Have you been feeling defeated lately when trying to connect with your toddler?
It’s hard for both of you. It’s not only tough for you as a parent, but it’s a hard age for them too! They have such big emotions and it’s our job to really listen to them and shepherd their hearts.
Here are 5 ways you can truly reach the heart of your toddler!
How To Reach The Heart Of Your Toddler
Some days, parenting can be TOUGH stuff.
The tantrums, the attitudes, the not seeping well, the sicknesses, and so many other things that can feel truly draining.
But God didn’t make us just to survive the toddler years. No, He made us to THRIVE during this time, and to allow parenting to be an opportunity to sanctify us. And one way we can achieve this outside of praying and leaning into God, is to truly understand and reach the HEARTS of our toddlers.
You can thrive during this time, help your kids thrive and really connect with them on a spiritual level! Begin reaching their hearts now, so that in the future they come to you. Help them in the little things so they bring the big things to you in the future.
We would much rather help reach our toddlers’ hearts and help them with tantrums and sharing toys, rather than not hearing their heart and leading to much worse things as teenagers.
Here are 5 ways you can start to reach the heart of your toddlers…
1. Pray for them
First and foremost, we have to pray for our toddlers. We should be praying for our children in general, (here’s 30 days of prayer for your children if you want to improve or don’t know where to start) and each stage in their lives, and this starts in your own daily quiet time with God – start there!
Once you have worked on creating a flourishing prayer life, and continually dig into God’s Word each day, pray for your spouse and children as well.
Some things you can pray for when it comes to your toddler:
- Pray for their salvation
- Pray for their protection – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, peer pressure
- Pray for your responses as a parent
- Pray for their future friends and relationships
- Pray for their schooling
2. Be the parent your child needs
I think it’s important to differentiate between being the “right” parent to your kids, or what you think the right type of parent is, vs. being the parent your child needs.
What I mean by this is, every child is different – their personalities, the way they react to things, their learning style, and so many other things. This means listening to them, their hearts (we’ll talk about that next) and connecting with them on the level they need.
Ask God to help you be the parent your child needs, because guess what?? He knows our children better than we do because He created them!!
It’s good to read parenting books (this is a really good one by Paul Tripp called Shepherding a Child’s Heart) and try and better understand how to handle situations, but take those things and apply them to what works best for your child, ultimately letting God lead you. 😊
Listening to your kids goes a long way too, and actually HEARING them and what they have to say. When you do this it becomes easier to read between the lines and focus on their heart, which leads to the next point…
3. Focus on the heart issue, not behavior
Toddlers are going to do things that may not make us the happiest people on Earth, right? But when we discipline it’s important to connect with them on a deeper level.
We want to respond to them and not just react. Yelling and reacting out of frustration and anger doesn’t help them understand the root issue behind the behavior. In fact, when they see that reaction, it usually makes them want to do it more often because they get that reaction out of you.
4. Teach them about God daily
The most important thing you can do to reach the heart of your toddler is to teach them about God daily. We have a ton of printables in the shop and all of the ones in the faith category are all absolutely FREE if you use special discount code: FAITH 🎁💖
Sometimes we don’t really think about it, or just count on Sunday school teachers to teach them, or the children’s minister, etc. But your kids were given to you by GOD – motherhood is a mission field and it is up to you as the parent to minister to their hearts, not depending solely on others. Getting them to church and involved is very important, and it definitely takes a village to minister to them.
But, it starts at home and it’s what God has called you to!
Teaching them about prayer, reading the Bible, who God is, doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Just start small but do it daily.
5. Model it yourselves
This may be the most important on this list and something we touched on earlier, but you can’t really expect your kids to learn to love God if you aren’t loving Him each and every day.
Your children will more than likely follow your actions more than your words, so if those two match it makes it a much more consistent thing for them to understand.
Kids see and hear and mimic EVERTYHING you do. Like, everything.
I’m sure you’ve heard your kids say things that you thought, “Wow where did you learn that?” or have seen them mimic a facial expression or hand motion you do. Kids pick up on things and that includes learning about how to love and know God.
I pray that you are encouraged, uplifted, and ready to start connecting with your toddler. Get to the heart issue of things, really listen to them and begin building a beautiful relationship with them!
Remember, God made you all to be able to thrive together as a family, not just survive! Enjoy this time and view motherhood and parenthood as a beautiful mission field, seeing your children as blessings. 😊 Psalm 127:3