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Mothering The Next Generation

By Teri M Bethel

Among the many roles a good mother plays are those of a nurturer, someone who encourages, a disciplinarian and a multi-tasker. Moms wear numerous hats and do jobs that have no titles and go without recognition or rewards. Many mothers continue to do for their children, both young and old, despite their behaviour or lack of appreciation of their service and sacrifices. Mothers, in general, have a resilience that parallels a Timex watch. No matter the emotional and physical licking, they keep on ticking.

Children having children

Regrettably, we’re in an age where having children outside the confines of marriage has become the norm. In some quarters, it is a scheme by some women to tax men to sustain their livelihood. Unfortunately, no real consideration is given to the long-term emotional and physical well-being of the child that is deprived of the love and security of a traditional family home.

Not all pregnancies are intentional, however. Some women and even little girls have been sexually assaulted and abused by men with unwanted pregnancy as the outcome. Despite the hideous way in which their child was conceived, many of them are strong enough to raise their kids even with the many challenges.

Regardless of how their children enter the world, it is crucial for mothers to be equipped with the best information for raising them. While most women will research the how-to’s of cooking, hair care or even their trade, very few seek information on family planning, marriage, relationships or parenting. This raising a kid on the fly style of management has many a family reeling in despair.

Intentional parenting

In the book “Kingdom Parenting” by the late Dr Myles Munroe and Dr Dave Burrows, Dr Munroe shares with readers that for parenting to be effective, it must be intentional. “Good parents,” he states, “don’t leave the job to chance; they do everything they can to prepare themselves…” Haphazard parenting is therefore ineffective and often yields a turbulent household with frustrated people.

While we would like to believe that every mother is good, history has shown us otherwise. Their intentions may be honourable for the most part, but raising children requires more than good intentions. It requires knowledge and care. For reasons beyond their control, some mothers spend little to no time with their children. Responsibilities to feed and clothe their children have torn them away too often to work two and three jobs per week. In such cases, children are often left to the mercy of people who are ill-equipped to care for them or do not have their best interest at heart.

If that wasn’t enough to send our families in a downward spiral, some mothers allow children to back-talk them, claiming it is their right of expression. Not allowing their child this opportunity in their eyes could be damaging to the child. At school, teachers who used to have to defend themselves from rebellious children are now having to face them along with their often disruptive parents who have failed to instil fundamental values in them. The hand that is rocking the cradle seems no longer interested in raising children who will fulfil their God-ordained purpose for their lives. Instead, many children are being raised as friends who don’t appreciate the importance of honouring their mothers.

How can fathers help?

Fathers can step up to the plate to support their children’s mothers in their positive efforts. They can:

  1. Be respectful when communicating with the mother

  2. Support the good the mother is doing in raising your child

  3. Avoid speaking ill of the mother in front of your child

  4. Be active in your children’s spiritual, physical, emotional and educational well-being

  5. Provide financial support for your child’s care

  6. Honour your commitments with your children

  7. Spend quality time with the children

  8. Discipline your child with an attitude of love

Qualities of effective mothers

We have come to expect all mothers to be excellent without giving them the necessary tools to ensure their parenting skills are sufficient. To get ourselves back on track so that mothers receive the honour that is fitting, we will need to embrace several qualities.

  1. As a mother, you must know who you are. If you don’t, your child will have some difficulty understanding their identity. Anyone who does not know who they are will quickly fall in the trap of being who they are not.

  2. Facilitate the spiritual growth of your children. It is vital to set the atmosphere in the home from early by teaching your children how to pray. Instead of sending your children to church, let them accompany you to church; lead by example.

  3. Nurture your children. Speaking inspiring words to them will build children up and not break them down. Encourage them to be the best they can be rather than making fun of their shortcomings.

  4. Humanely discipline your children. The correction you fail to instil at home will affect their ability to socialise effectively. Temper tantrums in the workplace are generally from adults whose communication and social skills were not addressed as kids.

  5. Live by example. The famously overused line of “don’t do what I do, do what I tell you to do” is still ineffective in raising responsible children. Children emulate what they see.

  6. Teach your children how to groom themselves. First impressions are lasting, you could be setting them up for failure or success.

  7. Train your kids to care for their homes. These necessary skills will help them in life to appreciate the value of their own property, work spaces and community.

  8. Protect their environment; avoid having multiple love interests in your home.

  9. Do not condone bad behaviour, enabling your child can cost them their life.

Mothering is not an easy task and can sometimes feel like a lonely uphill climb. The rewards, however, far outweigh the challenges when you employ sound judgement and godly principles in raising your children. Honouring mothers should be something that happens every day, but nonetheless, an annual celebration is undoubtedly a significant step in the right direction for selfless women who have invested their lives to mother the next generation.

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