- Lauren Dungy
- Shaunti Feldhahn
- Tim and Darcy Kimmel
- Betsy Landers
- Dr. Walt Larimore
- Mark Merrill
- Joanne Miller
- Dr. Gary J. Oliver
- Kathy Peel
- Dr. Greg Smalley
- Dr. Scott Turansky
- Jill Savage
Articles by Mark Merrill
- Top 10 Automatic Robo-Mom Replies to Avoid
- The Secret to Loving an Unlovable Spouse
- The Secret to Getting Your Kids to Obey You: Motive
- The Secret to Getting Your Kids to Obey You: Method
- The Secret to Getting Your Kids to Obey You: Be this Kind of Model
- The Meaning of True Love
- The Blessing FAQ's
- The Antidotes to Toxins of the Tongue in Marriage
- How to Create Boundaries for your Children
- A Sample Blessing for Your Child
- 8 Mistakes I've Made in Marriage
- 7 Ways to Have a Dream Marriage
- 7 Reasons I'm Not the Husband I Want to Be
- 7 Foundational Principles of Tried-and-True Discipline
- 5 Ways to Show Your Kids You Love and Validate Them
- 5 Ways to Prepare Your Children for the Unexpected
- 5 Toxins of the Tongue that Can Poison Your Marriage
- 5 Step Marriage Action Plan
- 5 Reasons Your Child Should Work
- 5 Reasons Why Your Teen is Rebelling
- 4 Ways to Know if You Will Benefit from Marriage Counseling
- 4 Ways to Give your Spouse your Freshest and Best
- 4 Ways to Compliment More
- 4 Truths for Your Marriage
- 4 Steps to Marriage CPR
- 4 Steps to Choosing a Good Marriage Counselor
- 4 Reasons Moms Need to be “Controlling” Parents
- 4 Foundational Principles of Discipline
- 4 C's That Can Spell Catastrophe in Your Marriage
- 3 Ways to Rebuild Trust in Your Marriage
- 3 Ways to Have a Team Mindset in Marriage
- 3 Things Your Children Need from You
- 3 Secrets for Beating Loneliness in Your Marriage
- 23 Things I've Learned in 23 Years of Marriage
- 12 Questions Moms Should Ask Themselves Every Day
- 10 Things Husbands Want to Hear from their Wives
Mark MerrillMark Merrill is the founder and president of Family First, a widely respected national non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the family. read bio
3 Things Your Children Need from You
Our children want a lot of things, don’t they? They want toys and trips, Xboxes™ and games, iTunes and iPhones, apps and accessories, laptops and luxuries. We shouldn’t always give our children what they want, but we should always give our children what they need. As parents, there are several things that our kids need from us. Here are three of them.
First, tell them that you love them.
We must love our children because of who they are, not for what they do. We must love the person, not the performance. I tell my children “I love you” all the time, even when their behavior isn’t stellar. Love is unconditional. Our son, Grant, is now 15. We adopted him from Russia when he was 9. He’s got a very tender heart. But his pain of being neglected and abandoned when he was younger is still there. He lashes out at me in anger with his words, “I hate you…you’re not my real dad.” It hurts. It’s painful. He intentionally tries to push us away. Becoming attached to us with the thought that we would then abandon him is very real and very scary to him. On those occasions, when he says hurtful things, I’ve often looked him in the eyes and said, “Grant, Mom and I love you no matter what…no matter what you do or say.”
Second, tell them that you’re proud of them.
In doing so, we are not telling them to be prideful. We’re just placing our stamp of approval on them as a parent. We’re affirming who they are or something they’ve done. At our All Pro Dad’s Day and iMOM Morning breakfasts in schools over 50,000 parents and kids experience this exercise every month.
Third, tell them that they’re good at something.
Susan and I validated each of our children in their gifts. For example, we noticed at a very young age that our oldest daughter Megan had the uncanny ability to “read” and “size up” people very quickly. She is very good in relationships. We validated that in her. She now wants to work in human resources after she graduates from college next year.
Are you giving these three things to your children on a regular basis?
Resources: 6 Things Teenagers Need
Pillow Talk: End your day talking with your child
What do you think you need the most from me, attention, help or more time playing with you?
© 2011, Mark Merrill. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.markmerrill.com.comments powered by Disqus