Yesterday’s message at CCF was very soulful. I was very blessed to have heard and witnessed the message which was about Building Positive Relationships – an excerpt from Pastor Peter Tan-Chi’s sermon at Pastor Bong’s 2pm service.
Every human is a relational being. We are built to have relationships with each other, relate to God and to one another. As it is always said, the family is the basic unit of society. Within the family these relationships are developed, built and strengthened. However it is also within the family relationships have the potential to be broken.
It is then important for us to nourish the relationships that we have at home as early as you can to be able to have the best relationships with people around you. It all begins with how the parents raise and relate to their children.
We are given 3 concrete steps on Building Positive Relationships. 1st of which is to CONNECT.
Parents usually busy themselves with work and other things that they forget how to become parents to their children, how to become the support system their children needs. Some might rationalize that today’s environment is very competitive, it’s a dog eat dog world out there. We have to work hard for our children, everything we do is for them anyway. Then they go home tired, cranky and just plain drained of every day’s work load. Too tired to listen, too tired to connect, too tired to become a parent.
For 2 weeks that I was able to become independent of my mom since she visited my cousin abroad, I personally felt the drain of taking care of myself, everything and everyone else around the house. Leading me to wonder how parents could possibly do all these and even sustain all these things and with kids no less.
I honestly salute all parents and especially those who despite of being the working parents they are still manage to be there for their children. However I am quite disappointed with those who aren’t there more so those who don’t even make an effort to be there.
Because even if you play the role of the busy, overworked parent, you can still CONNECT with your children. But if you think life is already too much for you, or for those who aren’t married yet and think having a family will solve all your relationship issues, then please don’t be a parent.
When you say CONNECT, it means speaking your children’s language, knowing their interest and doing what they like. It means watching cartoons with them even if you’d rather watch the evening news. It means bonding with them over food they enjoy which most of the time means fast food. It means being involved with their interests and activities. It means building bridges to your child’s heart.
2nd C of Building Positive Relationships is to COMMUNICATE.
Think of this: busy parents off to work, come back home, spend little to no time with their children, then children try to get the attention of parents, do bad in school, get called in the office so on and so forth. Then parents scold them, give them a spanking, punish them to no end.
Does this look right to you?
Some parents believe their way is the only way. What they say goes. Obey me OR ELSE.
They use their Size and Position to discipline their children. I am bigger. I am your mother. I am your father.
One thing I remember from Pastor Tan-Chi is that you can be strict if you have a relationship. He is like that with his children. Once you have built a relationship with your children, they will understand that behind every NO is your bigger concern for them. They would know that behind every NO is for their own good.
Parents also have the tendency to CORRECT.
Their children would open up to them whether about daily musings or decision making and here the parents come judging and correcting. Would the child still open up if parents are so? Little by little parents would lose involvement in their child’s life and their influence would be no more. Slowly children would ease their parents out of the picture even in major decision making where parents would usually want to become a part of.
COMMUNICATION then is not “Did you do your homework? Good” or even less “How could you do that!! You are such a naughty child!!” Or worse, I dare not say.
COMMUNICATION is about LISTENING more than anything. Listen to them in their joys, their frustrations. STRETCH YOUR PATIENCE, JUST LISTEN. Stop yourself from giving advice, criticizing, correcting. There is always a right moment for talking, hear them out first then control and filter yourself in speaking out your peace. Not only would you build a relationship with them but you will also gain their trust and their confidence in everything.
Last C of Building Positive Relationships is COMPLIMENT.
Correct me if I’m wrong but men aren’t usually expressive. Fathers might be so as well. They see their kid performing well in school, well and good. They see their kid doing bad, they start to talk. and talk. and talk. Some don’t even talk, they let their kids experience physical punishment alongside mental torture. They give them the belt, the basement, the attic, everything really horrible and traumatic.
Pastor Bong is right, a speck of dust on a white sheet we see, but we don’t see that the white is much greater than that dust. We don’t see the bigger picture. Everyone is like that. Parents included.
Everyone needs to be accepted and affirmed. Some just might need more affirmation than others as per Love Languages. Children need those too. They become confident if their parents believe in them. They are pushed to do more because of the simple “You’re doing great!”. Once you criticize, you not only ruin your character but you also destroy the esteem of your children. Would children love to be around parents who criticize? Your children will start pulling away from you and turn to others and when this happens, you might not even have the slightest chance to do the things you wish you should have done.
So, nourish each relationship with a true and honest COMPLIMENT. Plant these little seeds in their heart that these may grow to make them better children, and better people. Correct them when they do wrong, COMPLIMENT when they do right. Make every moment they have with you as pleasant as you can. They will remember these for always.
Being a parent is indeed difficult. It means giving your 100%. It means putting their good ahead of yourself. It means more than just providing but rather sitting down, giving time, listening, communicating, and giving the constant affirmation they need.
I am not a parent but parenting as Pastor Tan-Chi says begins 20 years before. Your lifestyle, your character, your knowledge you have the tendency to bring to parenthood. So as much as possible even if we don’t know what the future holds, if I become a parent or not, I should start correcting my ways in order to become if not the best parent, the best relational being I am made to be.
Every moment that passes is a moment lost forever. Cherish every moment with your children, teach them about Christ, spend time with them and really talk to them. Do not wait for the time that you wish you had done something. Do not wait for the time that you wish you had played with them more, talked to them more, be the mother or father more, be their friend more because you will never have that chance again.
Look back on good memories with your children, I haven’t experienced it all yet but I know that it would probably be one of the best feelings and achievements in the world – that you have brought them to Christ, influenced them positively and then you would be at peace. You have done something good. You have done something right.