Some parents seem to have a knack for parenting well. They intuitively know how to connect, train, and communicate with their kiddos.

How do they do it? Are they experts in counseling, psychology,  or education?
Nope they are not experts in the professional realm.
So how do they do it?
They are experts on their own children.
They know their kids. They know how to pray for their children. They know how to advocate for them. They know how to speak to them because they know what makes their kiddos tick.
Parents who parent well are students of their children.
They listen. They watch.
After observing their children they draw conclusions and then create long range goals.
Parents who parent well know their child’s strengths, weaknesses, temptations, passions, aversions, hopes, and dreams. They have a good handle on whether their child is an introvert or extrovert. They have a grasp on what motivates and what discourages their child. They are good with and even enjoy their child’s quirkiness.
These successful moms and dads parent intentionally by keeping long term goals in mind. They don’t only train kids in appropriate behavior but they are focused on developing their child’s character.
Here are five ways to get to know your kiddo:
1. Put down the phone. Have a no phone zone. Talk (listen) with those you share your home with. Be present. Spend time together.
2. Look your children in the eye to see if what they say matches how they feel. Notice their body language. If the messages are incongruent pursue it, “You say you are fine but I am noticing your eyes look sad.”
3. Notice the things and people they are drawn to. Is it books? Is it nature? Animals? Electronic gadgets? Certain types of personalities? People with shared interests? Notice the things and people they avoid.
4. Get in the child’s world. Play. Let him teach you something.
5. Have a sense of delight and humor.  Enjoy your kid– quirkiness and all. When my son was a preschooler he wore buckets on his head. We let him wear those buckets everywhere. Let your kids do kid-like things.
Parents who know their kids well, parent their kids well. And are able to pray effectively for them.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well
.

Psalm 139:14
What ways to do use to know your child better?

Lori Wildenberg
co-founder of 1Corinthians13Parenting.com, co-author of 3 parenting books, mom of four (plus one daughter-in-love) Contact Lori for your next event. She is also available for parent consulting and parent training courses.
Head over to Amazon  to get Raising Little Kids with Big Love or Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love for more parenting tips and strategies.

© LoriWildenberg. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator, parent coach, and co-founder of 1Corinthians13 Parenting.com. She has written 6 books including Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home; The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections; and her most recent book, Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation. Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at the MOMS Together Group on Facebook.