We’ve all had the thought: “My kids don’t appreciate all the things I do. They expect their lives to run smoothly, but when things go well, they think it happens by osmosis.”
This is true to a large degree. It has been said by experts that kids take what they had a children and that’s how they define “normal” throughout their lives. That’s not great news for future adults who have drug addicts or abusers or just plain lazy parents. But what about kids whose parents provide well, work hard, and live good, clean Christian lives? They also perceive this as “normal.”
Why Kids are Often Not Naturally Thankful
The good news in that is they may push extra hard to provide this “normalcy” for the next generation. The bad news is they may feel that hard-working, responsible parents are like warm breezes on a sunny day or a pretty snowfall on a winter’s night. They just happen.
When Mother’s Day comes around, asking kids to be thankful for Mom can be like asking them to be thankful for breathing, sneezing and walking.
One mom, a devoted Christian since childhood, asked her 18-year-old son, “Tell me one thing about me you are thankful for.” Since his birth she had faithfully done his wash, cleaned his room along with the rest of the house, cooked from scratch four or five nights a week, and driven him to three nights of church or youth group each week. He looked at her for a moment and said, “Well. You make a good stromboli.”
She wonders with great anxiety. “He’s almost an adult. That’s what he’s going to remember me for?”
The Fifth Commandment says, “Honor thy father and thy mother” (Exodus 20:12). Some great Christian parents have wondered why the Commandment isn’t “honor thy children,” as we seem to spend much of our days doing just that. The reason probably has to do with our nature: It is within a parent to chronically love and think about and help their children; the reciprocate needs to be a Command, or it might not be fulfilled.
These 7 mini-challenges can help Mother’s Day to be different. If you want your kids to think of the details of being a mom–the hard-work, devotion, and constant search for answers to prayer – try these seven small things with your kids leading up to Mother’s Day. They may help your kids appreciate ALL the things you do for years to come:
Challenge #1: Ask Your Kids for a “Memory Jar”
Families with the finances could give something else too, but a memory jar is something cheap that you can cherish forever”¦or at least until next year when you will want another one. Provide a Mason Jar or a clean apple sauce jar or any sort of jar to your kids that has a lid. Give them things to decorate and paper and different colored markers – one color for each child.
Have each child use his or her colored marker and write on little slips of paper things they (1) remember fondly doing with mom, or (2) like that mom does. They should fold up each piece of paper and put it in the jar so that on Mother’s Day, you can open each slip, and throughout the year you can just reach in and grab a memory when you need a boost. If your kids are too little to write, have the big ones or Dad help!
Since you’re not asking for chores, expensive meals or allowance-derived presents, they should throw their back into this more than something else!
Wouldn’t you just LOVE a memory jar this year (I know I would!)! Let’s face it, most of us don’t have husbands and kids scanning pins on Pinterest for sentimental Mother’s Day gift ideas. It’s OK to give them a little “hint”! They will be thrilled to have guidance and you won’t be disappointed. Think about it- wouldn’t you love some little hints for Father’s Day?..
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