I’ve been a mother now for almost 14 years, and a homeschooling mama for at least 8 of those. When my oldest was just a toddler, I decided to be very intentional about the way I talk to my children.
My own parents always spoke to me in a respectful, kind way. Sure, they got ticked with me and disciplined me, but they were never belittling or critical of me.
Early on, I decided I wanted to have this same type of relationship with my own children.
I had no idea how much effort and self-control that would take as a parent!
As we enter head first into these tween and teenage years, I find myself having to try all the harder to maintain this same respectful tone to my children. Tween and teen attitudes and hormones, and the navigating-new-waters of teenage years makes this a more difficult challenge for me.
I enjoy my children, and I want them to know it. Here are 5 sentences I often say to my sweet kiddos…
♥ Make sure you don’t miss Part I of 5 Sentences I Say to My Children!
You can come to me with anything and I’ll help you.
It can be embarrassing and just plain tough to talk to your parents about some things. There are a few topics that come immediately to mind. 😉
I was a nurse in my pre-homeschool life, so talking about a lot of those body-related topics are pretty easy for me. Other conversations…not so much.
Especially as we head into the teenage years, I frequently tell my children they can come to me with anything and I’ll help them.
Questions about drugs and alcohol, how to deal with friends that hurt you, integrity and character issues – nothing is off the table.
Having a safe person to go to in time of crisis is invaluable. My children know they can come to me any time – night or day – and I will drop what I’m doing to help them.
But this type of relationship all started when they were much younger. I’ve tried very hard to listen to their needs and wants and desires and dreams, and take those seriously.
I have no idea what later teenage years will look like, but I’m thankful for this foundation of listening to them and building that trust with my sweet kiddos.
I’m praying for you.
“I’m praying for you.”
As Christians, I think that’s a pretty common phrase and it gets tossed around a lot. But are we really doing that? Not thinking about a person, but actively praying for them?
When it comes to my children, you’d better believe it.
No one will pray for them like their mama does. It’s not only my obligation, but totally my privilege.
Represent our family well.
I have entered the Taxi Mama stage of life, where I feel like I’m in the car. A lot.
As our family changes from always attending events with my children (ie: park days) to dropping them off at church events and the like, I see that some reminders need to be in place.
The biggest reminder at the present is to represent our family well when they’re out and about in public.
My children represent the teaching and guidance and manners that my husband and I are trying oh so hard to instill. I expect them to use those manners and uphold our family name.
Perfection is never the goal.
In the past, I’ve struggled with being a perfectionist in certain areas. I’ve had to increasingly change my mindset, and I feel like I’m on the other side of that, thankfully.
Whether I’m talking to my children about their school work, or their household jobs, or merely looking at some creative project they’ve worked hard on, I remind them that perfection is never the goal.
Then that begs the question: What is the goal?
To do their best work.
If they’ve done their best work, even if it earns them only a C grade, I am beyond thrilled.
Yes, the bathrooms aren’t as clean as if I had done it myself, and sometimes a child really does get a C grade. But if I’m certain my child has done his or her best work, I’m completely satisfied. And I encourage them to be satisfied with this as well.
And last but certainly not least…
Your actions affect other people.
Out of all of the phrases I speak over my children, I think this is the most frequent.
It’s also the most necessary.
For the good or the bad, one’s actions really do affect other people. Nothing is done in a vacuum. Even if those effects aren’t observable ways at the present time, your actions do have influence over others.
A harsh word, ignoring someone’s request, choosing to not keep your hands to yourself, not doing your best work – all of those have a negative effect on those around you.
On the flip side, apologizing when you’ve wronged someone, choosing not to say a mean comment, doing the dishes without being asked, or writing a quick, encouraging note affect others in a lovely and positive way.
Teaching my children to be aware of their actions and their speech is important. Looking outside of our own bubbles and noticing the needs of others is important. Recognizing that our speech impacts the thoughts and feelings of others is important. Learning to put the needs of others before our own is important.
It’s incredibly hard at times, but it is important and worthy of teaching to my sweet children.
I just wanted to close my eyes for five minutes while waiting on supper to finish. A tired mama doesn’t need solitude for sleep! Ha!
What sentences are you speaking over your children today?