Have you ever noticed that every time you mess up as a parent, whether it’s saying a bad word or sneaking a candy bar after you told the kids no more candy, or that they should eat a healthy snack that your kids catch every second of it?

Children absorb and learn about the world by using their senses to see and hear going on around them. (That’s why the saying, “actions speak louder than words” is so true!)

Have you ever thought about what you want your kids to learn from you?  Being intentional parents, we want our kids to be better than we are, to grow up having a better life than we do, and to live a full life of potential which means we need to be the best example for them!

Here are 3 things I want my kids to learn from me: 

  • To Pray!

Do you show your children that you pray, too? I didn’t grow up in a family where we prayed together except at church or meals. I think it’s important to show my kids that prayer isn’t only for Sunday church or meals. Prayers are for any time because they are just having a talk with God. Pray when things are hard. Give God the Glory when great things happen!

We talk about prayer a lot in our household. We say prayers for kids who had a tough day at school. We pray for family members who are struggling with a problem. We recently had one of our pets go missing for a week. The kids prayed every day that this pet was in a good place, with loving people, and if it was God’s will, that it would come home.

  • Reading is fun (and important)!

I love to read! However, I don’t always find time to read in front of my kids! I read on the elliptical and before bed but those aren’t times my kids are seeing me with a book in hand.

I recently read Gretchen Rubin’s book Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits–to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life and she mentioned this great acronym DEAR that one of her daughter’s teachers had adopted in school. DEAR stands for “drop everything and read.”

I think this is an awesome idea and after talking about this with my husband, we adopted the DEAR philosophy not only to show the kids that reading is important but also to encourage them to read more each day for fun (and they’ve loved it)!

  • Help others who are struggling!

There are so many people struggling in the world. It’s not hard to serve others. There are fun ways to serve other people! Many of them you can do as a family such as packing meals for Feed My Starving Children, taking kids to pick out toys or clothing for children in need during the holidays, packing backpacks for kids before a new school year, or making cookies for elderly neighbors.

In an ideal world, I’d love to do these type of activities at least once a month. However for many families that isn’t possible. We make a goal to do some type of service once a quarter. It’s fun to pick out 4 family service projects and invest time and energy into those projects. If that’s hard for your family try a bigger project in the summer. There are no rules to service, it is a win for all when you do it!

These are just 3 things I want my kids to learn from me. There are many, many more! What would you like your kids to learn from you?

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Jenny

Hi! I’m Jenny! I grew up on a farm in between the 2 small towns of North Loup and Scotia, Nebraska. I spent my childhood chasing cattle, laying out irrigation pipe, bottle feeding bucket calves and racing turtles at Popcorn Days. My husband, Jason and I live on a farm south of Kearney and I am blessed to be a stay at home mom to 5 energetic kids and wife to my favorite farmer! Our oldest daughter is 11, our boy/girl twins are 7, our son is 5 and youngest daughter is 3. I created my blog, Women With Intention (http://womenwithintention.com) where you will find tools for living your purpose, managing your home, saving money, simplifying, growing your faith, loving your family and relationships, and embracing the season of life you are in. I believe that each woman can have it all, but not necessarily have it all at the same time! I'd love to connect at my blog, Facebook (http://facebook.com/womenwithintention1), Pinterest (pinterest.com/womenwithintent) or Twitter (@womenwithintent).

My Child with Special Needs Made His Own Way in His Own Time

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding child's hand walking across street

I want to tell you the story of a little boy who came to live with me when he was three years old. Some of you may find this story familiar in your own life. Your little boy or girl may have grown inside you and shares your DNA or maybe they came into your life much older than three. This little boy, this special child, my precious gift has special needs. Just five short years ago, he was a bit mean and angry, he said few understandable words, and there was a lot about this world he didn’t understand. Unless...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter as You Grow into Yourself

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Girl in hat and dress-up clothes, color photo

My daughter, I watched you stand in front of the mirror, turning your body left and right. Your skirt was too big and your top on backward. Your bright blue eyeshadow reached your eyebrows and bold red blush went up to your ears. You didn’t care. I watched you marvel at your body, feeling completely at ease in your skin. You turned and admired yourself with pride. You don’t see imperfections. You don’t see things you are lacking. You see goodness. You see strength. RELATED: Daughter, When You Look in the Mirror, This is What I Hope You See I’m...

Keep Reading

Organized Sports Aren’t Everything

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young girl with Alpaca, color photo

Today I watched my little girl walk an alpaca. His name is Captain. Captain is her favorite. He’s my favorite too. I met his owner on Instagram of all places. She thought I was in college; I thought she was a middle-aged woman. Turns out, she is in high school, and I am a middle-aged woman. This random meeting led to a blessing. We call it “llama lessons.” We take llama lessons every other week. It’s an hour away on the cutest hobby farm. Our “teacher” is Flora, who boards her llamas at the alpaca farm. She wants to teach...

Keep Reading

I Had to Learn to Say “I’m Sorry” to My Kids

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Mom hugs tween daughter

My two oldest kiddos are at the front end of their teen years. I remember that time in my own life. I was loud, somewhat dramatic, I let my hormones control me, and I never—ever—apologized. This last part was because no one ever really taught me the value of apology or relationship repair. Now, I could do some parent blaming here but let’s be real, if you were a kid whose formative years were scattered between the late ’80s and early ’90s, did you get apologies from your parents? If so, count that blessing! Most parents were still living with...

Keep Reading

5 Things Your Child’s Kindergarten Teacher Wants You To Know

In: Kids, Motherhood
Child raising hand in kindergarten class

I am a teacher. I have committed my life to teaching children. Of course, before I began this career, I had visions of standing in front of a group of eager-eyed children and elaborating on history, science, and math lessons. I couldn’t wait to see the “lightbulb” moments when students finally understood a reading passage or wrote their first paper. And then I had my first day. Children are not cut out of a textbook (shocking, I know) but as a young 23-year-old, it knocked me right off my feet. I was thrown into the lion’s den, better known as...

Keep Reading

To the Extended Family That Shows Up: We Couldn’t Do This Without You

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Family visiting new baby in a hospital room

This picture—my heart all but bursts every time I see it.  It was taken five years ago on the day our daughter was born. In it, my husband is giving her her very first bath while our proud extended family looks on. It was a sweet moment on a hugely special day, but gosh–what was captured in this photo is so much more than that. This photo represents everything I could have ever hoped for my kids: That they would have an extended family who shows up in their lives and loves them so deeply.  That they would have grandparents,...

Keep Reading

You’re Almost Grown, But You’re Always Welcome Back Home

In: Kids, Motherhood
Teen in room studying with computer and smartphone

Dear child, In the days before you could walk or talk, there were times when you would wail—when my rocking and shushing and bouncing were seemingly futile—but it didn’t matter. Each day and night, multiple times, I always picked you up and welcomed you back into my arms. As a toddler and a preschooler, you had some pretty epic meltdowns. There were times when you would thrash and scream, and all I could do was stand by and wait for the storm to blow over. Eventually, you would run to me, and I would welcome you back with a warm embrace....

Keep Reading

No One Warned Me About the Last Baby

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding newborn baby, black-and-white photo

No one warned me about the last baby. When I had my first, my second, and my third, those first years were blurry from sleep deprivation and chaos from juggling multiple itty-bitties. But the last baby? There’s a desperation in that newborn fog to soak it up because there won’t be another. No one warned me about the last baby. Selling the baby swing and donating old toys because we wouldn’t need them crushed me. I cried selling our double jogger and thought my heart would split in two when I dropped off newborn clothes. Throwing out pacifiers and bottles...

Keep Reading

Parents Are Terrible Salespeople for Parenting

In: Kids, Motherhood
Tired mother with coffee cup on table, child sitting next to her

As the years of fertility start to wane, many of my childless peers are confronted with the question, “Should I have kids?” With hesitation, they turn to us parents who, frankly, seem overwhelmingly unhappy. They ask sheepishly, “Is it worth it?” We lift our heads up, bedraggled, bags under our eyes, covered in boogers and sweat and spit up, we mutter, “Of course! It’s so fulfilling!” It’s like asking a hostage if they like their captor. Sure, it’s great. We love them. But our eyes are begging for liberation. Save me, please. I haven’t slept through the night in years....

Keep Reading

Soak in the Moments because Babies Don’t Keep

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Roller coaster photo, color photo

I love marking the moments, the ones that count—making a note and storing them for memory. But I often miss out on them when it comes to our oldest. ⁣ ⁣The day he wanted to be baptized, I was at home with another kiddo who was sick. He called me from church excitedly, emphasizing he was ready and didn’t want to wait. I couldn’t argue with that, so I watched him go underwater through videos my husband and sweet friends in the congregation took. ⁣ ⁣On the day of his fifth-grade graduation, we found ourselves at the pediatrician’s office. Instead...

Keep Reading