1. Play with your children.
And not just the sitting at a table checking your smart phone every minute while playing Candy Land. Take the entire day off and BE INVOLVED! Put the phone and computer AWAY!
2. Take walks.
Children love the outdoors! Encourage them to enjoy and admire God’s craftsmanship. Even if all you do is take a stroll around the block you’re spending precious time and making wonderful memories. Point out the different plants you see. Pray for your neighbors as you pass their houses. Stop and chat with people you see. Hopefully your children will continue doing the same when they’re parents.
3. Read to your children.
They are listening. Their ears and hearts are hungry so please before you go to bed. Before you go to work. Feed their ears with wholesome words. Depending on the age there are so many wonderful books to choose from. Take your children to the library and help them pick out some good Before Bed reads. And, of course, read the Bible.
4. Teach them to cook.
What child doesn’t love to help in the kitchen? Even if you don’t know how to cook you can learn together. A simple favorite is allowing your child to roll out pizza dough and top it however they please. You’ll be encouraging their creative side as well!
Believe me, I know how hard it is to sit and listen when the stories are filled with ‘um’, ‘and, and’, ‘I can’t remember’, and giggles. But listen to their dreams. Acknowledge that what they’re saying is important to you. Look them in the eyes! If you have more than one little begging for your attention just tell them that their turn is next and you will listen to them.
6. Love God.
This is the most important of all. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind. That’s it. Let everything else fall to the side if need be. But first and foremost is God. Love Him. Follow Him. Obey Him. Afterall, there is no better Father.
7. Discipline your children.
Yeah, I know. This is a tough one. Lots of different viewpoints on ‘how’ to discipline. But we need to realize that we are raising these children to make good decisions. Guide them and don’t be afraid to discipline when they purposely choose to make bad decisions. Our hearts are born selfish. Help mold your children into wise leaders.
8. Love your wife.
She is your help meet. Show your children how to treat porcelain. Teach your sons how to love a woman. Teach your daughters how women should be loved.
9. Teach them to give.
You have ample opportunities throughout your day to show kindness to others. Your children are watching you so take every opportunity you can. Tithe. Leave change in phone boothes for the next person in need of making a call. Pay the toll for the person behind you. Bring the trash can back up to the garage for your neighbors. Donate canned goods/book/clothing, etc.
10. Love and hug your children.
This should be simple for you. Love on your sweet little ones. Hug them. Kiss them. Dance. Tell them ‘I love you’ as often as you can. Leave them little notes saying so. These years will go by so quickly. You may know that you love them but they NEED to hear it from YOU.