Mothers are uniquely prepared to become “experts” regarding their children. Many will tell you that they recognized traits in their children even in the womb. That certainly was my experience. My second child was destined for activity, as she would do what appeared to be somersaults that would produce energetic shape changes in my abdomen. She is also the child who kicked through much of my labor! My third was mellower in the womb but had the habit of tapping and tickling me with her fingers. Both girls manifested these traits after birth. I was getting lessons about them before they were born. Through the years, I observed other distinctive things about my children.
~ When my son was at the age of needing a nap, he would often pop out of his room early and announce that he had finished his nap. However, I was a keen observer and noticed that when he had napped his eyes were a deep royal blue. When he waited in his room until he felt enough “nap” time had passed, his eyes were pale gray. Because I observed him day-in-and-day-out, I knew when he still needed to nap.
~ My second child had a very acute sense of direction from the time she was very small. Her ability to direct us home on trips far surpassed that of her brother, almost seven years her senior. I learned to rely on this ability because of my propensity to get lost.
~ My youngest, almost from the outset, had a strong connection with music. I only appreciated how pronounced this was when we watched movies at home. Every so often, she would exit to the kitchen. Almost immediately, something scary happened in the scene. Before long, I realized that she was reacting to the change in music and was sensing that something dangerous or frightening was about to happen. Not wanting to experience that, she removed herself from the room. Even today, I can tell when something fearsome will happen in a film. I just look at her body language and I am prepared to be scared!
A mother who spends lots of time with her children learns their strengths and weaknesses very early. These are important lessons that she can use to help them develop positive character qualities and overcome areas of difficulty. The expression “a mother knows” may not always be quantified scientifically, but it is usually very accurate when it comes to predicting a child’s behavior. The more time and opportunity she has (as a stay-at-home mom), the better she will be in training her children in the way they should go.
Mothers should also be schooling themselves in the important matters of Biblical law and its application across all disciplines. Then their observations and conclusions will be better informed and alert them as to whether they need to seek outside counsel from a friend or mentor. However, whether or not a mother ends up being a homeschooling teacher or oversees the Christian education of her children in a day school setting, she should remember that when it comes to dealing with the experts, her own experience and observations should be consulted first!
- Andrea G. Schwartz
Andrea Schwartz is Chalcedon’s family and Christian education advocate, and the author of eight books including: A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven Family, The Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your Household, Empowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom Service, Woman of the House: A Mother’s Role in Building a Christian Culture, and The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education. She’s also the co-host of the Out of the Question podcast, the Chalcedon podcast, and has an active teaching schedule with women and high schooled students.. She can be reached at [email protected].