It's the last day of May, so you know what that means!!! Tonight, Kendra from The Mommy Diaries is joining us to share about building character in our babies. It's a full time job which starts early, so this is a post that all of us mommas need to keep close to our hearts. Check out what she has to say:
Have you ever stopped to think about the impact you are having on your child’s future? I often think of the man Klayton will someday become. I envision Klayton being the friend that parents want their kids to have, I envision people of an older generation not shaking their head in distaste when he walks by-when they see him they only have good things to say. I envision Klayton as a man who will want to honor his parents, will love his wife, provide for his family and tell his children that he loves them. What a humbling thought it is to me when I realize that the training he receives today will be a part of that molding. I realize that I am raising my son in a society that focuses on “getting by” and I don’t want to just “get by” with my child. I want to put effort in him because of the man I hope Klayton will become-by God’s grace of course!
My husband and I pray every night with Klayton. We pray for him and with him, my prayers used to be, “thank you Lord for Klayton and please protect him and keep him safe from ALL harm!” Because seriously who wants to see their child get hurt? It really isn’t a bad prayer; but the Lord reminded me that Klayton is a gift that God has given me to raise for HIM! God reminded me what I want for Klayton might not be what He wants for Klayton and there are certain things that must be necessary to shape him into a man. So now I pray, “thank you Lord for Klayton and please God do your will in His life-even now begin shaping him into a man for You”. With prayer comes conviction! Conviction that as a parent I have a part and I have no right to hope and dream my desires for who he will someday be if I am not willing to be the proper example in those areas! You know that phrase, do as I say not as I do
- Obedience. We often forget that obedience is a key component in forming character. And often if we can raise a child to be obedient most other good character traits will follow! As time goes on our children will have teachers and bosses. And the thing with teachers and bosses is they often tell us what to do and except follow through! We are teaching Klayton that obedience is obeying right away…not the 2nd or 3rd time! I still remember standing behind a mom and daughter, the little girl was throwing the most obnoxious tantrum. The mom would say, “if you don’t stop screaming by the time I count to three I will take that candy bar away from you!” The little girl would continue to scream and mom would begin counting, “one…two…two and a half…” and before she could say three the girl would stop. But, guess what? Ten seconds later this interaction ensued once again! I was embarrassed for that mom and realized that I don’t want to be that mom! So, yep we are those parents who are working at getting our child to do what we say on the first “try” and yes his future bosses, teachers and other authority figures can say, thank you! (Did you notice how I conveniently left out the anecdote of Klayton not obeying right away? Because maybe or maybe not we have never had an experience of a disobedient melt down in public!)
- Be willing to say, "I'm sorry I was wrong". This has been quite the doozy for me-I have LOTS of pride! Just the other day Klayton was having a bad and I was having a bad day -- he hasn’t learned that its not a good idea to share bad days with mommy! Klayton was being needy, he was having lots of potty training accidents. Then he spilled his bag of crackers and spilled his drink all over the floor. It seemed to all happen within 2 seconds and I was very irritated. I harshly sent him to the couch to “ponder” and went to continue my load of laundry that was a mountain high, not to mention the reminder of dishes that had yet to be done beckoned me as I passed the kitchen sink, further adding to my irritation. Before I could even start again on my chores the Lord prompted my heart that I didn’t handle things well. I could go to Klayton explain to him why I reacted that way…I have so much to do and I am having a bad day; but that would just be excusing the apology away. So, I knelt before my little guy and said, “Klayton, I’m sorry I was wrong for reacting the way I did over an accident. I love you, can you forgive me?” Then with a hug and a kiss we were on our way!Our society likes to pass the blame to others, never taking responsibility for our wrong doings. If I can teach Klayton now to admit when he has done wrong and make it right…wow!
- Responsibility. My little guy is only 2 and a half but he already has “jobs”. Around his 2nd birthday I started having him throw his own diaper away. Not a huge thing; but something he can do. He doesn’t always like doing it and I have to remind him that we all have a part and he can do it! We may not always feel like doing something; but that doesn’t mean it is to be ignored. I don’t always feel like paying my bills; but guess what if I didn’t pay our cell phone bill it would be disconnected. But, let me take this moment to brag on Klayton…since he has started throwing his own diapers away he can often be found without me having to ask throwing away trash, putting his own dishes in the sink, picking up his own toys as well as helping me sweep and mop! I want Klayton to grow up to be a man that will be responsible and do what needs to be done to provide for his family and I am often reminded that he is on his way to becoming that man as he realizes he has a “part” in the family and he is accepting that part responsibly! And just so you know I don’t ALWAYS make him throw his own diaper away!
Basically, I am constantly looking for teaching moments…things that I know are struggles that his daddy and I have had and can be avoided. For example: Klayton usually wants EVERY ball in the store and yes he already has a gazillion at home! We take those little moments to teach him to be content with what he already has, it is definitely a work in progress. But, this is the thing I don’t expect obedience, being responsible, admitting wrong, contentment or whatever good character trait you want to add to the mix to be developed by the time he is 3! I understand that this journey has many days, weeks, months and years ahead of us. I just think that, sometimes we-myself included-forget to see that there is a bigger picture and what we do with our kids now matters for tomorrow, for their future spouse, their future children! Lets make today count and ask God for lots of grace!
Thanks so much for sharing that Kendra! Go visit her blog for lots of great family stories and cute pictures of her handsome man! If you're interested in contributing to a future month of Month 4 Moms, shoot me an email!