When a Mother’s Love Is Not Enough: 11 Things We Can Do to Help Our Children Through Trials
As I made my way up and down the aisles in the grocery story, my thoughts were at home with my child who was hurting. As I passed the candy aisle, I was reminded of the days when my children were young, and they could be cheered up with a hug, a prayer, and a treat! Not anymore. I grabbed a box of his favorite chocolates, and placed it in my cart anyway. “At least he’ll know I love him and I’m praying for him.” I thought. I drove home, put away my groceries, made my way to his room, and placed it on his pillow. He’d find it after he got home from work.
I miss the days when I would hug my children and my comfort was enough for them. As they get older and life begins to take its toll, a mother’s love is not enough to get them through the hard times. I cry when they cry. I hurt when they hurt. When they are nervous or confused, my stomach is in knots right along with theirs! It just comes with the territory of being a mom. We know in our heads that the trials of life can be used to grow our children up, mature them, and direct them to God. But I am convinced they are just as much for our growth and maturity as they are for theirs.
As much as we’d like to think we can, we cannot make it all better for our children, and we never could. But we can direct them, as we direct our own hearts, to God and to responding correctly. Not only will it help our children to learn how to respond,but it will help train our mother’s heart to depend on and trust God with our children. It will remind us that we are not in control.
Here are some things we can do to help our children through trials.
- Pray! Pray for them. Pray with them.
- Enter into their trial with them. Even if their trial seems small to you, remember it is not small to them. Don’t treat it like it is small.
- Pray that the trial would not distract them from God and that they won’t become angry.
- Be available to talk. Ask questions. Let them know you are there.
- Take them out to lunch or coffee.
- Leave them a gift or note on their pillow letting them know you are praying for them.
- Tell them they don’t have to feel awkward about how they feel, that it is normal, and that you understand.
- Hug them. A lot!
- Ask them regularly, “How can I help you right now?”
- If you see them choosing to spend time in the Word a midst their trials, and see them responding well, make sure you let them know that you see it and that they are doing well!
- And make sure you take the time to thank God for the work He is doing in your child’s life, and in yours!
Parenting never reaches an easy stage. Ever! It changes with time, but it never gets easy. It has been used in my life to make me aware of my constant, desperate need for God and has caused me to throw myself at His feet for help and wisdom.
And that is exactly what it was meant to do!
Great suggestions. Another one that has come to me lately is to text them around bedtime to let them know that God loves them as well as their father and I.
So true. So good, as usual, Gina. Great advice, Gina and Nell. 🙂
Thank you so much for this article! It reminds me that although I can’t “fix” him, there are still so many things I can do to support him- prayer not being the least by far, but also hands-on actions that help grow my faith. You know, its not God I don’t trust, but my child!
Thanks for share it… and remember us that we dont have the control nevertheless God has it.. 🙂
What you write is SO TRUE! I am the mother of six grown children with families of their own, and sometimes I long for the days when a kiss and a band-aid (that magical, stick-on, all-purpose cure for everything) was enough. So yes, I turn to God often in prayer. I have just been practicing spending 30 minutes a day speaking in tongues to God. It’s a discipline, and I have little or no idea what I’m praying for, but I know it’s of God’s choosing and therefore worth my time. I know I am connecting to his supernatural power – a power way beyond my ability to form prayers with my mind and mouth – to intervene in the lives of my kids. Already I’ve seen some things happen that couldn’t have happened any other way but by God’s intervention. So I turn to Him, often in desperation, and let him apply his band-aid.
I am a single parent who lost custody of my daughter to my grandparents when she was 4 years old. I fell into using drugs and became a addicted. Although i have been clean for several years and my current living situation is very hard because i have stayed with my grandparents with my daughter off and on. Even though I have tryed to be with my daughter everyday i found impossible because my and my grandparents fight and argue so i would leave because i knew it wasnt good for them or my daughter. I have been in and out of my daughter’s life for a many years. My daughter is turning 10 next weekend and I am trying to make things right between me and her as well as my grandparents. I am not aloud to take my daughter anywhere because they don’t trust me. I guess what i am asking is what can i do to earn my grandparents trust and my daughters so I can get on the road to becoming a good mommy like i used to be when she was little.