THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE RULES THE WORLD.
That one, that rocker, that ROCK-STAR is the one and only:
We who are born from her are like her more than we know. She nurtures and sustains us, teaches and raises us her way and both instinctively and overtly, we become like her.
Mother, a real mother is a TEACHER. We learn from her. Some mothers are such good teachers that they create their own HOME SCHOOL. That mother wants her baby to grow in her ways, learn her values and keep her commandments lifelong. Other mothers teach in different ways. But all mothers should grow their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Nothing better than that.
A godly mother prioritizes Scripture. Bible study, her way, with her love and insight, can form the moral character of a child for a lifetime. A verse at a time, then a chapter, then a book and all of it, and the loving theology of the child is formed. The Bible becomes a living reality through mother. Mother instills a desire in the child to read, to study, and to thoroughly enjoy the wonder and the truth of the Bible. The hunger for the Word lasts a lifetime.
There is hardly anything more precious than a mother on her knees and in prayer, and her beloved child with her. Prayer and meditation strengthen a growing child like nothing else. The synergy of mother and daughter in prayer creates energy like hardly anything else. And the family, all, including and especially the father that prays together stays together, so they say. Nothing binds and bonds a family like prayer. That family prayer, unlike formal prayer in so many ways, is loving, real, heartfelt and personal. Daily time for prayer lasts a lifetime. It produces faith, belief, salvation and edification like nothing else. The family that prays without ceasing never ceases to be a family.
Such scripture study and powerful prayer are the real fruits of a Judeo-Christian heritage. They reflect the values, the character, the morals, the commandments of that magnificent heritage. They strengthen personal identity, energize the soul and sensitize the heart. Strong in the Word and strong in prayer makes one strong for life. Perhaps no one can make that happen like MOM.
But a mother teaches more. A mother teaches a child how to be healthy. A mother makes certain that a child eats right, grows with a healthy diet, learns the value of good food and the right eating habits. Good mothers are concerned with the weight of the child, knowing how important proper weight can be for the rest of life. Good mothers make certain that the child exercises, becomes involved in some sporting activities and otherwise leads an active life. How critical that is for the rest of the child’s life.
Mothers teach hygiene. Personal care. And how to dress and dress respectfully and take pride in the way a child looks.
How critical it is for a mother to explain, to talk about drugs, alcohol and smoking. Nothing will tempt or challenge a child more in growth than those three. Anyone can ruin a life. Educating and instructing a child in substitutes, better choices is so important, especially as a mother and a father lead by example. Do what I do and not just as I say.
How good to it is when a mother helps the child choose friends and peers. Whether neighborhood, school, church or other organizations, the choice of friends, peer influence is so important to the healthy growth of a child and the mother should play a lead role. Guidance and direction are so critical especially when a child is immature and unable to make right decisions.
How important it is that a mother and father instill in a child a sense of charity. A desire for philanthropy. It is critically important that any growing child have a sense of:
Especially others who are different, in color, race, ethnicity or gender. All are God’s creations and all should be seen as such with love and respect. Young children, in diapers, play together, have fun together, relate together no matter the color of the skin. They have no prejudice, the young and innocent of heart. God made them that way. How tragic when adults and their society change that. To dislike or hate a different other is something, as the old song says, which must be carefully taught for the child pure at heart knows no such prejudice. Good mothers teach a child to love the least of these. Love in the direst of circumstances is life’s most powerful thing and that is the love, like mothers, which never fails.
And the loving mother devotes time, real time, PRIORITY TIME to the child as person, as human being. Surely a mother cooks, drives, functions as soccer mom and otherwise tends to the daily needs and even wants of the child. But there is nothing like personal time, one-on-one time mother and child, shut out from the rest of the world, together alone to talk, really talk, from the bottom of the heart, no holds barred. No child would ever withhold anything from a truly loving mother, no matter what. But a child will withhold, withdraw and begin the loss of love and respect for a mother who becomes critical, judgmental and attempts always to be right. No mother can be and any child is sensitive to, instinctive about that. The child knows when it is all about mother for demand and criticism replace dialogue and praise. Good mothers never fail to praise a child, strengthen an ego, reward accomplishments and encourage more. Nothing builds character better than that.
At the same time, a mother makes certain the child knows right from wrong and is never hesitant to inject tough love and discipline when the conduct of the child so requires. There was a time when to spare the rod would be to spoil the child. Our society no longer permits the rod, physical discipline but there are many ways, perhaps better ways to teach accountability and responsibility which our younger generations surely need.
Perhaps the most important thing a mother can do is to:
Just listen. Adults are so prone to preach, lecture and talk. But it is extremely difficult for adults to just:
Let the child talk. Encourage the child to go deep, far into the recesses of the heart and mind, where no matter the subject, no matter how negative it may be, the child is encouraged to bear the soul, become fully comfortable with the truth knowing that whatever is said to the mother will be received confidentially and lovingly. Good listening encourages the child to go deeper. The mother does that by asking questions, prompting the child to be totally open and honest. That loving listening by mother may be the most important factor in the growth and maturity of the child. LISTENING IS TIME WELL SPENT!
Step by step, the child learns to make decisions, decisions for himself. Good parenting guides the child in decision making and most importantly the right decisions. The loving mother creates independence, a strong ego, confidence in an ability to form a life by making the right decisions. Good mothering encourages a child to be an adult as he or she would wish, to live life in a special and unique way, whether mother agrees or not. No matter what that well nurtured child does in life, she will always return to mother as the source of her being, grateful, deeply grateful for all that mother has done.
How critically important it is for a mother, and father to teach the child about citizenship. It is so very important for any child born in America to understand what America is all about. We are a nation special and exceptional, so the vast majority of us believe. There is opportunity and consequently responsibility in America like nowhere else. As such, a mother should teach her child the history of this great country. The American past should be studied from a mother’s perspective and only as she can teach. The scholarly aspect may be important but what is more important is what a mother thinks, what a mother understands, knows, appreciates and loves about America. Her sense of citizenship and appreciation should be conveyed to the child. Academia more so than ever ignores American history, real history and reconstructs it to suit a progressive reinterpretation. Go back to American basics, mom, the roots of America so that your child can be a proud American. Raise your child the Kennedy way and teach that child as John F. Kennedy did to:
ASK NOT WHAT AMERICA CAN DO FOR YOU.
ASK WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR AMERICA-YOUR COUNTRY!
Teach civic duty. All young men were once drafted, required to serve their country. Today there is no such requirement, all things voluntary. But it is even more critical that the child be engaged in civic functions, political activities, something understandable and fundamental no matter the age. Even if only once monthly, let the child share or participate in something political.
At an early age, the child should be acquainted with the American Constitution. The history of the formation of that document can be so interesting. Constitutional storytelling can be of such benefit to the growth of the child’s understanding. Americana can be made to come alive. Mothers can make it so with little effort and lots of love. Basic freedoms can be discussed, like freedom of religion, of speech, of the right to peacefully assembly, easily explained and illustrated to a child. Even a five year old can have thoughts, opinions and ideas with regard to freedom of speech especially as it relates to a Constitutional context. Mothers can do that, make it meaningful and understandable. A matter of minutes several times weekly can matter for a lifetime. That juvenile involvement with the Constitution can produce a respect for the Rule of Law, for others, and for living a right life which mother can teach better than any school. The time it takes should be an absolute priority, scheduled, regular, taking some of the incredible time devoted to social media, the cell phones, texting and twittering, and television.
Those set aside minutes really matter. Loving American mothers know the importance of that. Reading together and talking about the Constitution, American history and all things Americana are an absolutely critical part of a child’s education.
There are ways for every child to participate in elections, to vote. The voting age is now 18, even 17 in some states so that a child involved in voting choices early on can make intelligent ones later on. Discuss the parties, the candidates, the platforms and the issues in ways children can understand. Let them vote and follow the elections. They will become much more responsible citizens.
Teach them English, good English. So many today are lacking in language skills, communication capabilities and there may even be a growing disrespect in some ways for the language which is the root of our society. The larger the vocabulary, the better the person, the larger the opportunities. Teach language and communication, teach it and learn words, new words together. That can be enlightening and fun at the same time.
What a pleasure for those of us older to see a real mother at work. For it is work, but there is none more rewarding. A mother training, loving, instructing, sharing with a child are glorious things in life. Those mothers truly create the next generation and as they are, so their children will be. And so our country and even so much of our world will be. I for one salute you mothers, real mothers, praise you, encourage you and thank you for all that you have done in a selfless, tireless way as my mother did for me. Though no mother can be perfect, the strengths of the mother are those of the child. You should be proud, mom, of the fruits of your labors. Your children, strong, productive, independent, living lives as responsible human beings are your very finest legacies. Rejoice and be glad in them. You are indeed, mom, as ROCK-STAR, for you rocked that cradle and you made something very special happen. May God bless you for that, now and always, even as your children will honor, respect and love you for there is nothing in this world like:
A real mom.