"The righteous woman's strength and influence today can be tenfold what it might be in more tranquil times. She has been placed here to help enrich, to protect, and to guard the home- which is society's basic and most noble institution. Other institutions in society may falter and even fail, but the righteous woman can help to save the home, which may be the last and only sanctuary some mortals know in the midst of storm and strife."
With my son starting preschool this fall, it has really begun to hit home that while he may always be my baby boy, he is starting to outgrow the nest and I need to prepare him with some wings to start flying on his own. When our kids go off to preschool, elementary school, middle school, and even high school and college, we can't be there to cover their ears when somebody says a bad word. We can't make them tell somebody sorry when they hurt their feelings, and we can't explain why kids are making fun of the girl who looks different. Which is why these things need to be taught at home.
There are many things we can do to prepare and protect our children from the un-Christlike situations that they will encounter on a daily basis, for it would be unwise and neglectful of us to allow them to take on the world without giving them the tools they need to protect themselves. I'm certainly not a parenting expert or anything, but I wanted to just share a few of my goals for this school year that I hope will continue until my kids leave home.
1. Have a Morning Devotional. I just started this two weeks ago, and I am really glad I did. In the morning before school, I gather the kids at the kitchen table or on the couch and we sing a Primary song, read a story from the Friend magazine, and have a prayer. This gives us some family time before we separate for the day and gets us in that right mindset that we need to deal with whatever comes our way during the day. It only takes about 10 minutes, but it is time well spent.
2. Have some after school one-on-one time. This is another habit we've gotten into- when my little guy gets home from school we sit in our big papasan chair together and go over his folder and talk about his day. My hope is that it gives him that safe place to be with Mommy and re-connect. When he gets older and starts facing tougher situations, my hope is that we can use that time to work together on his concerns.
3. Practice at home. The same way that we practice schoolwork and help children study for tests at home, we should also practice for the tests of life. My goal is to seize those moments when the children aren't getting along or someone's feelings have gotten hurt and use them to teach. Lately when my son has done something wrong, instead of telling him to apologize or to clean something up, I just ask him, "What do you think you should do?" Turns out, he knows the answer! And he is more likely to do it when it is his own idea. I hope that this will encourage him to independently make these good choices when he is outside the home.
4. Make home a safe haven from the world. This is one that I hear from church leaders all the time- that our homes should be a peaceful refuge from the stresses and concerns we face in our day-to-day activities. That can be tough, especially when so many of those stresses and concerns seem to happen at home! However, I hope to try to contain my temper and help promote a feeling of peace and love in our home. I will also try to promote these feelings by being organized (so I can be calm!) keeping our home clean and beautiful through daily routines.
5. Continue with Family Home Evening, family prayers, family dinners, and family scripture study. These are all things that we do regularly, and as my son has grown I have definitely seen how much he learns from these times together. I want to take advantage of his sponge-like little brain and put as much good stuff in there as I can! I also want to emphasize that our family time is important and that it is something to be treasured and enjoyed.
These are just a few of my goals that I hope will prepare and protect my little ones as they become big(ger) ones! I love my children dearly, and I know that they are special blessings from God. I pray every day that I can lead them and guide them in the way that He would have me do, for I know that they are His before they are mine. Our responsibility is a solemn and wonderful one- let's treat it as such!
In what ways do you prepare and protect your children to help them keep the faith? Leave a comment and share!