How Our Love For Our Moms Matures As We Get Older

Today’s blog is a celebration of moms as Mother’s Day is on Sunday.  What more can be said about how wonderful our moms are that has not already been said?    What I would like to focus on is our relationships with our moms. To me, the statement on my blog shows how our views of our mothers change at different ages and is very accurate.

I look at my own relationship with my mother.  Although I never felt that my mother was “annoying”, I have had many of these feelings at different ages.  When I was young, my love for my mother was characterized by an exclamation mark: it was a love for a mother who was the world to me and the center of my universe.  As I got into my teens, I was ready to get out of my mother’s nest and spread my wings. However, after leaving home and living every day in the real world, by my 20s, I knew my mother had been often right.  Now, later in age, I really don’t want to lose my mom.  I spend the major holidays with her and try to stay in contact with her as much as possible.  She can’t travel now because she suffered a stroke, so I visit her.  I am certain that as I get older, I will appreciate and love her even more!

As I look at my sons’ relationships with me, I see the same pattern too.  My sons are now in their 20s, so I get to hear “Mom, you were right.”  But, that was only after years of being “annoying” to them and their wanting to leave the house and spread their wings. 

No matter what stage of life you are at, it is very important to love your mother.  Allow your relationship with your mom to grow and mature, as you do.  Happy Mother’s Day!

How Can Christian Parents Build Self-Esteem in Their Children?

Although my quote for today’s blog is not from the Bible, I believe it to be nonetheless very appropriate about self-esteem.  Just what is self-esteem? Essentially, it is the way a child thinks of himself/herself.  As Christian parents, what can we do to build self-esteem in our children?  We, of course, do not want them to grow up to be conceited and self-absorbed but there is a balance between healthy self-esteem and an inflated ego that we should understand.

First, we need to know and fully appreciate how God sees us and there are a number of Bible verses that show us that God sees us as very special. For example, Genesis 1:27 says that “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him”.  Psalm 139:14 says “(f)or You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”  In Ephesians 2:10, we are described as “God’s masterpiece”. Since He created us as such valuable, superior beings, we should see ourselves that way.

Second, it is important to make clear to our children that they should not rely on anyone’s praise from day to day to have self-esteem.  We, as parents, may praise our children some days, but not on other days.  Also, other people may not praise them, but in fact, may say negative things to them.  Their self-esteem and confidence should derive from God, who is always consistent and loving, and not from humans.  Help your children learn and memorize Bible verses that mention how special they are.  It is the Word of God that will serve as the foundation of their confidence.

Third, each child has different strengths.  Focus on building those strengths.  Remind them that all their gifts and strengths come from God. James 1:17 (“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights”).

 

Teaching Your Children the Importance of What Happened on July 4th

    Is July 4th just another barbeque holiday for you and your family?  Yes, it’s great to have a day off to spend time with family and friends, but July 4th has such important history behind it.  Share that history with your children before you leave home.  

    Just what happened on that wonderful day?  Our country back in the 1770s consisted of 13 colonies ruled by Great Britain.  The colonists became very angry because Great Britain began imposing many taxes on them without their knowledge or representation in Parliament, and began protesting against this.  In response, Great Britain sent in soldiers to quash all resistance.  

    The colonists chose representatives to meet to discuss what they would do.  In 1774, a group of representatives formed the First Continental Congress and met in Philadelphia to begin discussing becoming independent from Great Britain.  They made a list of demands to King George and began forming militias to defend themselves.  The British did not back down and sent in more soldiers.  In 1776, a group of men led by Thomas Jefferson were asked to write an explanation as to why the colonists wanted independence.  This document became known as the Declaration of Independence.  It refers to God five times, as they believed God was very important in guiding them to establish our new country and God had created us all to be free and equal.

    On July 4, 1776, Congress voted to adopt the Declaration of Independence.    This day has been remembered and celebrated since. 

Parents Should Not Allow Their Children To Be Disrespectful

This is a very powerful quote from the great evangelist Billy Graham about disrespectful children.  We have all seen them in public – children who are disrespectful to their parents.  But, let’s look inside our own homes for a minute.  What do you allow your children to say or do to you as a parent?  Do you make excuses for your children’s behavior?

What type of action is disrespectful?  It may vary, depending on the parents’ own beliefs, but typically, name-calling, yelling, cursing, and talking back are universally deemed disrespectful.  Turning and walking away, slamming doors, hanging up the phone – these also are disrespectful actions.   

What do you do when your children act disrespectfully?  It is important to stop the action immediately and invoke age appropriate discipline, which can include losing privileges to play video games or going out with friends.  Also, be observant and catch your children acting respectfully.  Let them know that their respectful behavior has been noticed and is applauded.  Some parents believe, however, that children should be “free” to express themselves.  In my opinion, that’s when trouble begins.  If your children are allowed to be “free” to express themselves at home, and are abusive, they will continue to act the same way outside the home. 

The Importance of Speaking Blessings Every Day Over Your Children

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit."

Proverbs 18:21

One of my favorite Bible verses is this Proverbs 18:21 verse.  It essentially means that the words we speak each and every day are critical forces in our lives and in our children’s lives.   The power of a parent giving a child a blessing can be seen early in the Bible in Genesis 27.  Isaac gave his son Jacob profound blessings of riches and power.   

The blessings set forth in Numbers 6:24-26 are an excellent example of blessings that you can speak over your children: "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace."  The blessings contained in this short verse are extremely powerful because they establish God’s love, protection, favor, grace, and peace upon your children.

Also, put your hands on your children when you bless them.  Make the times of blessings affectionate and loving times, ones that your children will always remember and pass down to the next generation. 

Using Toys to Promote Reading

Using Toys to Promote Reading

I’m certain that your children have a lot of different toys around the house.  Try incorporating those toys during their reading time to make the stories come to life and to further develop their creativity. My two sons loved to read about dinosaurs, and we must have had every type of dinosaur toy in our home...

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Reading Mystery Stories Can Also Teach Important Reading Skills

Reading Mystery Stories Can Also Teach Important Reading Skills

A good mystery story can keep you spellbound for a long time.  You do not want to put the book down until the mystery is solved and you know who has done it.  You read and try to pick out all the clues.  You try your best to figure out the ending.  Did you get it right after all?  If not, what clues did you miss? Children love mystery stories as much as adults...

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Are Books Among The Most Important Objects In Your Home?

Are Books Among The Most Important Objects In Your Home?

When I walk into a person’s home, I can immediately know what is important to that person.  Is there music playing and music paraphernalia all around?  Are there toys and play areas for children in different spaces?  Is there a large tv screen with surround sound and other modern equipment to make tv viewing an experience?  I’m not being judgmental – simply stating facts.  

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