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Your Child’s Specialist

Your Child’s Specialist

“Mama, you’re the specialist!”

I’m not a morning person, but when my preschooler climbed in bed next to me, snuggled up and gushed those words, it was the start to a great day. I loved hearing that I’m the specialist person in her world.

She’s the only one who’s ever called me that. I have no fancy degree or letters after my name, proving me an expert in some field. I’m just an everyday mom, certainly no one’s specialist.

Or am I?

I’ve spent the last ten years getting to know my children.

I know my oldest daughter has a beautifully strong personality. She’s reliable, responsible, an excellent leader. She feels most loved when someone gives her a heartfelt gift. Maybe that’s why she hugged me repeatedly in the grocery store after I whispered that she should pick out a treat for our movie date later that evening.

My fun-loving son is highly creative and artistic. He likes to get his work done quickly and move on to more enjoyable things, like building with Legos, drawing or playing the Wii. He receives love primarily through quality time spent together. It thrilled me to spend the day one-on-one with him last week and see his personality shine as he received my focused attention.

And then there’s my littlest. Her tender heart and thoughtful personality light up every day. She loves to help, loves to serve, loves to read books together. She gives and receives affection primarily through tender words of affirmation.

Our children are all oh-so-different – each beautiful in their own way. We parents have the opportunity to be their specialists, to know them better than anyone else does.

Here are some suggestions for honing your specialist skills:

  • Discover their personality

While each child is unique, there are basic personality types that describe the differences between one child and another. Is your child a natural leader, able to make decisions and get things done? Is he highly organized and detail-oriented? Does your child live for the next fun thing? Is she all about relationships, deeply concerned over the feelings of others?

(To learn more about personality types, The Treasure Tree, by John Trent, is a fun book to read with your children.)

  • Understand their love language

Love is communicated in various ways. What is special to one child may be less important to another.

Does your child come alive when you spend time focused on her? Do words of affirmation brighten his day? Is she particularly affectionate, often hugging and cuddling up next to you? Do even the smallest gifts have great significance to your child? When someone serves him, does your child feel affirmed and valued?

While experiencing love in all these areas is important, children (and adults, for that matter) tend to gravitate more strongly to one or two over the others. Knowing your child’s love language can help you express affection in ways most meaningful to him or her.

(To read more on this subject, look for The Five Love Languages of Children, by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell.)

  • Ask God for wisdom

The Creator knows our kids well. He designed their unique personalities and their love languages. He gave them their strengths. He understands their weaknesses and knows how best to reach their hearts. He promises wisdom to the parents who ask. (See James 1:5.)

I’m constantly amazed at His practical help in my moments of need – alerting me to heart issues, inspiring a creative approach when I’m at my wit’s end, bringing deeper friendships out of conflict. His wisdom is available every minute of every day.

Mom and Dad, you are your children’s specialists. Through your deepening knowledge and love, you can greatly impact them for Jesus and make a difference in eternity.

What ways have you found to specialize in your children?

By: Meredith Mills currently lives in the South with her family of five. She is passionate about sharing the relentless love of God and encouraging others to walk deeply with Him. She blogs at www.DazzledByTheSon.wordpress.com.

Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

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