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
After five years of interviewing adults about their childhood spiritual experiences, I’ve seen common threads. Here’s one: As children, they didn’t have the vocabulary to express how they were processing spirituality and God. Can’t you see it in what this man told me?
“I remember I was four or five years old and feeding white ducks bread crumbs from the top of a playground slide. It seemed very wonderful to me for some reason and I dreamed about it and I can still see myself doing it. My thoughts couldn’t have been very abstract or sophisticated or articulated in any vocabulary I had at the time, but I felt I was in the presence of something greater than myself, in a world beyond the surface world where I was tossing down food onto the white ducks and feeling very whole, free, peaceful.”
That it, isn’t it? Children can’t articulate with the vocabulary they have at the time.
But we can help children build a spiritual vocabulary. We use the same methods we did when we taught them basic vocabulary words.
When they learned animal names, we had picture books of animals, “Where’s the bird? What does the bird say?” And when we went outdoors, “See the bird? Hear the bird?”
Use children’s literature to teach spiritual vocabulary.
It’s packed with stories about the human spirit developing and prevailing. When you read to children, emphasize and repeat age-appropriate spiritual vocabulary words such as right, wrong, conscience, character, wise, forgive, as these concepts come up in the book. Use these vocabulary words in normal everyday conversations. As children get older, you can move on to words like mindful, ethics, purpose, presence, worship, spirit, soul, self and reason.
There’s no need to bottle it up inside.
When they know words like these, they’ll be equipped with a vocabulary to express themselves as they begin to work out the complexities of life. With no need to bottle it up inside, they will talk freely and listen to others, thus understanding how normal and widespread is the spiritual dimension of life.
- Ideas to help children build a spiritual vocabulary by the same method you taught them basic vocabulary. Click to Tweet
- Children don’t know the words to use to express their spiritual experiences. See some ideas here. Click to Tweet
When your child is a budding scientist, you scrub home experiments off your walls and ceiling. Your hard-earned money goes toward chemistry sets.
In addition to milk and eggs, your grocery cart contains oddball ingredients destined to bubble and overflow onto your bathroom floor.
You are scrambling to help them satisfy a deep passion for learning and unending curiosity.
Glen was one such child.
Fortunately his parents nurtured his scientific bent. The son of a deeply religious US Navy captain, Glen and his family were church members. Glen leaned toward science as a young man and went on to study nuclear physics at the university.
Science captivated his mind and soul.
“The nuclei were responding to our questions, speaking our mathematical language, completely understandable, telling us the nature of their binding forces,” he said. “It was as if they were saying to me, ‘Finally, someone has asked us. We have waited so many eons.'”
Glen recalled being “so spiritually elated after a day at the lab that I would go outdoors and just run as fast and as long as I could, in exultation and gratitude.”
Both mind and soul factored into an important career choice.
Years later, unwilling to aid in weapons development, Glen abandoned nuclear physics and moved into a teaching career, with Ethics as his area of specialization. He did not abandon his passion for intellectual study through observation and experimentation: “My way of thinking is incurably curious and integrative. I can’t teach Ethics without attention to numerous related disciplines.”
Children are going to experience the divine in different ways. Passionate scientific inquiry is one of them.
“be passionate in your work and in your searchings.” — ivan pavlov
- Be passionate in your work and in your searchings –Ivan Pavlov Click to Tweet
- Children experience the divine in different ways; passionate scientific inquiry is one. Click to Tweet