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Cultivating Our Kids

Fact of life: kids need their moms. We are vital to their growth as human beings. After all, who else could lovingly tell a first grader, “Your teeth look disgusting. Go brush them,” or a teenager that, “You desperately need a shower”?

Besides our role in helping our kids learn important hygiene skills, moms are responsible for their mental and emotional growth.

If I were to write a list of all the traits I want to grow in my children, the traits could easily number in the hundreds. There are tons in many categories! For example let’s examine the traits in the category of “manners.”

I have been losing a battle with my eight year old son. Ever since he could talk and started taking notice of his bodily functions, I have gently coached him in appropriate word choice. We don’t say that word; we say “toot.” And you can only talk about bathroom words in the bathroom. No potty humor at the supper table.

I thought he had grasped these lessons, but I was wrong. At his birthday party this year, my ears were assaulted by his hilarious (sarcasm) exclamations about gas and such. My precious little boy joined right in with the other second grade boys. Had he learned nothing? They all laughed hysterically while I cried on the inside.

So clearly, this is one area in the “manners” category that I am still working on. We are also still reviewing “please and thank you.” Oh, and using “excuse me,” after bodily functions and when we get in someone’s way, is a concept that is shaky, at best.

See what I mean? This is just one little area that moms must grow and develop in their children. And I didn’t even cover interrupting, asking to be excused or politely declining food at supper time. One thing is certain; a mother’s job is never done. We have such a huge responsibility.

Now moms, we could easily focus on our never-ending lists. We could get overwhelmed by the amount of information we need to give to our kids and just stop trying. We could give up and give in before we even start. We could, but that would go against how God made moms.

It takes so much more than potty talk for a mom to give up on her children. Yes, God gave mothers a deep, long-suffering love for their kids.

God’s word has some encouragement for us moms who feel like giving in to the weight of responsibility. Galatians 6:9 says, “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up” (NLT).

God knows that motherhood is hard. Raising kids to be adults that follow Jesus is the highest calling. And it’s tough. There are days when we will want to throw in the towel. But God says we should not get tired of working with our kids. We have to keep tending them and teaching them, growing in them the traits that we view as “right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8, NIV).

And if we take God at His word, we can know that our work will pay off. When the time is right, we will see the person that God created each of our children to be. And moms, can you think of anything better?

So moms, let’s not give up. Let’s keep working. Our harvest is coming. 

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Kristen Johnson

Kristen is an "accidental farmer's wife" and stay-at-home mom of 3. Accidental, because it was never in her plan to "just" be a mom. But it was God's. Former English teacher now turned MOPS Coordinator and Speaker, Kristen now writes at nap-time, blogging about her silly kids and her farming adventures, as a mom Called by God. She lives in Minnesota on a farm with her family, dog and 5 cats.