Life is what you make it. Life is what happens while you are making other plans. Life is a gift, live it. I want my children to learn things to help them live and love life:
1. Learn to respect and esteem others. “Each person is made by God,” I remind my seven-year-old, “treat them special.”
2. Learn to maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. “Mom, I’m not so good at finding things,” pouts my visually impaired son, “That’s true,” I tell him, “but you are very, very fast at putting on your shoes.”
3. Learn to be an encourager. “Alright!” shouts my daughter’s soccer coach during practice, “I want to hear ‘Good job’ from you young ladies! Encourage each other!” Now, that’s my kind of coach.
4. Learn to be friendly. “Look people in the eye when they speak to you,” I remind my shy daughter, “remember your smile is a gift.”
5. Learn to approach life with joy and hope. “Tell God what you are thankful for,” I remind the kids when they don’t know what to pray.
6. Learn to forgive. “Mama, I am so sorry I broke the plates,” sobs my son after dropping a stack of four plates. “Mama forgives you,” I tell him with a hug and a reminder, “I love you more than plates anyway. Next time, just carry two plates at a time.”
7. Learn to share your faith. Know what you believe and why you believe it. “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope that you have, but do this with gentleness and respect.” I Peter 3:15. My son’s current method is a loud, “Hey, are you a Christian?”
8. Learn to work hard. “How many more dishes are there, Mom?” moans my ten year old as I keep bringing in cups and glasses from other areas of the house. “Just keep washing,” I tell him, “you are doing a great job, and no complaining.”
9. Learn to be self-controlled. “Momma, that was the mean part of me that yelled at you and not the good part of me. He couldn’t help it.” My little boy tries to explain his misdeed. “That may be,” I tell him, “but you are responsible for what all parts do and what you say.”
10. Learn to be generous. “Can I give this dollar to Sarah?” I love to see people blessed by the generosity of my children.
The Big Book of Lists
Power of a Positive Mom by Karol Ladd
God’s Little Book for Moms
Other parenting pieces by this contributor:
Teaching your kids Kindness
Teaching your kids Generosity
Teaching your kids Problem Solving