Spirit-Led Woman

Want to receive SpiritLed Woman by email? Sign up here

The SpiritLed Woman podcast is empowering women weekly to follow their purpose in Christ and boldly walk in faith. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.

Wouldn’t it be great if we had a dashboard for each kid? On the dashboard is an array of “dummy” indicators that tell you how full their love tank is, if their truth-indicator has a leak or when they need a little fine-tuning.
But alas, this doesn’t exist. We find we must rely more on our parental intuition to determine the needs of our kids that lie beneath the surface. And frankly, that’s just tougher to stick a fork in.
At an annual marriage and parent summit, one dad posed this question: "How do I diffuse the competition for attention? I don't want my daughter competing for attention or desiring attention so much that she'll do anything to get it."
Here are a few thoughts I have on this well stated question.
1. Kids Do What Works
Kids will lean toward what they can count on. If they can count on attention using negative tactics, they'll use those tactics every time. Why? Because it works. Even if it’s not the type of attention they want, it’s still attention.
2. Give Them Attention They Can Count On
A great leadership tool in life is managing the expectations of others. When you make expectations clear, you manage what others expect from you. This works wonders with our kids.
Sit down and make an agreement with your child. Agree upon a 15-minute window every day that they know they can count on—a 15-minute "date" that you set aside just for them. A time they have your attention without fail. Have a special meeting place, and be there. Don't miss it.
In fact, here are a few things to make this time a huge success: 
  • Give them your undivided attention. Turn off your phone. Remove distractions, and engage in their world for a few minutes.
  • Begin and end on time. Whatever you do, fight to start on time. Prove they're a priority by being there when you say you’ll be there.
  • Give them your words. Your child needs to know what you think of them. This is a great time to invest your words into their heart. Start with simple phrases like:
    • "I noticed you ..."
    • "It makes me smile when you ..."
    • "I always love how you ..."
3. Set Date Nights
There are a ton of benefits to a regular date with your child.  But for the purpose of this conversation, I’ll keep it focused. Date nights only elevate the special nature of attention from a parent—especially the parent of multiple kids. Date nights are a break from the routine that don’t have to be costly; they just have to be intentional. Use that time to know them. Ask them questions like:
  • "If you could have one meal everyday for the rest of your life, what would it be?"
  • "If God gave you superpowers, what do you hope for?"
  • "One day you get to ask God any question you want. What question would you ask Him today?"
Let them drive the conversation. All you need to do is keep it going and enjoy it.
Investing your attention in your child today goes a long way toward letting them know they matter. Your love over time will help your child understand they matter. Your words over time will help direct their path and anchor their sense of value in the truth. Setting time aside just for them creates a conduit through which you can feed your love and words into them in a way they can grasp.
Gina McClain is a speaker, writer and children’s ministry director at Faith Promise Church in Knoxville, Tenn. Her marriage to Kyle keeps her marginally sane, while their three kids (Keegan, Josie and Connor) keep her from taking herself too seriously. Visit her blog at ginamcclain.com for more information about her ministry.

Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.

Get to know the Holy Spirit and how to interact with Him on a daily basis. Learn to enter God's presence and hear His voice clearly for yourself! Go deeper in your faith with Life in the Spirit and change your life and destiny. Are you ready to start your journey?

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Chuck Pierce is calling the month ahead "critical."

    Chuck Pierce Prophesies 'Short, 10-Year Window' in the Nations

    Russia is a big part of what he sees.

  • Warring angels

    Prophetic Word: 'I Saw Angels at Almost the Speed of Light'

    Here is why you must pray them through for yourself and for your nation.

  • This revivalist had a vision of hell.

    Revivalist: I Went to Hell in a Dream

    After God took him on a prophetic journey, John Burton left with an important message for the ...

  • Get the answer to your challenging circumstance in this insight from James 1:5.

    Early Warning Signs You're About to Make a Terrible Decision

    Is Holy Spirit sounding off these alarms in your life?

  • Cindy Jacobs is encouraging intercessors across the country to pray to keep the nation stabilized through December 19th.

    Cindy Jacobs Issues Critical Post-Election Prayer Alert

    Will you keep watching and praying?

  • Don't let pornography impede God's plan for your life.

    How Watching Pornography Ruins the Destiny God Has for You

    If the devil can seduce you, he can reduce you.

  • Prophetic worshipper

    Prophetic Worshipper Kim Clement Passes Into Glory

    The prophetic worshipper has experienced health issues, including a brain bleed, for more than a ...

  • Victory not defeat

    Satan's Greatest Lie That Leads to Your Greatest Defeat

    Hint: Stop perpetuating this with your own mouth. It's a huge part of the battle.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit