Raising resilient children is one of my top priorities as a mother. In the trenches of motherhood, though, our go-to response to our children, may not be a tool for teaching resiliency. It may just be a tool for survival because life comes at you fast throughout all the stages of parenting!
Raising Resilient Children
Twenty minutes into the day and meltdown number five was in full swing. And twenty minutes into the day I was already wishing I had a rewind button to take me right back to my comfy warm bed.
My only prayer in the moment was a quick but desperate, “Lord, how about a re-do until we get it right?”
Do you ever feel like a Mama living some version of an Adam Sandler movie? Like each day is a repeat version of yesterday’s issues? (and the day before … and the day before that?)
I think every Mama struggles with repeating herself 1,792,369 times. Like will the dishes ever make it to the dishwasher two feet to the left of the sink? But I also know that for many Mamas of children with special needs, there is an added depth to the repetition of struggle. For the child with special needs, getting unstuck often borders the impossible.
It’s not fun and in real life, there is no “rewind” button. It only takes one tricky shirt sleeve and we find ourselves wading through the shattered eggshells upon which we had ever so carefully been tiptoeing. We try to keep her world predictable and our mornings free of open-ended situations. Sticking to the same routine, we have everything ready and in its place.
But life happens.
And it happens to all our children whether typical or with special needs.
The difficulty comes. Pain demands its space in hearts and bodies. Obstacles both big and small appear along the journey. So, how will our children do when these moments or seasons of life appear?
What is a Resilient Child?
It’s at the heart of our hope, right? First and foremost to love God and follow Him with passion which in and of itself aligns much of their lives. However, we want to raise resilient children. Children who get back up when life hurts and knocks them down. Who fail forward and never allow the enemy to convince them to give up. Children who keep their hope alive.
There are many strategies for raising resilient children. But today I’m here to remind you of the most important strategy.
The strategy of prayer.
Mamas, pray for resiliency, determination, and motivation. Pray fervently. Pray with a prayerfully expectant heart.
Not sure where to start? Maybe you need some fresh thoughts about resiliency to ask on behalf of your children. Or even some new scripture to pray you hadn’t thought of before? Below is my prayer. One, in various versions, I pray over and over again on behalf of all my children, but at a deeper level of fervency for our daughter with special needs. I’ve left blanks where you can fill in your child’s name.
May this prayer be another tool as you raise resilient children.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I am in awe of the way in which You have so intricately and uniquely formed each of our minds, abilities, strengths… as well as our weaknesses. I thank You for filling each of Your children with a gift to use and a fulfilling joy when that gift is discovered and put into action.
However, I’m aware that the sin of our world selfishly inflicts pain into the minds and souls of the most innocent of Your children. This pain disrupts Your perfect design, and these precious children are left with wounds. Wounds that create apathy. An inability to see the future. And a void where determination and motivation may have flourished.
In the face of that Lord, I pray for a spirit of resiliency to fill my child. I know the enemy desires to see ___________(child’s name) sitting back, failing to reap all the harvest that is his/hers to be had. But, Lord, Your Word says “For __________(child’s name) is God’s masterpiece. He has created ___________(child’s name) anew in Christ Jesus, so he/she can do the good things He planned for him/her long ago.” (Eph 2:10).
The mountains before ___________ (child’s name) are huge with much to overcome. But with You he/she will overcome them. I claim Your promise that says “…despite all these things, overwhelming victory is __________’s(child’s name) through Christ, who loved him/her.” (Rom 8:37) With You as his/her strength, the struggles become a bridge to living out a life with significant impact for Your kingdom.
I ask, Father, that the gifts You have given ____________(child’s name) are not wasted, but instead awaken in his/her spirit creating a deep awareness of the plan You have for his/her life. I ask that he/she no longer back down, give up, or rebel against challenges, but instead receive each challenge and step forth as a resilient child – as a child of the One true King. And may You pour Your blessings and favor upon his/her efforts.
And for myself, Lord, may I witness my precious child living a life fully embodied by the gifts You have given him/her. May I see the fruits of his/her efforts evident in his/her daily life. And may I see joy dance across ___________’s (child’s name) face and settle in his/her heart.
In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.
**Find this PDF Printable in the Library of Hope
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