"Seeing" your children
Genesis 16:13: "She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,' for she said, ‘I have seen the One who sees me'" (NIV Bible).
This passage tells of the trials of Hagar, the maid of Sarai. Sarai was unable to conceive so she sent Hagar to Abram hoping Hagar would bear a child in her place. When Hagar became pregnant however, animosity developed between the two women. Sarai's mistreatment caused Hagar to run away into the desert. There God intervened and encouraged her. He understood her struggle and she felt deeply known by God. "You are the God who sees me." This gave her the strength to go back and fulfill her responsibilities in the midst of tough circumstances.
Like Hagar, our kids desperately long to be seen and known by their parents. How can we do this? By taking time to discover and celebrate their interests. By appreciating their unique qualities no matter how different they are from our own. By listening to their perspective on life.
When we discover and value our kids' God-given uniqueness, they feel known and accepted.