Do you enjoy your child?


How’s that for a loaded question? I think it’s important for all parents to ask themselves this question every now and then. Yes, we go through struggles with our children. Yes, they often do their best to push our buttons and test boundaries. But on the whole, we should be enjoying the time we spend with our children.

If your answer to this question is an unequivocal no, it is your cue that you need to change your parenting methods. Do be honest with yourself when you ask yourself this question. Nobody else needs to know. Have your spouse ask himself the same question, especially if you see struggles between him and the child.

Understand that the onus to change your situation falls on you. If you don’t enjoy your child, do not blame the child. Children will very happily comply with our instructions when we are clear and consistent. You might find this very encouraging. It’s all under your control!

Take the steps you need to take to change the atmosphere in your home. Keep your eye on the goal (a happy, loving relationship with your child), and do the work it takes to get yourselves there.

Here are some ideas:

1)    Read, read, read. Learn all you can about different parenting methods.

2)    Talk to older, wiser parents. Learn from their experiences.

3)    Take a parenting class with your spouse. Ask around at local churches to see where you might find a Growing Kids God’s Way class.

4)    Step back and evaluate your attitude. Are you too lax? Too strict? Yes, children need to be corrected, but don’t make your life more difficult by focusing on behaviors that make a child a child. Choose your battles.

5)    Make sure you have all the basics under your belt. Work on good eating and sleeping habits. Practice couch time and avoid child-centered parenting.

6)    Do all that you can to prevent misbehaviors. Don’t wait for the child to misbehave before you act.

7)    If you have the basics under control, work on first-time obedience. You can learn more in my eBook, Live in Harmony with First-Time Obedience. It will take work to train your child in first-time obedience, but the payoff is so worth it.

Always remember your goal. If you ever need encouragement to continue your work in parenting, remember that you are working on developing a happy, loving relationship with your child. Remind yourself of that sweet little soul you saw when he was a baby or toddler. Stare at him while he sleeps. Trust that his sweet spirit will reemerge. He wants to be that sweet little child; he just needs your help to get there.


  1. One thing that a parent should also consider when asking themselves this question is are they feeling negatively towards their child because they have depression? i.e. Postpartum depression or just depression in general. Something else to consider. Not enjoying life is a symptom of depression. Just a thought.

  2. Great point, Shelly. Thanks!


  1. […] as sad as this sounds, I also wonder if I would love and enjoy my kids more if I were permissive. I wouldn’t be worried about discipline, timeouts, etc. Oddly enough, I […]

Speak Your Mind