It is that time of year where we watch beautiful green stems start rising out of cold, desolate dirt. We begin planting our gardens, waiting in anticipation for those small seeds to bear vegetables, herbs or fruit.
Last year, I didn’t have a very successful herb garden. I never strived for the green-thumb until I started cooking with fresh herbs, which was followed by realizing that they cost just as much as a new pair of shoes.
Therefore, in an effort to save money and sustain my shoe-collection, I really dug in this year.
Being that I wanted to succeed this time at producing healthy, thriving herbs, I did what I didn’t do last year – I educated myself. And because I learned all about the type of herbs I got, what living conditions they need, how much water they require and so-on, they are in-deed growing into beautiful plants.
During one of Audrey’s morning cartoons, a woman came on and said, “Try and learn something new every day!” I listened and thought: Children have so much to learn and it is almost inevitable that they learn something new every day. That woman should be speaking to the parents.
I think adults reach a certain point where we feel like we know everything we need to know because we survive day-to-day. But in all actuality, it is us grown-ups that should try and educate ourselves because that is the best lesson we can give our children. As a parent, I am always trying to teach my daughter new things whether it is using the potty, vocabulary or manners. Then I realized that the words she most commonly uses and the things she tries to do, are what she sees and hears me doing and saying.
Yep, my husband and I have entered the infamous time in parenting where we have to really watch what we say and do because our chatter-mouth soaks it up and spits it out. Because of this stage in her life, it has made me watch my grammar, pay close attention to my manners and act, how I want her to act. We are the example, whether we are the parent, relative, grandparent, teacher or friend.
I remember hearing from a dad who always told his child to speak politely and practice patience. Then, bringing his child to school one day was caught in a traffic jam and not only did he cuss at some other driver, but lost all patience. The dad immediately had an “oops” moment and before he could say anything to his child, the child said, “That was a bad word and not very nice, Daddy.” I am sure many of us have been in situations like such. We just pray our children will forget, but they don’t. Miniature sponges.
But the difference in this story is that the dad had learned that an excuse such as, “Well, grown-ups can do that…” or “Just pretend that didn’t happen…” would not make his wrong-doing go away, but would teach his child that there are exceptions to all the good lessons he was trying to instill.
Later, the father got down on the floor at his child’s level and said meekly, “Do you remember what Daddy said and did earlier today?” The child replied confidently, “Oh, yes I do, sir.” “That was really wrong of Daddy to use the bad word, speak impolitely and lose his patience. I am going to work hard to be better. Will you forgive me?” The dad said. The child smiled and said, “Yes, Daddy. I forgive you.”
The child wouldn’t learn a lesson about poor manners, failures and excuses – but a lesson about humility and forgiveness.
As I learn and study about gardening, sewing, cooking and more importantly, God’s word and essential values one should live by, I am growing and thus have the ability to pass that knowledge onto my child. But the icing on the cake is that my daughter is also seeing that I, even as the know-it-all mom, has a lot to learn, isn’t perfect, but is striving to grow and be better.
Like the herb garden, those seedlings have the ability to grow into beautiful, fragrant plants, but they all require an educated gardener to do so.
So I challenge you, try and learn something new every day.
“Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.” – Proverbs 4: 13, NIV
If you are a stay-at-home mom, I strongly recommend a mom’s Bible study group and looking into other mom groups where you can meet during the week with fellow moms and talk about parenting. It is an amazing way to share your struggles, help others with their challenges and GROW! Marriage groups and small group Bible studies are also an amazing way to grow in God’s word – which will improve all aspects in your life: your marriage, family, job, etc… If you tend to come up with excuses every day as to WHY you didn’t have time to read that book, to look into God’s word or to pray, then again, put yourself into a weekly study group and just watch what happens!
- Strive to grow in faith because only that will give you the strength, truth and love you need to properly grow and the wisdom to share with your children.
- Humble yourself and treat your children with respect, as you wish them to treat you.
- Get down to their level so you can learn what it is like from their point-of-view and offer a closer conversation.
- Follow your doctrine closely. If you tell your children to act a certain way, make sure you are as well.
- Do something together (parents and children) that will be a new learning experience for all of you such as a musical instrument, a Bible study, fishing, etc… Not only will you learn something new, you will learn lots of new things about your children, instill wonderful values just by participating and implement a very memorable moment for everyone.