Sometimes parents can have a hard time saying “no” to their kids. This could be because parents don’t want to disappoint their kids. It could even be that some parents don’t know their children well enough to determine whether a “yes” or “no” is appropriate.
This is why parents must take the time to understand the spiritual side of kids. Parents need to be able to read between the lines of physical and spiritual wants and needs and determine the right times to say “yes” and “no.”
Why Parents Should Take Time to Understand the Spiritual Needs of Their Kids
Children need their parents to engage with them. But that takes time. Not just quality time, but quantity time. I learned a long time ago that without quantity time, there really is no quality time. I’ve also learned that we can always make more money, but we can’t make more time. Taking the time to see things through the eyes of our kids is really important—both for us and for them. For us, because it forces us to slow down and glean things from our kids’ perspective, which helps us understand the “why” behind what they think and do. For them, because of all the same reasons, really. It’s called communication and relationship building. It also gives our kids the sense of attachment and security that every kid needs to be emotionally and spiritually healthy. Whether people want to acknowledge it and believe it or not, the bond between a parent and a child is fundamentally a spiritual one. Mental health professionals from Harvard, Yale, UCLA, Chapel Hill, Emory, Indiana University, and other big schools will attest to the very same thing.
You’re never going to hear that on CNN. In fact, contrary to popular thinking, we are not fundamentally human beings who occasionally have spiritual experiences. We are fundamentally spiritual beings who are having a human experience on this earth. We have to engage with our kids and parent them from the spiritual perspective every bit as much as we care for their carnal needs. What do I mean by that? Well, you’d be surprised how often I hear kids tell me that they hate their mom or they hate their dad. Why? “Because, they never tell me ‘no’.” People don’t believe me when I tell them this, but it is an absolute fact.
Of course, when our kids are infants, we have to care for their every physical need and desire. That is what good parents do. At that age, their desires are their needs, and in meeting these needs, we’re actually creating a spiritual bond with our kids. As they get older and training and discipline become part of the equation, we have to have such an intimate relationship with our kids that we can discern the difference between legitimate carnal and spiritual needs and mere carnal desires. There is nothing wrong with carnal desires, necessarily, but kids need—and in the spiritual part of who they are, actually want—the security that comes from loving parents who are older, wiser, bigger, stronger, and more determined to do right than they are to do wrong.
There actually comes a point and time when, deep in their spirit, our kids may actually want us to tell them “no.” Their flesh might want to hear “yes.” But, as I’ve already mentioned, their flesh isn’t the sum total of who they are as human beings. Boundaries have to become part of the equation; that’s where their security comes from. Kids will teach us a lot if we’re willing to discern things through their eyes and the eyes of God. A lot of parents can’t understand that when Junior’s flesh wants a “yes,” his spirit may actually want a “no”—and his flesh may actually need a “no.”
Picture provided by: Nathaniel D. Ether