Do you ever feel like your child is doing something behind your back, or watching something you’ve told them not to?

How can you deal with this, and yet, as parents, still not appear overbearing or too controlling?

I grew up in an environment in which family meetings were big, and they still are! This time was to talk about chores and school, but more than that, it was a time to talk to and listen to each other.  It was a time to share our hearts. We even played games and watched movies sometimes. It was every Sunday, and it was time to spend with family.

Yes, there were many times I did not like “family meetings,” but as I have grown older, I’m realizing more and more how much I appreciated them. I feel like they helped my family grow closer. Also, now at 17, I’ve learned that most families don’t invest in this invaluable time. Family time is too important to ignore and its benefits really “go a long way.”

As a young leader, here are my three tips to give you, as a parent, better understanding of your children: 

1) Pray about it and give it to God. 

Ask God to give you the words of wisdom to take the next step. Let’s be honest, how many times have you tried to deal with your child mischief and gotten nowhere? You feel like you have no way to reach your child; you feel like you can’t even talk to them without seeing an eye roll, or crossed arms. It’s like you are speaking an alien language. This is when you need to give it up to God and ask Him for help.

Many times I felt like the only thing my mother wanted to do was yell at me. Really, all she wanted to do was to talk to me, but we had miscommunication. But, when my mom began to pray and ask God to teach her how to speak to me, I start to understand her.

2)   Talk with your children on their level and spend quality time with them.

Do not always assume they are doing the wrong thing or hiding something; it may be deeper than that. The way to discover the truth is to take time and talk with them. Even take your children on dates once a week, just to talk. Take this time to just talk about life; make them feel like you are there for them. My mother does this; I have to give her credit. She wanted to spend quality time with me and my siblings and she knew that just entertaining us was not enough. She started taking us out one at a time for quality time. We grew closer just because she took the time.  

Quality time is the most amazing thing to have with your family. Having that time with them can change everything. And just maybe you will no longer feel something is happening behind your back. 

3) I am here for you. What do you need? 

Let’s be real; parents do not intend to hurt their children. And now that you are spending time to show them you care, give them the opportunity to open up to you by asking the right questions. What do you need? How can I help? This may take some time, but as long as you are consistent you will have a breakthrough. Assure them that you will always be there no matter what.

Your relationship will grow stronger, no doubt. This kind of interaction with my parents has proved to me that they will stick by me through it all! Like I said, “A little time goes a long way!”

About the author: Hope is a young leader born and raised in Brooklyn, New York (really a “Cali girl” at heart), who loves to spend her time using the gifts God has given her to help and serve others. She loves to encourage and inspire others through her Youtube channel  Having Hope where she shares encouraging stories to inspire others to discover the purpose God has for their life.