I’m Okay, You’re (Maybe) Okay . . . but Your Child’s A Mess!

In the ’70s a popular book entitled, “I’m Okay, You’re Okay” became an extenuation of the “me” generation, fostered in the ’60s.

Over the years, hundreds of books were written meant to uncover why adults acted as they did. They touched on what motivates us, how we should view ourselves, what’s our sign and discovering what type of personality we have: Type A, B, and so on. It was all about “self.” These books were written, reflecting how people should view themselves. Everyone got placed in a box and tied with a brightly colored ribbon. It became the discussion in many a social situation.

th6YRBMKCUWhat a diversion toward self-centered thinking! Usually we are a combination of many personalities because God created each of us uniquely. That alone makes us special. For example, my husband and I respond differently to different stimuli. I’m more impulsive, my husband’s more methodical. I need to talk it out, he needs time to think it through . . .

Through it all, authors studied adults profusely and forgot about the children. Have you ever thought that perhaps the way we treat our children shouldn’t be the same as we treat an adult acquaintance? Our children are as individual as we are.  Each child has a distinctive personality and a separate need for recognition, discipline, acceptance and approval. No child should be placed in a box!

It’s extremely important for each parent to discover their child’s “Love Language.”

One child is more analytical, another is a bookworm and studious. These children desire stimulating conversation even more than hugs.  Praise and respect them for their curiosity and dedication to studies (and of course hug them anyway!)

An emotional or affectionate child would respond better to physical rewards such as a hug rather than a toy as a reward. He wants to know he is worth more than “things.” No amount of materialism can purchase this child’s love.  He needs to be assured that he is more than simply another possession or he’ll turn to food or drugs for unfulfilled comforting emotions.

Sometimes a child only wants time with their parents, but rarely finds it. Sometimes the parents are so busy keeping up with the ‘Joneses’, working sixty-hour weeks in order to reward their child with “things” rather than what their child’s soul longs for; attention. This creates a chasm between relationships, perhaps even one which will never fully heal. This child could grow up to be introverted, placing a protective shell around his heart to avoid hurtful relationships or perhaps become another workaholic. He might want to sit and enjoy a movie, snuggling with his child, but that’s considered unproductive time. So he continues to strive for his parents approval through hard work.

We are God’s child but perhaps we fail to see that He accepts us as we are, faults and all. Our Lord understands our Love Language! If we simply want to spend time with Him, wrapped in prayer, He’s always available to us. If we encounter challenges, we can rest in our Father’s Arms, finding comfort rather than criticism. If we are analytical, He’ll provide knowledge and wisdom through His Word so we can go on to teach others. God’s always attuned to our needs even before we know them ourselves.

Begin to teach your child the ways of our Lord early, remembering that most children first identify our Heavenly Father with their earthly father. Therefore, appreciate each child as the blessing from God they truly are!

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”  (3 John 1:4)

 

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11 thoughts on “I’m Okay, You’re (Maybe) Okay . . . but Your Child’s A Mess!

  1. I was a single mom while raising my children in the church and teaching them about the Lord. They are now adults and are not walking with the Lord. But I faithfully pray for them to come back to Him and believe God for that. Their father left us when my youngest was an infant and has not shown any interest in being a part of their lives. I did the best I could as a single mother but it took me years to forgive myself for parenting mistakes I made. My own father was not a good man when I was growing up, but when I had my son, who was the first grandchild, he took that as his second chance. My children are now in their mid 20s and their grandpa means the world to them. He made good on his promise to be a good father and I am so thankful they have him. Never underestimate God’s ability to be a Father to the fatherless, the power of teaching your children God’s Word and His principles for living, and His amazing grace and forgiveness. Great post, Ellie. Keep speaking the truth in love.

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    • Oh Wendy, so well said! I too endured horrific trials and overcame much. If my own father had not left us, I would never have found the Lord, so I praise God for the trials in my life because it made me a much stronger individual, placing my trust in a kind and loving Heavenly Father and forgetting what was behind.

      There is not a mother out there who wouldn’t want to go back and do something better or have more patience, not sweating the small stuff. You did what you had to do to survive. You are a strong independent woman and I pray that you will remain a loving example to your now older children. There is never a wrong time to love or pray without ceasing, (even when your heart is breaking because children have a way of breaking one’s heart.)

      My God and I believe in you and see the strength of your character. You have been tried by fire and became as gold. Blessings my friend and hugs from across the miles,

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  2. Ellie, I have two older children that try to instruct me on how to raise my youngest, their sister.. My sensitive son says I need to make her tougher because he sees his own sensitivity as a weakness. I have an professional daughter with who has a masters degree in journalism telling us we need to teach and speak proper English to her. I tell the both of them they turned out pretty good despite all our down falls as parents. I agree with you. They are all different and have different gifts and abilities. And if I do nothing else right, all my children know they are love for the person God made them to be.

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    • Oh this is too funny! Don’t worry my dear friend, you will get rewarded as soon as they have children who rebel themselves. My daughter calls it her “revenge” children for what she put me through: “Now I know what you went through when . . . ”

      I do identify with your journalist daughter, however. A person’s speech reveals their upbringing, character and personal discipline. Sloppy speech indicates just the opposite. Never fear, this too shall pass .. . ya done good, Mom. 🙂 Blessings,

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  3. Thank you so much for your kind and uplifting words, Ellie. They mean so much to me. And I agree with you that going through those really hard times can result in many blessings and us becoming more like Christ. I do “consider it all joy” as it says in James 1:1-2. Blessings to you, my sister, can’t wait to get your book!!

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  4. Thank you Ellie for your comments on my blog. I love what you say about children and what is most important to them. I have a two year old boy, you cna see him playing football on my home page via a YouTube vidoe. I am always listening to other Christians who like you offer good solid advice. The Bible says many advisors somewhere, cant remember off hand where. Anyway, thank you for this post, Graham

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