The Year of Motherhood: Encouraging our kids

Year of Motherhood by Jamie Ivey

MAY RECAP – encouraging my kids

My May challenge was to spend time daily encouraging each of my kids.

The definition of encourage is this:  to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence.  To stimulate by assistance, approval, etc.  To promote, advance, or foster.

I sometimes find myself more as an office manager of our company, AKA “team Ivey household”, and not the cheerleader that I ought to be to my kids and even husband sometimes.  I find myself concentrating on making sure this ship sails and doesn’t sink, instead of helping my children learn to sail this ship with me.  Mommy-hood is demanding and often we neglect the little people that we are supposed to be pouring into so much.

One-on-0ne talk time.

This month was a chance for me to literally think about encouraging my kids each day.  The first few days I would sit each of my kids down during the day and find something to build them up about.  Whether it was me catching them help a sibling without being asked, taking turns with a toy, minding the first time, or trying really hard to control their tongue I was praising them about it.  I loved that!  Not only was I encouraging them, but I was spending one on one time with them, and for Amos who needs special moments, I was also holding him in my lap and providing bonding time for just the two of us.

Bed time became my favorite time to encourage.

Then things got busy, and that happening every day, turned in to every few days, or one kid a day even.  Time slipped by and busyness crept in.  What I learned during this time, is that I have a built-in time each day that it’s just me and one kid.  I don’t have to stop making dinner to do this, I don’t have to send other kids to play while I do this, I don’t even have to take a kid on a special mommy date to do this.  This happens each and every day and that is TUCK IN time.  I began to view bedtime differently.  I began to see it as a time to talk to each kid and let them talk to me.  I had their undivided attention and they had my whole attention as well, and for a kid with three other siblings all grabbing for moms attention, they love the one on one time.

This month bedtimes of course included the normal 1,579 questions that they ask me each night about everything in the world, but also me talking to them.  I was encouraging them at night by telling them things I was proud of them about.  I was telling them how I was seeing God work in their lives.  I was talking to them about Jesus and his great big plan for us.  I was trying to give them confidence, guide them, give them my approval, guide them in the ways of the Lord, and foster a bond between us that I pray will grow stronger and stronger over the years.

How I encouraged this month.

This month I left them notes in their lunch boxes, I wrote them letters and mailed them to them (don’t kids just love getting mail!), we made special dinners, we had hammock time together, we prayed together, and I even bought them signs that were designed specifically for them.  I picked words that I thought described my kids well, or character traits that we are praying for them, and a cute little shop called, Doodle Graphics, created a special sign for each of them.  I love these, and although they aren’t the coolest things in the world to my kids, I pray that one day they’ll realize the special words we picked out and how much we love them and wanted to encourage them to grow into these words as well.

I was reminded this month of how great my words can effect my children.  I’m asking God constantly to allow me to leave good words on their hearts and words that encourage them to grow into people who love God and love people dearly.

Next month we’re learning the FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT.

June will be a fun month because we are going to pick some of the fruits of the Spirit and spend time learning and practicing them!  Galatians 5: 22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”  I think this next month will be a great time for us to spend time learning about how God wants us to act and what he gives us to complete that.  I know that I will be challenged as a mom to live out the fruits of the spirit just as much as my kids will be!


How did you spend time encouraging your kids this month?  Have you spent time teaching your kids about these character traits?  If so, we’d love to hear what you did and how you did it.  Wanna join me this month in teaching and learning with our kids about how these can play out in our lives each day?

Click HERE to join us in this discussion!

Leave a Comment



  • Avatar beth lehman says:

    i love the intentionality of this post – I have some work to do, here. Reminds me of this idea – journaling with/to your kids:

  • Avatar Jamie says:

    Beth thanks so much! I have seen a change in one of my kid this month and think it has to do a lot with me trying to be more intentional in all my words to him.

    The “conversations” notebook sounds amazing and that just might be a new tradition I start in my house very very soon! Thanks for that recommendation!

  • Avatar SarahH says:

    LOVE IT! I think I’ll join you for the June challenge…we can take 3 days to focus on each part of the fruit of the Spirit and do a recap for the last 3 days. What a super summer idea–and you’re right–I will definitely focus on it for ME, too, as I try to focus on it for our kids. Praise God for what He will do!

  • Jamie, I think it’s awesome to to have time each day (or as regularly as possible) one on one with your kids. I think even if you are not deliberately aiming to encourage them at those times they still feel encouraged and heard. That is probably the biggest thing that kids want to feel is listened to by their parents. I too view bath/bed time differently now. I try to take the time to read a story and sit and talk with each child during this special time of the day.

  • Avatar Diane says:

    It’s such a good point you make about having their undivided attention at bedtime. Often times I find myself trying to secretly skip parts of stories or rushing through prayers because I’m sooooo tired and ready for my “work day” to be over. But like you said, it’s my only time of the day when each child has my complete undivided attention. It’s the only time my twins aren’t pulling me towards themselves and away from the other, the one of the few times when I’m not saying for what seems like the 700th time, “just a minute, I have to ——-.” It’s one of the only times during the day I’m not half paying attention to the big kids because I’m preoccupied with what my newly walking toddler is getting into.

    Last night my 4 yr old daughter asked to include a little girl she met one time at a wedding last weekend in our prayers. I melted. I teared up. I felt like there is so much going on inside her little head that I’m missing.

    Thanks for the reminder. It easy to get so busy managing my home that I miss the most important parts of being a mom.

  • Avatar Jessie V. says:

    We went through this book a little bit back: it has most of the fruits of the spirit and the kids liked reading the different stories.

  • Avatar maddalena70 says:

    This post was very inspiring. And really needed at this point of my life.

    I will make june my month for encouraging my two little girls.

    I will let you know the cobsequences.


  • Avatar Susan says:

    Hi Jamie,

    Love your ideas and the creative ways you’ve found to encourage your kids. My kids are in college now, but I send them a text message every morning. And it’s funny you mentioned “team” – that’s how we refer to each other! A typical text would be,
    “Good morning, team! Love you and praying for your day. Remember 2 Tim 1:4 today!”

    No matter how old they get or how far they go, they’re still my babies!

  • Avatar Mandy Moore says:

    What a good encouragement to not rush those last moments of my “work day” by trying to be done quickly with the tuck ins! I find this super hard with my two oldest who go to bed an hour later than the younger two, and are old enough to read their Bibles on their own. I step into their rooms for a final goodnight but I am often so worn out I don’t do much more than that. Sometimes I tell them points of the day I enjoyed with them and pray, I would like this to be a consistent occurrence! Thanks for the encouragement!