Have you ever tried to push a fully inflated beach ball under the water?
You can only hold it beneath the surface for so long. Sooner or later, your strength will give out, and the ball will pop back up.
It’s a lot like parenting.
To explain how, we’ve invited Milan and Kay Yerkovich back to our microphones to discuss how to develop a deeper connection with your children by understanding their love styles.
Milan and Kay explain the coping mechanisms we develop in childhood to avoid relational pain. Those patterns of behavior pop up in our parenting.
Like a beach ball.
Say you grew up with angry parents. The experience may have left you feeling determined not to express anger to your own children. And, for a period of time, maybe you don’t. But, sooner or later, the beach ball of anger you’ve been holding under water for years can easily come popping up to the surface.
The same is true for our love styles. Our tendencies to be avoiders, pleasers, vacillators, controllers, or victims will come out in how we parent our children and how our children respond to our parenting.
The hope is to raise a child who is a “secure connector” – a child who is taught to bring their difficult emotions into relationship.
As with most other aspects of parenting, your child’s well-being starts with your well-being. If you’re a secure connector yourself, you’ll have fewer emotional beach balls popping up, which will allow you to emotionally engage with your children and empower them to handle their emotions in a healthy way.
That is a learning process for most moms and dads … even for Milan and Kay, experts in this area. “Instead of changing our kids,” they said, “we really had to look at ourselves and ask, ‘Where are we lacking as secure connectors? Where do we need to grow to be better parents?’”
I’d also like to extend an invitation for you to become a special partner with us through our monthly “Friends of Focus on the Family” program. When you do, I’ll send you a copy of Milan and Kay’s book How We Love Our Kids: The Five Love Styles of Parenting: One Small Change in You … One Big Change in Your Kids, as a way of saying thank you for touching others with the love of Christ. You’ll also receive member-exclusive benefits. To make your pledge, or for more information, visit our website or call 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).