As I sat across the table and looked at these two handsome guys that the Lord has entrusted me with I couldn't help but smile. One is mine because I carried him for nine months and the other is mine because when I was seventeen the Lord chose to bless our family with his life.
One of the boys favorite place to eat is Buffalo Wild Wings. Now this isn't one of my favorite places but they love it therefore I choose to love it. T.V's are plenty and distractions abound, but the sweetness of time away is treasured.
Going on a date with my kids isn't to make them feel uncomfortable or to pick their brains in hopes of them revealing all of their dreams to me. It isn't with the intention that they will divulge their secrets and confess all of their sins but a place where they know I am all theirs.
Dating my kids creates opportunity.
Opportunity to laugh, share, invest and teach.
Laughter is something that we do a lot together as a family. We tease one another, joke when someone does something goofy and play silly tricks on each other. On dates I try to be intentional about laughing with my kids.
One of the best parts of time away with my kids is sharing my experiences with them and hearing them share theirs with me. This doesn't have to be deep, life-changing conversation. What it is... is simple conversation that often leads to deeper more intimate conversation as they've grown older. It's where I learn the wants, needs and individual desires of their hearts. Not because I'm poking and prodding them to pour their hearts out but because just like any dating relationship they learn to trust me more and more with their hearts.
I cannot think of a more effective way to invest in my kids as individuals. When we are dating someone we are investing in the relationship and in turn telling them how important they are to us. Our children are no different. From the smallest to the biggest in our home we intentionally invest in them as individuals. Granted each date looks different depending on their age, personality and likes but it is an investment worth our time, energy and money.
I wish I could say that our kids are super human and naturally they know how to do everything right but that just isn't the case. One of the most rewarding and hardest things we face in parenting is finding teachable moments. Moments where we can turn an ugly situation into something of value. I cherish the times when we intentionally invest into who they will be as men and how they will see themselves as women. These opportunities don't 'just happen,' we need to look for them and teach life skills from them.
While on our date to Buffalo Wild Wings teachable moments were plenty.
As moms we are able to teach our boys how to be excellent servants of their wives. It is our job to teach them how to treat women. Over the course of our date there were several times that we entered and exited our vehicle. Each time the boys would race to the car, jump in and look up to see their mom shivering in the cold outside of the car. Could I have opened my own car door? Absolutely, but it was a perfect teachable moment. A freezing cold, bone chilling moment but none the less, a moment. The boys would burst out with laughter as they would exit the car, run around and open my door for me.
I want my daughter-in-laws to be blessed with excellent men.
As we learn to be better, more present parents we develop healthier, more intimate relationships with our kids.
Ready for the bombshell?!?!?
Our kids are going to screw up! Oh yes, big time.
Investing in our kids through dating, opens the door to communication when we aren't 'feeling the love' in those sticky situations.
Your kids are a gift. It is your responsibility to parent and invest in their future. Dating your kids is one of the easiest ways to show them that you value them individually. It tells them that they are worth your time and effort. It creates an openness and a willingness to grow both as the parent and the child.
Be intentional today about laughing, sharing, investing and teaching your kiddos. I doubt I will receive a message from someone telling me how much they regret dating their kids.