Archive for the ‘Child Training’ Category

Trusting God for the Spiritual Growth of our Children

As mothers who are pouring our lives into our children, seeking to diligently train and disciple them, there are sometimes moments of discouragement (Will she grow to have more of a servant’s heart? Will he ever have victory over his lack of self-control? Will they grow up to follow Christ or are my efforts meaningless?).

I recently read an article by Tracy Klicka on this topic that was so encouraging to me that I want to share it with you. In this article, Tracy shares the secrets of the bamboo farmer and how that relates to the spiritual growth of our children. Although she specifically mentions parenting teens, I think this metaphor is relevant for all ages.

“I love the story of the farmer and the Chinese bamboo tree, for it accurately reflects what the teen years are often like. When a farmer plants a bamboo tree in the ground, though he waters and fertilizes it for a year, he sees absolutely no growth. The second year he does the same and he sees…no growth. The third year is spent doing the same. Again, no growth. At this point, I’m wondering how the first bamboo farmer kept going (!) for once again, in the fourth year, though there is the same faithful watering and fertilizing…there is alas, no visible growth.

This last adjective is important to notice—for several years the farmer sees no visible growth. This is where as parents so many of us can relate. We invest in our children’s hearts, giving them the Word of God, praying with and for them, seeking to bring the truth of the gospel into their lives. Then we wait with longing to see spiritual fruit and genuine faith come forth from their hearts. And for many of us, what we see is similar to what that bamboo farmer sees—a tiny, little stub of a bamboo shoot, certainly not reflective of what we’ve been pouring into our children for so many years!”

Read the rest of the article here at Tracy Klicka’s website.

“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil. 1:6



Teaching Babies and Toddlers to Sit

I want to share a great video by Bonnie at Mom By Example. In this YouTube video, Bonnie expains how to teach a baby or toddler to sit quietly. This is such a valuable skill to teach little ones, and she explains it wonderfully. Click here to watch.

If you want to read Bonnie’s post about it, go to Mom by Example.


Giving Children our Expectations

It was a mess. My kids had brought the grocery bags in for me, and I was putting them away. That’s when I noticed the raw egg dripping onto my hands, the refrigerator shelf and even my clothing. I knew just what had happened.

My five year old son had brought the bag of eggs in for me and abruptly plopped the bag down on the ground, causing 19 of the two dozen eggs I had bought to crack. (boys have a knack for doing things like this- gotta love em ;)). I was frustrated. “He should have known better”, I thought.

And that’s when it hit me. He didn’t know better, because I hadn’t TOLD him that there were eggs in one of the bags and I hadn’t TOLD him he needed to put the eggs down gently. I hadn’t given him my expectations.

But isn’t that what we do many times with our children? We get frustrated at their behavior, but we haven’t given them clear expectations of what their behavior should look like.

I believe most children WANT to please their parents. Shouldn’t we make it easier on them by giving them clear instructions and expectations BEFORE the situation arises?

For example, before church we might remind them: “remember, if an adult speaks with you after church, look them in the eye and answer them politely”. Or, before we go into the store we might review the rules with them. “Keep your hand on the cart and use quiet voices.”

Giving our children specific expectations gives them something concrete to remember and strive for. This helps our children succeed.

Then we can praise them for their efforts if they’ve met our expectation. (I believe I remember reading that the Duggars try to praise their children 10 times as much as they correct them!) Sometimes this will require follow-up. (Did they complete their morning chores thoroughly and correctly?). Sometimes they won’t meet our expectations, and of course we need to correct them.

But we can help our children succeed in developing godly character and behavior by lovingly giving them our clear, specific expectations, and then generously praising their progress and obedience.

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold
In settings of silver. Proverbs 25:11

Find this post helpful? Subscribe to Acorns and Oaks and you’ll get an email when there’s a new post up! Go to the top of this page and click on “subscribe“.

What a Great Career I Have

“Thank the Lord today for the precious children He has given you. Each one is a precious eternal soul that is going to live forever. Each one has a destiny to extend the kingdom of God on this earth. And you are privileged to be their mother—to train and teach and prepare them for life and eternity. What a great career” -Nancy Campbell


Linked up to Women of Noble Character

How Are Boys Like Puppies?

My first two children are girls. When I had my first son, of friend of mine told me that boys are kind of like puppies. To keep them happy, feed them well and walk them everyday. While this sounds a bit demeaning (boys are certainly much cuter and smarter than puppies 🙂 ), there is some truth to her advice.

My two -year-old is in the throws of the terrible/terrific twos. 🙂 But let him outside and he’s like a different child. My five year old is almost always happier outside as well. I love how God made my boys to want to challenge themselves physically, to take risks, to explore and create. The outdoors is such a perfect environment for this.

Often, it requires a sacrifice on mom’s part to take the time to bring little boys outside to play, especially when it is cold or rainy (or both, like it is here lately! ). However, letting boys play outside certainly keeps them happier, which makes for a happier mama! 😉