Well, it’s August 25th, the first day back to school for my kids.  In years past I’ve been very excited about this day!  Today I’m sorry to see them go.  Our older son is starting 8th grade (13 years old), and our younger son is in 2nd grade (almost 8).  I’ll miss them!  🙂

I’m not one of those smothering, controlling moms who needs to tend to every detail of her children’s lives and wants to oversee everything they do.  I’ve just really enjoyed our time together over the summer and am not ready for it to end.  In fact, to be completely honest…it was a busier summer than I expected.  I didn’t get many of the lazy days together I anticipated. I’d like to have another week or two to just hang out and take it easy with them.  Then, believe me, after a week or two home with both boys, I’d be more than ready to send them off to school! 

MOMS AND DADS, CHERISH YOUR CHILDREN.  Time with them goes by so fast!  You hear that all the time because it’s true!  Unfortunately, because of today’s fast-paced lifestyles, that’s more true than ever.  Don’t wish your way through their lives, always longing for the phase that’s just ahead.  Make the most of who they are, where they are, and what they are today! 

Pick your battles carefully. 

Nourish, don’t nag. 

Hug your children as often as you can…even when they might seem too big or too old to hug…and even if they don’t always hug back (she says thinking of her teen son). 

For every negative give two positives. 

Don’t try to mold them into what you want them to be.  Help them fill the mold they’re in.  God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well.  – Romans 12:8a

Praise, praise, praise them!  Praise as deserved and praise often!  However, don’t give undo praise that can lead to a false sense of confidence. 

Encourage, encourage, encourage – and remember that encouraging includes giving loving corrections and acts of discipline as needed. 

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  – Ephesians 4:29

Love, love, love.  Love like you mean it!  Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.  – Romans 12:10   This goes for your spouses and ex-spouses, too! 

Remember that children are a gift from God, an inheritance from the LORD! (Psalm 127:3)   Treasure them as such!  Commit each day to helping them reach their full potential – becoming the special people God created and gifted them to be. 

Each child is special, but no child is perfect.  (None of us are!)

Dedicate your child to the Lord and allow His glory to shine through their imperfections and limitations.  In that they become strong and God is glorified.  Christ’s strength is made perfect in our weakness.  (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Be a warriar, not a worrier.  BE A PRAYING PARENT FOR YOUR CHILD.  Lift each day’s praises, thanks, questions, struggles, battles, issues and concerns to the Lord in prayer.  Need guidance for this?  Get a copy of The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie O’Martian.  Be glad for all God is planning for you.  Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful.  When one of God’s children are in need, be the one to help them out.  – Romans 12:12-13a

CHERISH YOUR CHILD BY CHURCHING YOUR CHILD.  Jesus said, “Let the children come unto me, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”   He took the children in His arms, put His hands upon them, and blessed them.  (Mark 10:14-16 paraphrase)   Don’t just tell your children about their Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior; and certainly don’t keep Him from them!  Lead them to Him!  Let them come unto Him.  Church them.  Encourage them to grow in His love.  Make Him a part of their every day life!

All too soon tomorrow will come and they’ll be off to school, off to college, off to their own lives.  You’ll look back and long for the very moment you have right now.  Make the most of tomorrow by making the most of today. 

From a mother’s heart…   God bless you, and God bless all children, too.

For a previouse posts I’ve written about parenting, see “Coaching My Kids for the Big Game”  and “Be Big!” in the March ’07 archives; and “My Boy is Growing Up” in Sept ‘ 07 archives.

Love, Renee