Are you a teacher, dad, grandparent–someone who will coach children in their Mother’s Day messages and gifts? Here are some fresh ideas to get them started on their messages.
Young children may touch mom’s heart with their crayon-drawn cards….
….but older children can begin to venture outside the box of “Thanks for all you do for me” into specific actions mom does. Just two or three of them will communicate a deeper level of appreciation perhaps.
Older children and teens can begin to articulate specific qualities, character, personality traits and attitudes.
These creative sentences may spark children’s short messages affirming the spirit of their mother. I like these ideas offered by Keely Chace :
- You’re the glue that holds us together.
- I hope you know how much I admire the woman you are.
- You’ve taught me so much without saying a word.
- Your love has shaped me in lasting ways.
- You are the heart and soul of our family. I love you.
- For all you’ve gone through, all you are and all the love you share.
- You’re the best listener I could ever ask for.
- You don’t just give love, you are love. And I love you so much, too!
- There’s simply no one else like you. I feel so blessed.
- Creative, generous and fun–that’s you. [or whatever qualities fit her]
And for stepmom (or mother figure):
- Thank you for being such an important person in my life. You’re someone I can tell anything and ask anything.
- I wanted to recognize you on Mother’s Day for being such a caring and positive influence in my life.
- I look up to you more than you know.
- You’re an amazing women I admire, appreciate and love.
Tweetable: Creative ideas for Mother’s Day messages beyond “Thanks for all you do for me.” Click to Tweet
The experience of God is certainly unique to each individual. Some speak of God as largely inside of us. Others say God is watching us from a distance. Even in religious families who share a theology, each family member walks on his or her own daily path in relationship to God.
How can I show children some possible avenues for experiencing God?
Perhaps some of the ideas below will spark your thinking, fitting them into your understanding of God, if necessary.
- When difficult or frightening events have occurred in my life, I have explained to the child how I sensed God was present with me.
- I am able to discuss with the child the varied avenues or ways God has used to communicate with me and/or others.
- I am in touch with God’s presence in the world and see evidence of God working behind the scenes. I am able to engage in conversations with the child about “coincidences.”
- When the child expresses disappointment or doubt, I respond with empathy. I encourage him or her to take those feelings directly to God, emphasizing that God is not put off by them.
One father told his kids how he found God communicating with him (see #2 above):
Now I am not someone who claims to hear from God regularly and you know I’m not particularly religious. But there is one time in my life—when the two of you were just a few years old—that I am convinced God was speaking to me.
I was about to go for a snowmobile ride and in all the many times I have gone snowmobiling I have never used a helmet. But this particular day I had this strong sense of a voice telling me to put on a helmet. It wasn’t an audible voice, but it was just as insistent as if it were.
I tried to ignore it, but it wouldn’t go away: “Put on a helmet.” I didn’t even own a helmet. After a couple of hours, I finally gave up and went out to go buy a helmet. I wore it that day and got into a terrible accident where I broke both legs, one arm, and a lot of ribs. The doctor said I would definitely have died if not for the helmet.
I believe that was God’s way of trying to keep me alive because he knew your mother would be dying of cancer just a few years later.
Our task is to give a firm footing to a child’s experience of God.
Tweetable: 4 ideas to guide your conversation when a child talks about sensing or experiencing God. Click to Tweet
One dad has been laying a spiritual foundation for his children based upon the truth about their higher power, as they understand it–God knows you, loves you and cares about you.
This dad shares his approach to helping his children know that they are known by God and loved by God. Notice how precisely his actions display the character of their higher power, combining emotional intelligence and spiritual intelligence.
I make time when my kids want to discuss or emote on any part of their life.
I am creating space to be with them in what they are feeling and thinking. They can express what they’re experiencing and I don’t correct them. Sometimes I have to let go of what I think their outcome should be. Yet I am there to help them navigate out.
However, I also come to them when I am frustrated.
I’ve said out loud that it is hard for me not to get angry or that I’m probably not thinking clearly right now. Without burdening them with inappropriate adult details, I want to show them my emotional state, and how they can recognize their emotional state in what I am saying about mine.
In our interactions, I hope that my children are experiencing what they believe is true about their higher power:
There is a safety in coming to me with anything they feel or think. They won’t be corrected in how they feel. Because I make time and space to listen, I know my children, and I accept the fact that we have our differences, all the time loving and providing for them.
I am proud of their freedom to disagree intensely with people, be in direct conflict with people, but not feel personal offense and intense relational separation from them. They have the comfort of knowing that they are loved by God and us and they can love and respect those with whom they disagree.
How willing are you to share your internal world–including your upsets–with the children in your life?
Tweetable: Can adults display the character or nature of a child’s higher power? This dad gives it a try. Click to Tweet