With 3.6 million high school students graduating this year, I’m sure that means there are a lot of moms and dads who are doing some reflective thinking about the time they spent, or didn’t spend, with their child/children. Rebecca Yarger, home school mom, shares some of her thoughts below as she graduates her 2nd daughter:
As my kids graduate and leave-
It feels surreal.
As a young mom of many,
it really did seem that time moved slowly
The mountains of laundry
A kid or three always in my lap.
The domino effect of sick kids.
Years without sleep
I always felt behind
And I never quite felt like
I was ever enough for them.
I was consistently inconsistent.
The worst at bedtimes-
Terrible at rules and follow through
I was terrific at creating new plans—-
And terrificly troubled when it failed 2 weeks later.
Some years I felt more together than others.
Other years I was like a 1500 piece jigsaw puzzle with pieces scattered around the house.
Back when time felt stalled-
Still there was an urgency.
An urgency to be purposeful in my relationship with my kids.
I may have been a hot mess on all sorts of levels—- but—-
We played- we talked- we laughed—- a lot.
From the beginning- each of them had a voice.
Each of them knew they had value.
Each of them could find me and hold me hostage to their ideas, questions- stories.
More than anything- I wanted them to know the love of God.
I wanted them to know He hears them when they cry- and is near to broken hearts.
I wanted them to know that He dances over them and what God has made is good.
I wanted them to know that though a righteous person may fall seven times- he rises.
I wanted them to know that God’s love extends to the whole world- and we ought to love others as He loves us.
I wanted them to know that Grace is abundant.
God’s Love is offered freely and without restraint.
God’s Love does not depend on our performance or perfection—-
This is what I have strived for—
That my children would know these things
as I tried
to live out loud the Love of the Father-
I messed it up
Lost my temper-
Incredibly high standards-
Followed up by forgiveness
grace and love
Even Mom needs-
maybe I should say
especially Mom needs forgiveness.
I have one on my lap right now
with many more years of young ones at home.
My adult children and almost adult children don’t have the needs of yesteryear—
Yet- The urgency is still there- maybe now more than ever.
Thank you so much, Rebecca, for sharing this poem with us as you graduate another of your precious children. You have encouraged me to be even more intentional with my time with my children.
They are remembering the camping trip when it rained, the first fishing trip, the daddy/daughter date out to breakfast when she learned her multiplication tables, the Christmases and birthdays. There were little tiny tiny socks and tiny little sneakers. Now there are shoes for all kinds of things: soccer, hiking, work boots and high heels for going out.
What kinds of things did you make sure your kids knew?
Before graduation: If you still have a time with your children, teach your kids to:
- love God and do the things that will make Him happy
- read their Bible regularly
- tell the truth
- stand up straight
- look at people when they talk to them
- give a straight answer
- accept responsibility
- be loyal to your family
- be a good friend
- never do things that will mess up your life (like drugs)
- take care of your body
- work hard
- spend your money wisely
- save money
- delay gratification
- avoid debt
- take care of the things you have
- don’t wish for the things you don’t have
- seek advice for things you don’t know about
- remember that the girl/boy you are dating may be someone else’s spouse some day. Be respectful of them.
- kind to others
- look around and see the beauty of the world
- spend some time outside everyday
- go camping
- be a good storyteller about your travels
- sing or play an instrument
- have fun, but not at the expense of others
- be compassionate to those in need
- be faithful to commitments
- keep learning
- show a sense of accomplishment for a job well done
- think independently
Here are some other resources:
5 Values You Should Teach Your Child by Age 5 by Parents talks about honesty, justice, determination, consideration and love.
10 Life Skills to Teach Your Child by Age 10 by Parents reminds us of some unique experiences that we should give our children, like planting a seedling and knowing how to do laundry.
100 Things All Parents Should Teach Their Children by Amy Graff which includes such things as
- Love one another
- Tie shoes
- Brush and floss daily
- Ride a bikeJoin us!Youtube: Homeschool Christian Mom These videos discuss homeschool scheduling, working with your Littles, thinking long term and praying with and for your students.Mike Spohr writes about 27 Things Every Parent Should Teach Their Child. I love the pictures and videos this author uses to illustrate his points! The lazy plump people in space from Pixar’s Wall-E are used to show the reasons to live an active life. A video of a kitten sewing illustrates the importance of knowing how to sew on a button, fix a rip or iron a shirt.
David K. Williams has a different list in 10 Life Skills Every Parent Should Teach Their Kids. Some of these lists start to overlap (think, brushing your teeth and flossing). However, kids need to know that their reading and learning should never stop!
59 Things You Should Teach Your Children (put together for British Parents). I have included the first 6 items in this list because the oral hygiene reappears again!
- Always say please and thank you
- Respect your elders
- Show good table manners
- Always tell the truth
- Don’t talk to strangers
- Brush your teeth properly twice a day
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