Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the younger women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed.

Friday, April 30, 2010

M.O.M.’s Mailbox- Your Relationship with the older children?


Good Morning Friends!
We are on our way this morning to pick up some goats and visit with friends! A fun treat indeed! Have a beautiful day!
Question: 2 questions. 1.) I admire the relationship you have with your older children! (at least the ones on facebook) How did you get to that point? 2.) You've run the gamut of ages with child-rearing...could you pinpoint the "hardest" age/stage of life? (I have a feeling the answer will be EACH stage has their ups/downs) but ...I love hearing your words so I"m gonna ask anyway!
Answer: I am very blessed to have a close relationship with all my children. My older children have come to the “spotlight” over the years and have also answered peoples questions about our home, parenting and lives. I know that is is by God’s grace alone that we achieve anything good. Please keep that in mind as you read my ‘answer”. I am only sharing how He led us. I am confident that I can do nothing good apart from Him!  May the Lord be victorious in each of our homes! 
#1 When my oldest was about five I remember an older Sister telling me, “Jeanette, your son actually wants to please you.” I have shared that wisdom with countless women through the years and kept in the forefront of my mind. See, before then I never gave that any thought. I just figured that they were interested in their own self desires and never desired to please me. I should have known that they too have that God created desire inside them to be accepted. When I started parenting through that reminder things started changing. Now, instead of me quickly rebuking a child for slamming the door (or whatever it may have been) I considered their motive. I took time to really think about what they were trying to do and talked to them about that. If they broke something, hurt someone or erred in someway I would carefully and prayerfully evaluate their motive.  There has been more than once that ‘others’ thought my child should be in trouble for something they did but I truly felt the Lord telling me that no discipline was needed only instruction. The children learned that mommy was truly there to care about them! I wasn’t just there to demand they live my way. I wanted to help them live under God’s direction with their own unique personality. When people try to put our family in a “box” they find it difficult when they come to my children because they are MUCH different than myself. And in my opinion that’s the way it should be. I grew up with my parents letting me live my dreams. I want to do the same for my children.  I wanted them to view me as not only a God given authority in their live but as a mentor, a fellow Sister in Christ that was there to help them in their weakness, encourage them in their strengths and lead them faithfully to the Lord. I wanted to live honestly in front of them not as a perfect parent but as a forgiven sinner.  These are the things I have strived for that have influenced my relationship with the older children. As I write this, I realize that this answer is a web of thoughts. So much comes to mind and I only hope I can write it clearly. If you have thoughts or questions, please ask again. Maybe this answer needs to be dissected. :-)

#2 Okay, moving on to the “easy” question now. :-) You’re right each stage has critical character developments that we must address. Many times people are negative about the “terrible two’s” I never had a problem with that age. Three years old was harder for me because I have so many independent children and they seemed to try and show their “authority” at that time. I never grew frustrated.. they were just too cute for that! But oh, how I did grow weary some days. I knew they were simply asking me if I loved them enough to lead them! I had to arise to each challenge and show them I was capable and faithful to mother them no matter how inconvenient it might have been to my “self” at the moment. What a critical stage that was!  I think often times people can make problems in their parenting or child’s live by following the World’s expectations. Children don’t have to be jealous of each new sibling that comes in the home. In fact, my children have always adored their new brother or sister!! Just yesterday, I listened as one of the older children dreamed of their relationship with their youngest brother. They talked about how they loved each of their siblings and each held a special spot in their heart. It was a joy to hear! SO.. keep this in mind. Don’t just assume because people say a bad character is “normal” that it is.. God calls it sin. Make sure you always keep that in mind no matter what stage you are addressing. For me, the hardest “stage” for me is any stage where a child struggles.. struggles with changes in their body, struggles with acceptance of boundaries… anytime a child is having a hard time accepting the Season of life they are in, I have to step up to the plate and walk them through it, those are the challenging ones for me. I guess because sometimes you just can’t “fix” it for your child no matter how badly you want too. They have to go through the growth, the heart work that God is leading them through and for a mom that can be a challenge to be part of. Hmm.. so many thoughts come to mind as I share. I am only reminded that parenting is truly not for cowards!
I hope some of my thoughts have helped! Thank you for participating and asking. I don’t always have, “THE ANSWER” but I know God does and I love to share how He led me, pray for you and see the blessings as you follow His leading!
With much love,
Mrs. Joseph Wood


  1. This part touched me:
    For me, the hardest “stage” for me is any stage where a child struggles.. struggles with changes in their body, struggles with acceptance of boundaries… anytime a child is having a hard time accepting the Season of life they are in, I have to step up to the plate and walk them through it, those are the challenging ones for me.

    I've never looked at it that way - but you are right - it's when the child is giving up their naps and struggling to move into the next stage - that I struggle too (trying to keep them in bed! lol) or when my son is struggling with self-control and how to use all his energy for good - that I struggle too - as I step up to the plate to train him through it!

    It seems after the long months of training when they finally learn the lesson they are struggling through - there is peace.

    You are SO right - thank you for this perspective!

    Much love,

  2. As a witness to the rearing of your children and the maturing of your walk before God, the key statement in your post is, "I think often times people can make problems in their parenting or child’s live by following the World’s expectations."

    I remember buying into the world's persistent lies as I was raising you and your brother. There were so many books that my friends were reading and so many courses that were offered to preschool moms and toddlers that "sounded so good", but they didn't have the basis of changing lives, pointing the children to God and following His principals for discipline and discipleship.

    As a grandmother, looking back at my own experience in child raising, yes, there are many things I would have done differently. But the one thing I would not have changed was my prayers, my love and my letting go when God said let go.

    Friends, letting go of your expectations (or the worlds expectations); letting go of self; letting go of mistakes or achievements and focusing on God's example of nurturing is the key to raising children. God has provided us with just the right word of encouragement, the right method of discipline and the right lessons to be learned in His Word. It's there that we find peace, knowledge and understanding. I would encourage each of us to abide in the Word not in the world for our answers to all of our needs within the family.

    Punkin, you have taught me so much by watching you raise your own. I'm amazed that you often reflect back to your own raising. The best part has been to know that even if I made mistakes, God was faithful to raise you into the beautiful young woman that you are today and that you have taken the steps to encourage others to see their children as His People.

    There's so much more I could say, I've said them so many times in our own conversations, but I guess the most important message I'd like to share here is that no matter what stage your child is in, no matter what accomplishment or rebellion they are facing, no matter how weary you are...don't lose hope, stay the course you have been given. You are not alone, you have the wisdom of the ages within your grasp of His Word and you have the Holy Spirit to lead you.

    Press on, Believe the best, and always act in love. You will see His reward in the lives you're investing in.

  3. Just wanted to let you know you're one of my twelve for the Sunshine Award! thank you for your posts!!