Parenting Advice: 5 Ways to Make All Your Children Feel Equally Loved

Raising children is like juggling Jell-O. It’s messy and slippery and the next thing you know, something’s gone splat.

Then you find yourself in a blended family. You thought you had trouble keeping three “flavors” in the air, and then all of a sudden there are five.

Of course, the stakes of raising step-children are much higher. Kids are sensitive to imbalances,  especially if you’re handling a problem child. Even more than others, they’ll jump on any sign that you might love one kid more than another.

Of course you tell them that you love them all equally, but they won’t believe it until you show them.

Raising Children Who Feel Cherished

When you’re co-parenting, you have to make a conscious effort to show that you love each of your children equally. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time – here are five tidbits of co-parenting advice.

1. Create a tradition or ritual with each child.

One-on-one connections are important to making children feel loved. With each of your children and step-children, develop a ritual that the two of you can share together.

  • Go to the park and play together.
  • Have “girl time” or “guy time” with your same-gender kids.
  • With your opposite-gender kids, have a “daddy date” or “mommy date.”
  • Cook or bake with your child.

Set a regular schedule for these special times. Once a week, once a month, or whatever your schedule can manage. Letting the child look forward to his or her special time is part of the magic.

2. Listen to each child talk about their passions.

Our interests are part of what make us individuals, and that’s just as true for children as it is for adults. Encourage each of your kids to talk about what they love, whether that’s soccer, science, or books. It’ll make them feel important and remind them that you love them for who they are, not just as one of “the kids.”

3. Show affection regularly with each child.

Physical affection gives children a tangible reminder that you love them. Hugs are especially great because they reduce stress hormones and helps them to feel safe near you. And it works both ways – you get the benefits too! Don’t force it, though. Kids need to know that they’re the bosses of their own bodies. If your kids prefer high fives to hugs, that’s fine.

And be mindful of how often you cuddle “your” kids versus your step-kids. If one kid prefers more affection than another, that’s okay, but be as equitable as you can with your hugs and kisses.

4. Make each child a “helper” for one chore.

Working together cultivates closeness. Pay attention to what household chores each kid prefers and “assign” each one to a particular activity. If Kid A helps you with the dishes, Kid B can vacuum with you on Saturday, and so on.

5. Do individual tuck-ins.

The moments before bed provide great opportunities for bonding between parent and kid. If you can work it out, try to have at least one bedtime ritual with each kid.

One meaningful way to do this is to say prayers one at a time instead of all together. You have plenty of other opportunities to pray as a family – mealtimes and Sundays, for example. Bedtime can be your chance to share God with each child, and that helps each of them experience God’s unconditional love.


Change Your Mind

Proverbs 23:7 KJV says, “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

You’ve probably heard it said before, “You are what you eat.” But, as the passage above from Proverbs 23:7 tells us – You are what you THINK! Your thoughts dictate your actions. And if you want to change your life – you can only do it by changing your mind.

Romans 12:2 says:

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

We are transformed by changing our mind – the way we think, what we believe and how we feel. And this transformation of the mind can only happen through the grace of God. 

Have you ever thought about how your brain was created by God? How God created us to think? If not, you’ll love this sermon series “Change Your Mind.” I go into our brain structure and chemistry to help you understand God’s plan for your mind. If you struggle with your thoughts, addictions, bad habits or poor self-esteem, you NEED to give this series a listen. 

It just might – change your mind.

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Be Blessed,
Pastor Eric


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Rejoice in the Lord, Always

Paul’s reminder to the Philippians – his parting thought – was to Rejoice in the Lord…Always.

And just in case they didn’t understand exactly what he was saying and the importance of this exhortation he repeated himself “And again I say, Rejoice”! Why was Paul so adamant in his instruction to the Philippians?

Philippi was a prosperous Roman colony and as such the Philippians were thought to take great pride in their Roman citizenship. They weren’t Jews, or Romans but caught right in between. Paul’s reminder to the Philippians that they must Rejoice in the Lord and his early exhortations that their true citizenship is in Heaven (Phil. 3:20) is a good reminder to us Americans the day after the 9/11 memorials and the marking of the 10th anniversary of that fateful day.

Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say Rejoice Phil. 4:4

Yesterday (9/11/11) millions of people waved American flags with pride and we, as a nation, stood strong and united – a reminder to all that terrorists will have no impact on our resolve to remain free. We take great pride in our military might or our ability to hunt down those that would attack us and bring due justice – but more importantly in who we are as a people, those brave men and women who risk their lives every day to keep us free. It’s truly inspiring and I for one am proud to be an American. But Paul’s reminder is so very true today – our rejoicing should be in Christ alone.

“Now the Lord is that spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty” 2 Cor. 317

Our nation remains free today because the Church of God remains strong. You CANNOT have one without the other. We will choose to rejoice in the Lord…Always. And when we start to take pride in ourselves, in our prosperity, in our military, in our resolve and lose sight of where our help truly comes from – let Paul’s second reminder hold even more true “And again I say, Rejoice”.