As I sat in the locker room, mourning our loss and the end of the season, I slowly packed up my equipment and headed out of the arena. My parents greeted me with the usual hug and “good-game” proclamation. As much as the last game of my high school career saddened me, there was something reassuring about walking out of the locker room to see my parents. Do you know how to help your kids know they are enough? Well, my parents did.
I don’t remember a moment growing up when my parents were overly consumed with the results of my games. I could have played the worst game of my youth, and I would have felt the same level of love as when I hit a home run, scored a hat trick, or caught a touchdown pass. My parents paid more attention to me than to my accomplishments, which let me know I was enough for them. It ultimately gave me the confidence and freedom to try for more. You can do that for your kids, too. Here are 5 ways to help your kids know they are enough.
1. Support her passions.
I love watching the clips on social media of a dad walking into gymnastics practice and the countenance of a little girl immediately changing upon the recognition of Daddy watching. You can see her excitement and energy burst as she starts to move with more confidence and boldness. As easy as it is to recognize the need for showing up to a concert, art show, or sporting event, we must realize that daily passions like practicing an instrument, playing board games, or perfecting their next TikTok dance are just as important. When we support our children’s passions, our kids experience that as love.
2. Celebrate the input more than the output.
Steve Jobs once said, “If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” In the age of instant gratification, it becomes easy just to highlight the win or the outcome. Winning can be one of the most rewarding experiences we all enjoy celebrating, but it’s important to celebrate the work your kids put into the win. Regardless of the outcome, you can still commend their discipline, work ethic, determination, consistency, and countless other positive traits.Be intentional to push past the surface level updates, and let your home be a place of authenticity.
3. Ask him how he’s doing.
Life gets busy, and our “check-ins” with our kids can quickly turn into a summary of today’s highlights and upcoming calendar events. If you have a teen, this may feel like a real-life social media feed competing for the best highlight reel of the day in your home. Be intentional to push past the surface level updates, and let your home be a place of authenticity. When your kids feel heard, they’ll know they’re enough.
4. Process emotions together.
This may be one of the hardest areas to feel like we’re succeeding as dads, but taking the time to navigate emotions will show your kid you love her in all situations. If we’re willing to engage when she’s happy but send her to her room when she’s sad, it can cause her to feel like she’s only valuable when she’s in a good mood. Guiding her through the influx of emotions during hormonal stages can seem daunting but will be one of the most rewarding to her self-confidence and self-worth.
5. Introduce them to the one who made them.
Introducing our children to a relationship with God may be the single best way to help them know they are enough. In Psalm 139:14, David said, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” God created them with purpose, uniqueness, and specific gifts. When they know they’re made that way, they can walk in a freedom and confidence that only comes from Him. Did you know you’re made that way, too?
Sound off: How do you help your kids know they are enough?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Will you share with me a time when someone supported you?”