This Mother’s Day lesson uses a flower arrangement to help kids understand the challenges parents have with juggling responsibilities. And hopefully the next time they see their moms having a challenging day, they will understand that it’s time to give instead of time to pout or feel hurt.
Mother’s Day Lesson: The Mother Nobody Loved
– Silk or store-bought flowers
– six pretty blooms of different colors that will make a nice bouquet.
– Vase for flowers
– Construction paper
– Dark marker
– Drinking straw
– Scotch tape
1. Put all the flowers in the vase, making sure it looks pretty.
2. Cut out a perfect circle. Draw a mother’s face and hair on it. Tape it to the drinking straw and stick it into the center of the arrangement so that is smiles higher than the flowers. By this, the students will understand that the vase, in this case, represents a person – a Mom named Sylvia.
Hold up the vase and pat it like you’re loving on it. I’d very much like you to meet Sylvia. She’s my good friend. I have a story to tell you about Sylvia. Sylvia is a mother, and some say that is the best thing under the sun that you can be. But let’s see what happened to her…
Note: You’ll be passing out Sylvia’s flowers here. Try to remember who has which flower or pass them out in order. You’ll eventually be looking to get them back, and if you can get them back in the same order it’s compelling.
Her very talkative daughter came to her one day, very upset. “Mom,” she said. “Nobody listens to me! I’m like the invisible person in this family!”
“Why, sit down with me, daughter!” said Sylvia. Take a flower out of the vase that is Sylvia and give it to a kid at the table. “I will listen to you. I will give you the gift of my listening ears.”
Sylvia’s very beautiful daughter came to her and said, “Mom. I have nobody to help me take care of my very long and beautiful hair or my perfect skin! My hair needs to be braided and curled and brushed if it’s going to stay pretty!”
“Why, sit here, daughter!” said Sylvia. Take a flower out of the vase and give it to a different kid at the table. “I will have time for you. I will give you the gift of my time.”
Her oldest son came to her. “Mom. All the other kids can do something. I’m a big ding dong. I need to learn an instrument.” Take a flower out of the vase and give it to a different kid at the table. “Why, I play piano!” Sylvia said with enthusiasm. “I will teach you. I will give you the gift of my talents.”
A younger son came to her. “Mom. I’m afraid of spooks at night. They’re in my closet. They’re under my bed. You keep telling me I’ve a great imagination, but guess what? I don’t get any sleep, and if I do sleep, I have bad dreams.” Take a flower out of the vase and give it to a different kid at the table. “Imagination is a gift from God,” Sylvia told her son. “I will stay up with you at night and we’ll tell wonderful stories to each other about God’s love and how He protects us with angels! I will give you the gift of my sleep.”
Sylvia’s youngest children were twin girls. But they were different as night and day! One was good in English and the other was good in math.
“If I’m ever going to be a scientist, I need to go to science camp!” the scientific daughter announced. “Everyone is going!” Take a flower out of the vase and give it to a different kid at the table. “Well, I don’t have a lot of money,” Sylvia said. “But I’ll give you all that I have. I’ll give you the gift of my money.”
The last daughter said, “I’m the youngest in this family! I never get anything! There’s never anything left over for me!” Take the last flower out of the vase and give it to a different kid at the table. “I’ll admit I don’t have a lot,” Sylvia said. “But I always love you. Because you’re the youngest, you’ll live in my house longest, and I will always give you the gift of my love.”
Now that the vase stands empty except for the face, hold it out in front of the children. Sylvia could not have been happier. The daughter to whom she listened became a great public speaker. Her second daughter became a stunning fashion model. Her oldest son became a concert pianist. The son with the great imagination became a famous children’s writer. The daughter she sent to science camp became a doctor. And the youngest, the one who got Sylvia’s love the longest, became a mother herself.
But… bring Sylvia close to your chest in sympathy. A funny thing happened. Sylvia got old. Nobody came to visit her. Nobody called. Why not? Her children said things like this:
“She used to be so pretty. But now? She’s so plain!”
“She’s so empty! She’s boring.”
“Why should we give her anything? She’s got nothing to give us!”
If the drinking straw has a bendable neck, bend it down. If not, turn her face into your shoulder so she can cry. Pat her sympathetically. Well…Sylvia said she was happy…but really, she wasn’t.
At the end of the day, there are a lot of mothers who feel empty. They have listened; they have given their time, talents, sleep, money, and all of their love. What has happened to make them feel so empty? Their kids took and took and nobody gave back.
Some nights your moms feel worn out. They may have yelled; they may have gotten just plain empty. What might have caused that? Everybody took; nobody gave back.
Moms are just bigger human beings. They have big feelings. If everyone just takes and takes from Mom, what happens? They feel empty. They’re not pretty.
How can we fix that? How can we treat our moms, so they don’t end up like Sylvia? It’s not that hard! Let me show you! Take one flower back and put it in Sylvia’s vase. We can be Mom’s listening ears for a few minutes. Mom has problems sometimes. We don’t have to solve them. Sometimes Mom just needs a little sympathy – and a good listener.
Take another flower back and put it in Sylvia’s vase. We might spend two hours in front of the TV set. Why not give Mom the gift of ten minutes of our time? We could sweep a floor during a commercial break – or fold some wash or just give a hug!
Take another flower back and put it in Sylvia’s vase. If your parents have put time and money into lessons for you in something, why not say something nice, like, “Mom, this song is for you” at your recital… “This competition is for you, Mom,” at your gymnastics meet. “I painted this picture for you, Mom. Thanks for the art lessons.”
Take another flower back and put it in Sylvia’s vase. If Mom is tired, why not let her sleep in on Saturday? Or make her breakfast in bed?”
Take another flower back and put it in Sylvia’s vase. When Mom doesn’t have enough money, why not say, “I understand, Mom. I can go without a while longer. My complaining won’t raise money.”
Take the final flower back and put it in Sylvia’s vase. We can always give Mom our love. It takes no time, money, talent or energy to say, “I love you, Mom, and I’m glad you’re mine.” All kids love their moms. But some moms are so shocked to hear it that they don’t know what to say!
If Sylvia’s children had given back just a little bit…what would have happened to Sylvia? Hold out the whole beautiful bouquet. She would have been beautiful again.
It’s Mother’s Day. The Bible says “Honor your mother.” Though a lot of people today hardly ever think of it.
Let’s us Christians think of our moms as beautiful bouquets. When they give something to us this year, let’s think of some small way we can give back – a little time, a little energy, a little love. And when our moms are old and gray – even if they yelled, even if they make mistakes–their lives will be filled with your love and will never be empty.