This month I am challenging myself to focus on being an encourager to my kids. I feel that as moms we can either be our kids biggest fans or we can squash them daily, not intentionally, but just in the mode of getting things done and running a tight ship. I want to be my kids biggest fan, but I often find I'm in this struggle of needing the kids to do and do and do, and instead I need to sit and sit and sit with them.

What I mean is this … As soon as we get home from school it's time for homework, then it's time to do a few chores, then we probably have somewhere to go, then it's time to play outside for a bit, then it's time for dinner, then showers, then reading and then bed. All we did was DO and we never did any SIT. I can become very rigid in getting stuff done. I mean the truth is that there are four kids here and they are all between 4-8, so all around the same range, and I'm doing a lot redirecting, directing, disciplining, answering the same stupid question over and over again all day long. You can see how I forget to sit with them.


For me, this month of encouraging is going to be about sitting with them.  Engaging them.  Talking to them intentionally.  This actually played out two ways today.


#1.  I read to Story the book THE STORY OF ME tonight for the first time.


This book is about educating your children about sex.  (I wrote about these books before HERE)  Yes this was an educational book, but I still encouraged her in the way that we talked.  After we finished reading the book we talked about how one day she can become a mommy.  In words that she could understand we talked about how God has a husband for her and then I prayed for her and that husband that God would keep them pure for each other.  Y'all she's four and I feel like this was a way to encourage her.  Did she understand it all?  No.  But it was real and it was her and I discussing BIG things in SMALL ways to her.


#2 Cayden is going to send both Aaron and I into a looney bin for all the arguing and talking back that he does.  This child always has to have the last word, even if it is something so silly and small.  If I tell him that I've been doing laundry all day long, he'll look at me and say “well you're not doing laundry right now, so don't say you've been doing it all day”.  Y'all that is annoying to say the least!  It drives me mad.  Yes he's saying something that is truthful, but for the love that will drive you crazy when you hear this all day long.  He also argues when he's in trouble and if I could just get him to shut his mouth and say ‘yes sir' his days would be better.  Mind you, this kid is P.E.R.F.E.C.T at school and would never do this to his teacher (at least I don't think he does).


At dinner tonight it got out of control and I literally wanted to throw my entire plate of fish tacos at him, but I didn't for two reasons.  First, I hear that it's looked down upon in restaurants to throw food at your kids when you are at mad at them, and two I really love my fish tacos.  Anyhow, I was about to lose my cool when finally I told Cayden that I understood that he can't help it (that's what he always says) and that daddy and I both struggle with things to that we want to stop but we can't.  I explained how there's Cayden's way and then there's God's way (flesh and the spirt) and sometimes even when we truly want to do God's way, our way gets in the way and we choose what makes us happy.  As crazy as it might sound, I think he was actually understanding.  I told him that truly the only way that he would get better at watching his mouth was if God helped him, because on our own we will still do the things that please us.  I told him that he should start praying and asking God to help him.  I told him that we would pray this as well.


I felt in that moment of losing my mind with a child that always has to have the last word and I could have just told him to shut up (just kidding – I've never told my kids to shut up, although I have thought it about once a day) and leave me alone, that I chose a moment to encourage him in his struggle.  The truth is I have struggles too that I so desperately don't want to do, but so many times I chose my way over God's way.


I'm praying that this month is a challenge to be an encourager and not just a woman that runs the logistics of a house, because I can do that very well, but it will be of no lasting value to my kids.  I'm asking God to show me unique opportunities to cheer on my kids.  To show them their value, and to point them to God in this encouragement.


You joining me for this month?  Who is with me on trying to think daily on how we can cheer our kids on, and not push them down?  Come on!

Do you have a special way that you encourage and cheer your kids on?  Please share with all of us moms.  We're all in this race together!


Jamie Ivey