MOMS: Helping Your Kids Find Their Way
More than anything, moms want their kids to succeed: in school, in relationships, and in life. The trouble is, life doesn’t always go the way we’ve planned, does it? There are countless ways that our kids can get derailed on their path to success.
As a mom, you have more power to influence your kids than you may realize. Whether your kids are currently struggling through a hard time, or whether they are just beginning their journey into adulthood, there are specific things that you can do as their mom to help them find their way.
My wife Jill and I have raised five children together, all now adults (with some with children of their own!). Along the way, we’ve learned that there are three keys to helping your kids find their way through life.
Implementing these tools with your children will equip them to navigate through the challenges life brings them, and ultimately be successful in life. Even if your children are currently going through a difficult time, these tools will give you the practical advice you need to draw close and be a point of connection for them.
The first key in helping your kids find their way is faith.
According to the book of Hebrews, faith is
“…the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1 KJV)
Basically, faith has substance; it’s something real and tangible. It’s also the evidence that something unseen is real. Spiritually speaking, faith is a belief in God that has weight, substance, and matter to it because it’s real. While you might not be able to see faith, the evidence of its presence is readily seen in your decision making, your actions, and your motivations.
When you, as a mom, live your life of faith in God in such a way that it is tangible, it will affect your children. While they may not respond in that moment, a consistent life of faith lived out will leave an impact on your children. Like most things, learning to walk by faith is more caught than taught.
Some examples of this tangible faith may be seen in how you handle difficulties in your own life. When you go through hard times, do you only turn to friends to vent, or do you also turn to God in prayer? When you are faced with big decisions, do you only weigh out the pros and cons, without also consulting with your Father in heaven? How do you handle dreams and desires?
Beloved, your kids are watching how you handle all of these things. When you share these things with your kids, they begin to catch how tangibly you trust God with both big things and small things. This faith in action is a powerful tool for your children and will prepare them to successfully make their own decisions in the future.
The second key is forgiveness.
Learning how to forgive and how to receive forgiveness is generally taught at a young age. A young boy hits his brother, and his mother tells him he needs to apologize. His brother in turn, needs to say, “I forgive you.”
The trouble is, so many of us didn’t learn this as children. We may have gone through those motions with our siblings, but what we really learned was what we saw going on around us, watching our parents. We saw parents who said “I forgive you” but walked away resentful. We heard “I’m sorry” but saw bitterness. These are the tools most of us walked away with from our childhood.
Moms have an incredible gift to connect with their children through their insight and tenderness. Using these gifts to teach your children how to forgive and how to receive forgiveness can yield incredible results. The key is by learning how to forgive like Jesus did, and then modeling and practicing it in front of our children.
Moms, that means you’re going to blow it a few times, and then have to ask for forgiveness from your children! That also means you’re going to have the gift of teaching them how to graciously forgive, and receive forgiveness themselves when they blow it later on.
“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:9 ESV)
Notice the way Peter exhorts us to treat one another: with sympathy, a tender heart, and a humble mind. This includes your children!
Moms, I know most of you would prefer to have a peaceful home with no arguing or fighting. But your home is where you teach your children how to forgive, so that they can have successful relationships in the future.
You are also preparing them for the day they will blow it big time, to know they can always return to God their Father and ask for forgiveness and that there is nothing too big or too hard for God to forgive. Model this for your kids and they will not forget it.
The third key is fun.
Fun is one of the most overlooked components of helping your kids find their way, because we often think fun is frivolous, or a waste of time and money. But the truth is, fun is an essential element of creating a close bond with your children.
My wife Jill did an incredible job of making sure there was a lot of fun in our home. She hosted game nights, set aside time for vacations, and played with our children. I like to call her the Fun-Meister.
Moms like Jill have a unique gift of being able to both create and facilitate new memories with their children that will help deepen their relationship. Having a deep connection with their family and a strong support system at home is essential to providing your child with a successful future.
There are countless studies showing how playful engagement with your children increases attachment and closeness between a parent and their child. These bonds are especially important for children when they are struggling with life’s difficulties. In addition to deepening relationships, carving time into your schedule for fun also teaches your child the balance between working hard and taking time off to enjoy life.
It is every mom’s dream to see their child grow up to be successful in school/work, relationships and life. But many worry their child may get sidetracked and lose their way. Using these three keys will give your child the tools they need to find their way in both good times and hard times. Don’t worry Mom—God’s got your back!
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Published on May 16, 2018.