Three Times a Day to Intentionally Connect With Your Child
Consider mornings, mealtimes and bedtime as opportunities for making a heart connection with your child. And trust that God, in His sovereignty, will fill the gaps in between.
Sometimes, I feel like the morning routine in my house could be a reality show.
The kids wake up at 7 a.m., and by 7:45 we’re in the car, dressed, backpacks ready, breakfast consumed, and on our way to preschool and work. With two toddlers in the mix, you can imagine how this goes down.
Oh, did I mention there are always last-minute cries for snacks, potty breaks, and Band-Aids? I couldn’t make this up if I tried.
Miraculously, we manage to get to preschool, but not before we’ve done one thing: prayed.
You see, we’ve been through this routine enough that the kids have come to expect it. On the off chance I forget to pray at drop-off, they’re kind enough to remind me. Children are creatures of habit, and sometimes a remote conscience.
And so, I utter the simple prayer I now have memorized:
Thank you for this day. Thank you for Garrison and Landon.
We pray that they would have a great and awesome day today,
that they would obey their teachers and show Jesus to their friends,
that they would eat a good lunch and take a good nap,
that they would have fun and learn a lot,
and that you would protect them and keep them safe from illness and harm.
In Your name we pray,
This is one of three times I’m able to intentionally connect with them about their day and connect them to the One who made the day—something Darcy Kimmel talks about in FamilyLife’s Art of Parenting. Here’s how it works:
As a working mom, I feel the extra pressure to make the most of my morning and evening times with the kids. So preschool drop-off is a great time for me to give a blessing over their day. It sets the tone for them and helps make sure I’m in the right head space to tackle the day as well.
Despite the fact that my husband and I both work full-time, we’re pretty good at getting some semblance of a meal together for dinner. And though we don’t pull it off 100 percent of the time, we usually read a short, kid-friendly devotional while we’re all at the table.
Between dropping mac ‘n’ cheese on the floor and asking for more apple juice, I’m banking on the fact that they’re hearing and retaining Scripture.
This is when it gets serious. And by serious, I mean it’s when my husband and I divide and conquer to get two freshly bathed monsters in pajamas and in the bed. He handles the four-year-old, and I take the two-year-old.
I read with him, brush his teeth, and we end the day just as we started: with prayer.
Just like the morning, it’s simple and easy for a toddler to follow. Just a few moments spent thanking God for our blessings, family, friends, teachers, and asking for His hand to be on the day to come.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (NIV).
Consider these three times a day as opportunities for making that heart connection with your child. And trust that God, in His sovereignty, will fill the gaps in between.