I fear that we are headed down a slippery slope when it comes to one aspect of parenting. And we at least need to start talking about it.
For some reason we have this strange belief that it is our job to entertain our kids all. the. time.
In case you aren’t convinced … feel free to browse Pinterest for a few minutes or visit one of the amazing blogs with activities for children. I, too, am guilty of spinning my wheels day after day, trying my hardest to provide fun experiences for my children … all in the name of being a good mom.
Yes, we want our kids to have a happy childhood with a variety of experiences. But this certainly doesn’t mean that the mark of a good mother is spending all her time creating and engaging her kids in those activities.
My goal as a parent is to raise my children to know, love, and emulate Jesus. Entertaining them is not what should take up the majority of my focus. My focus should be on others, just as Jesus' was. After all, the two greatest commandments are loving God and loving others.
So, what is a mother to do?
Meet their needs of feeding, changing, and bathing? Yes.
Teach our children? Yes.
Engage with our children in play? Yes.
Enjoy our children? Yes.
Play with our children? Yes, although not every minute of the day.
Encourage our children to think of others before themselves? YES!
Laugh with, tickle, and kiss our sweet babies? OF COURSE!
Entertain our children every minute of the day? No.
The fact is, when we make it our mission in life to make sure that our children are entertained and having fun, we are teaching them that life is all about them! It also can prohibit children from using their imagination and creativity to come up with something fun to do on their own. This is a problem with my firstborn—I continually entertained him from birth to 2 years of age, when his little brother was born, and now he has a hard time playing on his own.
Rather than going out of our way to find ways to entertain our kids, let’s go out of our way thinking of opportunities that we can serve and love others together.
This article originally appeared as a post on MomLife Today®, FamilyLife's blog for moms.
Copyright ©2013 by Jenae Jacobson. Used with permission.
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