Since we moved into our current home about a year and a half ago, I’ve had great success with our indoor plants. I’ve learned that I’m a natural over-waterer 🙂 so I purposely limit myself to watering our plants about once a week.
However, the plants on our front porch are another story. At this point, I’m not even sure how many different plants I’ve had out there that have died. That area gets direct sun for several hours in the afternoon, so a heat-hardy plant is a must. I currently have two Phlox of some sort that are doing very well, so we’ll see if they make it through the summer!
While I’m obviously not a plant expert, I do know that plants need certain things like sunlight and water to grow. And that’s how it is with our children. As moms, we are constantly pruning and fertilizing, helping our children remove negative qualities while adding positive ones that will allow them to grow strong and healthy.
So what does it take to grow a child? No matter what season of parenting we’re in, there are certain ingredients to consider. Here are five of them.
Just as in gardening, our efforts aren’t going to pay off right away. We wait maybe weeks or months for our plants to bloom. And it could be weeks, months, or years before we see the results of consistent prayer, love, training, and discipline that we’ve invested.
But just as we don’t give up on our plants when we don’t see growth right away, so let’s not give up on our kids. Keep on following the principles that God has given us in His Word and trust that He is at work, whether we see immediate progress or not.
Especially in the early years of motherhood, we often put aside our wishes and desires in order to do things for our children.
As an example, for years one of our routines was to read aloud together at bedtime. I remember nights when I would rather sit on the couch and read a book by myself than head to our daughters’ room to read to them. However, I know that they treasured that time and it was a way of building our relationship.
A child grows well when we respect him for who he is. Every child has a unique personality. Techniques that work with one child may have no effect on another. We can respect our children enough to learn how they are wired so that we can relate to them effectively.
Our children long to feel safe and taken care of. Our homes can be places where they feel accepted and loved unconditionally.
Children feel secure when we have consistent boundaries and expectations. We also can listen to them as they share their thoughts and feelings without shutting them down.
And what better way to create a secure environment than by teaching them God’s Word and praying aloud with them! Learning to know and love their Heavenly Father will lay a foundation for a lifetime of peace and security.
All four of the ingredients above are easier to incorporate when we give our kids the most basic ingredient of all – love! Through our words and our actions, we can let them know that we love them.
You may have heard the saying, “Love is spelled T-I-M-E.” Spending time with our children – letting them see that we like being with them! – is one of the best ways to show our love.
Say phrases like, “I love you” and “I’m proud of you” often. Give lots of smiles and hugs throughout the day.
As moms, we want to see our children mature into whole, healthy adults. Mixing together these ingredients is a good start to that wonderful, flourishing result!
What other traits do you think are important in helping to grow our children?
- 10 Parenting Tips as Seen in the Rearview Mirror
- 5 Ways to Have a Christ-Centered Home
- A Powerful Prayer of Blessing for Your Family