find yourself with a child who wants to talk into the wee small hours of the morning. The more often you engage with them when they need you to, regardless of the hour or the fact that there is school tomorrow, the less likely it will continue to occur later in the evening.
Listen with Intent – STOP what you are doing. Very often we, as parents, are juggling multiple tasks and trying to get things done efficiently and effectively, and we overlook the importance of looking at our kids AND listening to them. The key to listening with intent is to identify what your child is feeling and then acknowledge it. Often if you get the feeling wrong, they will identify it for you so that you can better understand and relate to them.
Lead with the heart – while you are listening to their struggle, try to relate to their raw and very real emotions. When children are in an emotionally heightened state, they cannot think, and their behavior will likely be scattered. When you lead with your heart, you empathize with your child and reinforce the validity of their emotions and that is when you can truly address the behaviors.
Inquire purposefully – ask good, open-ended questions. When you ask intentional and purposeful questions, it will offer your kids an opportunity to elaborate. The “How was your day?” question usually receives that vague response “good,” or “fine,” but if you ask them “What was your favorite part of your day today?” it allows them to expound past that single word response.
Encourage – be intentional and encourage your kids. Let your child know that you are thrilled and blessed to have them as the child that God gave you. Many times we overlook this as well, but be purposeful and remind yourself that the power of encouraging words is invaluable, especially to a child. Fill their cup and you will find it will fill yours as well.
Support – support your children in everything they do. If your child prefers to play the ukulele instead of pursuing sports, support them. Many times parents get wrapped up in living vicariously through their children – remember that it is important to support them in their dreams instead of getting a second chance on your own.
Being one of your child’s ALLIES will be the best thing you can do for them and for yourself. It will strengthen and fortify your relationship and will help you be a better parent. Stay tuned for part two of the series, where Jerica Olson shared what it means to be and to have Mighty Friends.
Legacy Christian Academy is Frisco’s preeminent Pre-K through 12 Christian school committed to educating students in a college preparatory environment balanced in academics, athletics, and fine arts–all within the context of a biblical worldview. For more information on Legacy, visit our admissions page.