What do I mean by delighting in?
The Hebrew meaning for delight is: DELIGHT- to be pleased; to satisfy a debt, be acceptable, accomplish, set affection on, approve, enjoy, have favor, like, observe, pardon, take pleasure in
Here’s the dictionary definition: to affect with great pleasure, to please highly. Delight is a more permanent pleasure than joy and not dependent on sudden excitement.
Let me give you some concrete ideas on how to delight in your child:
-When Kasey was a toddler she would come down hall at night and want to climb into bed to snuggle with Mom and Dad. We would let her snuggle for a few minutes acting delighted to see her. It’s a special time and she still likes to snuggle.
-In our family, we have pet nicknames for each person. As a matter of fact each person has their own pet name for everyone else. I remember asking little Kasey what different family members called her. When I got to Mommy her answer was, “ luv oo luv oo”. It is so important to verbalize to your kids that you love them and treasure them. It’s a simple thing to do, but has lifelong effects!!
-I actually made Kelley a scrapbook border with all her nicknames on it. We had enough to go all around the page as each one had special names for each other.
-Be excited about what excites them –all the little things you think you don’t have time for. I remember when Tuck would ask for saltine crackers to “feed” the ants- on the front porch, no less!! He called them “duhs” and got so excited watching them haul off pieces of cracker!! It’s the simple pleasures!
-Take time every now and then to sit in the sandbox with them and make castles. When you make those castles you’re building bigger, more important things for eternity!!
-I decided early on that I would be a grandma who would get on the floor and play with my grandkids. I play dollhouse or matchbox cars or even the latest thing is I pretend I’m in a house fire and they “rescue” me. (Sometimes, I need a rest after being rescued!!)
-I used to save special “papers” the kids made during the years. I have made several special scrapbooks containing those precious ones that I just couldn’t part with . Until I had time to actually make the scrapbook, I just stored their special creations in a box. I kept a box for each one. It first made it to a folder, then when that got full, I’d transfer it to the box in the attic. I have one for each child. Of course, before it went to the folder, it usually hung on the refrigerator. Many of those kids now grown and those papers and cards are so special to me. Some snowy day I want to just sit and look at those things and remember and show their kids what they did and may not remember.
-I used to have the kids write Scripture verses to practice their handwriting and would often frame some and hang them on the wall. For years we had one Nate made. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine”
-Our biggest source of entertainment through the years has been the cute things the kids would do and say as they were growing up in our home. Now our adult kids who are parents do same thing with their kids and we get to hear verses learned, songs sung, precious comments, etc.
-When our oldest son, Rickey was around 3 years old, Rick was working at the sheriff’s department. We would sit at the breakfast table in the mornings before he had to leave enjoying each others company for a few quiet moments. Rickey, however, began to wake up during this time. At first, we would send him back to bed for a few minutes, but the Lord began to prick my conscience and I mentioned it to Rick so the next morning as he came stumbling down the hall all sleepy, Rick said, RICKEY, WE”RE GLAD YOU WOKE UP. DID YOU SLEEP GOOD? Rickey delightedly responded with Yes, I sleep good. Each morning after that he would stumble down the hall and excitedly say, “I SLEEP GOOD!!!” We would pull him onto our laps and act like it made our day to see him. Do you know what- It did!! Our change in focus affected our attitude and the delight he showed was worth giving up a little “me” time.
-Be sure to praise them to others for character-not looks or diligence in practicing, not talent. Kids need praise and respond to it. Be genuine, but remember to look for the positive.
-Be easy to please. As parents, we often expect our kids to act like little adults and expect them to know what we want without ever telling them. Make instructions simple and clear.
-In order to build trust in the relationship, try not to laugh at or embarrass them. Sometimes when we share a story with others and they laugh the kids may think we’re laughing at them, not because it’s cute, so use caution.
These are just a few simple ways we can delight in our children. As you see- it is nothing grand or spectacular. But so often we can delight in our children the most in the daily and simple ways. Next week, I’ll share a little about how to make even the ordinary days into fun times.
Read Part 1: The Key to Their Hearts
Read Part 2: As God Delights in Us
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HI, I am wondering if you could add a print link on your page to make it easy access for us moms on the go and can’t sit at the computer to read your articles….I have printed your articles but they end up printing several more sheets than needed with the side bars and comments…..just a suggestion….thanks for all you do and the great info you provide.
Thank you for these great examples! I really enjoy reading your blog!
Thank you for posting this series, very timely. It’s an area I really need to work on. Right now, it seems like a unpaid job.
I just wanted to thank you for publishing what delighting in my children looks like, although I wish I had it when my kids were younger. Since I came from an angry, cold, uncommunicative family, my natural tendency is to be the same way. All through school I was teased and made fun of, so I had no positive examples of love there. When I had my own kids I realized how poorly equipped I was, yet all the books upon books I read were not making a difference. They would tell me I needed to love my kids and love my husband, but none of them gave me a concrete picture of what that looks like. This article finally did some of that.
As I look at the culture and see more and more kids grow up from homes like my childhood home and become adults like me I feel there is a great need of concrete examples of what love looks like, not pages and pages of philosophy. It may seem like telling someone not to get angry when their toddler wakes up in the middle of the night to snuggle is a no brainer, but when you come from a home where you were kicked out of the bed and ignored, it unfortunately becomes part of you. I needed to hear that that was ok and then putting them to bed after a few minutes was ok too. Sounds dumb but it is what it is. I need a whole book of just examples of loving my kids and my husband.
Thank you for taking a first step.
You are so welcome. I’ll post again next week and be sure to check out our facebook page as I’m leaving posts there as well all about delighting in your children for this week and next.