What motivates you to change? Slow down and answer that question. What causes you to believe people genuinely care about you? What doesn’t motivate you? Slow down and think about it. What might actually cause you to not want to apply yourself?
How might your children answer these questions? Does anger work? Being prodded? Made to feel guilty?
Let me suggest love might work better than anything else. It should. When talking with parents about having meaningful conversations with their children about using technology less, I recommend beginning with “I love you too much to allow this to continue.” This can be any number of things.
“We don’t like your self-centeredness after you are on social media. We love you too much to allow your heart to be hurt and your character affected. Give us back our phone.” (It’s your phone if you pay for it.)
“We are concerned about how aggressive you remain even after you’ve stopped gaming. We love you too much to allow you to hurt your brother and sister with your actions and words. Therefore, we have decided you’ll be gaming much less in the future.”
“I love you too much to allow you to isolate in your room with your music and videos. We are a family. I have decided your bedroom will now be screen and digital free. You might be able to earn back some privileges. We’ll see how you behave around your siblings and us.”
Love is a strong motivator. My heart for parents is that love would motivate them to parent strong. Not fear. Not anger. Not comparing themselves to other parents. Love.
Love is what compels God and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. ~ Micah 7:18-19
“God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” ~ Romans 5:5-6
Let’s be motivated by love. Start and end your conversations there. In between, talk about specifics. Offer children alternatives. Try loving your children so much that you will be strong and brave and do what’s right.
Let your love compel you to parent well. Many parents have had meaningful conversations with their children that started with “I love you too much ….” Try it and let me know what happens.
This post originally appeared on Celebrate Kids and was republished with permission.
Dr. Kathy Koch (“cook”), the Founder and President of Celebrate Kids, Inc., has influenced thousands of parents, teachers, and children in 30 countries through keynote messages, seminars, and chapels. Kirk Cameron chose her as the technology expert to interview in his movie, Connect: Real Help for Parenting Kids in a Social Media World. She has authored six books including four published by Moody Publishers. Find out more at www.CelebrateKids.com and www.Facebook.com/CelebrateKidsInc