From Chaos to Calm: Day Twenty
Scripture Memory: “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
I remember holding my son for the very first time and gazing with wonder that he was mine. What would he become? The answer to that question was found not in a book, but in my willingness to patiently teach him day by day.
James was my first and I had prepared myself as best I could for the job of being a mom. I read every book I could get my hands on. I wanted to know the best ways to do everything from feeding him to disciplining him.
That was nearly twenty years ago. One thing I have learned is that on the job training never ends. There is always more to learn. As a baby grows into a child and then into a teenager the problems a mother is faced with grow and change and only get more complex.
I now have five beautiful children of my own and through the years have learned that children require a great deal of patience and teaching. With each child I have learned better ways and new ways of dealing with the same problems. In all honesty, there are things I wish I could go back and change, but, unfortunately, any mistakes we make as moms cannot be undone.
How can a mother raise a child who loves the Lord, works hard, and is kind to others when this world encourages immorality?
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7 Ways to Train Up a Child
Begin as soon as possible.
Whether you have a newborn baby or teen, begin setting an example for Godly living today. It will be easier to change bad habits in a very young child than an older child, but it is possible to teach children at any age.
One of the biggest mistakes moms make is being inconsistent. When you tell your child the rules, follow through. If little Johnny knows he is not supposed to jump on the sofa, do not ignore the bad behavior because you don’t feel like dealing with a fuss or because you are busy.
Being a mom is not always easy. You will have to teach your child the same principles over and over… and over again. Sometimes these teaching moments will be painful. When your child tests your resolve by mouthing off, it pains your heart. Patience will help you to deal with the disobedience without losing your cool. Patience will also help you to enjoy those many teachable moments. For instance, my children crowd around me in the kitchen to help. Often when cooking supper, I am rushed and wanting to get supper on the table fast. However, if I take the time to let the children stir the batter, tear the salad, or flip the patties, I have taught them how to love by my willingness to be patient.
Children need to know their limits. If you allow your child complete freedom without setting specific limits, you will raise children who are out of control and rude. Parents who set reasonable rules for their children have children who are secure in their love and who are able to respect authority on a greater leave, i.e. teachers, employers, the government. Remember – if you say NO, do not give in and say YES. Whining, badgering, and complaining should never be a reason to change your mind. You will teach your children that if they beg long enough you will eventually wear down.
Be an example.
If it is important to you that your children are well mannered, respect others, and work hard set the standard by your own behavior. Children learn more by watching you that they do by listening to you. Always remember to say please and thank you. If your child brings you a flower or helps to clean up, tell him thank you. When you are thoughtful of the needy in your church or community, you are setting a good example. If you want your child to learn to be neat, make sure you keep your own things picked up.
Motherhood will pass by faster than you could ever imagine. I am still in shock that my son is almost 16! I wish I had realized years ago how much I wanted to hang onto the precious times we had together. Read to your child daily. Play games with your child. Laugh with your child. Explore the world together. Find the magic in the everyday moments. Snuggle as much as possible.
Be a witness.
Giving a solid foundation of Biblical teaching is the greatest gift you can give your child. Pray with your child every morning and every night. Read the Bible together. Study together. Talk about the Scriptures and how the Bible applies to today. Show your child what it means to live a Godly life.
There will be times when you feel that all your hard work is not working! But you can trust God when he says, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
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What do you struggle with most as a mom?
Books to Read
- The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary D. Chapman, PhD
- Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters! by Rachel Macy Stafford
- Fifteen Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids by Rebecca Cohen
- Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting by Dr. Laura Markham
- Mindful Discipline: A Loving Approach to Setting Limits and Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by Shauna Shapiro, PhD
- The New Strong-Willed Child by Dr. James Dobson
- Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life by Crystal Paine
Take the frustration out of organizing your kids and teaching them to be helpful.