My wife Jean and I have raised two boys, Trent and Troy. Throughout their childhoods, I was able to enjoy a lot of father/son time with them. Just the three of us. Baseball games. Football games. Camping. Fishing.
Looking back on it, the one thing I would change is that I would have done more with each of them individually, to invest one on one time with them. Individual quality time is a great way to show a child love.
So is physical affection, although it may require perseverance on your part. I’ve always enjoyed showering my boys with love, even when they weren’t always sure how to respond. When Trent was younger, I’d hug him, and he’d be as stiff as a board. He’d stand there with his arms down to his side. I’d encourage him, “Come on. Put your arms around me. Give me a big squeeze and push my kidneys in!” It took him a while to learn to be comfortable with affection, but now he’s a great hugger.
If you’re a dad with a teenage daughter, remember that she may not take to physical affection. Showing her love will likely include honoring your daughter’s boundaries without disengaging from her. Pursue her heart. Just go about it in different ways.
However you show your children love, the point is that you’ll sometimes need to lean in and be more intentional about it.
On our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Simple Ways to Love Your Daughter or Son,” we want to help you love on your daughters and your sons in ways that infuses them with confidence and informs their identity in Christ.
Sometimes parents have to slow down, take stock, and assess their priorities. When we see our children as our responsibility to disciple in Christ, to raise in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord, we must assess where our priorities lie. Each of us will make time for our true priorities.
Our guests Matt and Lisa Jacobson will offer practical, meaningful strategies for listening to your children and affirming them in who God created them to be.
I appreciated the Jacobsons’ vulnerability and simple, down-to-earth approach. You’ll glean many insights from the way they’ve raised eight – yes, eight – kids! Listen to the program on your local radio station, online, on Apple Podcasts, via Google Podcasts, or on our free phone app.
We’ve also got a free parenting assessment for you at our website. It will quickly give you an overview of how your family is doing in several key areas and offer some suggestions on how you can improve the relationships in your home.
The Jacobsons have authored two books that are easy to read and chock full of fun ideas and encouraging stories. I’d like to offer you a copy of 100 Ways to Love Your Daughter or 100 Ways to Love Your Son: The Simple, Powerful Path to a Close and Lasting Relationship for a gift of any amount. Give us a call at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459). Or visit our website for more information.