Friday, July 29, 2016

Recipe for a Happy Childhood

Written By Mary Rice Somerville
In my spare time, I'm the management of foods (health), clothing (modesty), house (cleaning and upkeep), the happiness of the neighborhood, the environment, mental stimulation and civilization of all. When mothers mentioned their jobs, my line was: "But I thought that rearing the children WAS the job!" Since God gave me children to love, I feel that these children should get my total care and consideration and training until they all leave the home. Moms at home work plenty! Her biggest job? Being the evangelist, winning little souls to Christ and then "teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." Moms have the most ideal situation for working for the Master and bringing in the harvest. 

Since I was home, I had time to infuse the Bible into their lives. I used to serve up family devotions while slinging the oatmeal. "And boys, I read this awful story in the Bible this morning. This fellow took his sword and jabbed it into that fat old king and the guts ran out!" That was my style. Our prayers together were like the ones in the backyard when they had lost their baseball again. I wanted them to know that the God we were praying to was real and that He cared. The results were truly convincing!

A lighthearted atmosphere, fairness, (don't punish them both - find out the offender and punish him), doing almost everything together (no shut doors with private TVs and stuff like that), apple tress for tire swings and the privacy of swinging away the child's energy and frustrations, free time for play before chore time and supper, (try not to interrupt with petty commands), reading aloud all together in one place at bedtime; maybe Bible stories, but maybe not (keep them guessing- don't lay any heavy piety on them), besides prayers at the table, pray with them over their emergencies and concerns. Watch God work! If you can get up the nerve to skip Christmas entirely it will save a lot of junk food and too-high excitement and expectations and disappointment and selfishness.

We lived for most of our life without TV. The boys had lots of stuff to read, and board games. We didn't allow cards. I still feel the main ingredient is that the child knows that Mom is on duty nearby, to find the scissors, to kiss the ouch, to watch out the window at what that mean neighbor kid is doing, to give gently reminders until its time for the have enough sleep and healthy food without making a religion out of it. 

...bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4

*From The Mother's Companion