Friday, February 13, 2009
Developing your child's character - Season One
While on this earth God has given me the awesome responsibility of being a mom. Sometimes when I think about this, I grow anxious. There is so much in my humanness that I could mess up, that would be three little lives. Our children want to be just like us, girls like their moms and boys like their dads. Have you ever heard yourself through your children, it can be a very eye opening, sobering even embarrassing time. The examples we set in word and deed are part of the development of our children's character.
The last two and a half years have been a blessing for me, I have been a stay at home mom. I got to walk them to school and pick them up; as opposed to getting home with enough time for homework, dinner and a bath. I had time to listen (really listen) as they talked about their day and sought out opportunities to put in my "God cents". Every time we walked home I thought about the Deuteronomy 6
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. [a] 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.
My oldest daughter is me in every sense of the word, the good and the bad. When I see the negative aspects in her that I hate in my own life, it really bothers me. There is one area where I have been intentional on making an impact. Sometimes you talk and you are not sure what is getting through and what is going over. When my oldest was younger I started to grow concerned about her self-esteem, something I struggled with during my childhood and a bit still in my adult life. I was determined to drench her with affirmations about her skills and abilities, her looks, just on being who she was. She is now 12, however at the age of nine I knew that she was entering the "tween zone" where a positive self image is important in protecting her from body image issues/disorders, friendship issues and so much more that I did not have to deal with at her age.
When she came home complaining that some girls were talking about her, or her clothes or anything she did. I would counteract this by telling her that there something that must be special about her, if people are taking the time to talk about what she was wearing or doing. I will not be writing a child psychology book or anything but this really did work. Now those same stares and comments have minimal impact on her. If nothing else, I want to instill in her one thing being herself at all times, whether she is at church or school or out with friends. It will make her life easier, because she doesn't have to remember which person she was on which day.
The other day I had a "mommy moment. A "mommy moment" is when you hear your child repeats or acts out something that you have been trying to instill in them. She told me of a girl in her class that is very smart, and some of the kids are jealous of her and tease her. She was offered the opportunity to skip a grade, my daughter approached her and asked her what she wanted to do. The girl sadly responded that no one liked her because she was smart and since she did not have any friends she might as well move up. To which my daughter said, this is the mommy moment, never be ashamed of who you are, if you are smart, you are smart and you should not make any excuses about that. I was so proud of my daughter, I could burst. You are never quite sure if they are really getting what you say , but I think if you persevere in developing character it will pay off
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers I Timothy 4:16
Recommended Reading - Understanding your child's temperament by Beverly LaHaye.