Our children are individuals. If you are a mother to more than one child, it can be easy to lose sight of this fact. As a mother of many, I have been prone to fall into this trap. There are ways we can sow into our children as a group, such as making good meals, having family read alouds and family game nights, taking them out to special places, etc.
But as individuals, they have more specific needs that we need to meet. Here are just four factors to consider when sowing into your individual children.
Sowing just means to plant seed for. We are planting seeds for a robust harvest of many kinds of “fruit”.
This is probably one of the more obvious factors but age has a lot to do with what we sow in and how we do it. Currently I have five children living at home who are all biological. They are 3, 5, 6, 8, and 11. My 3 year old does not require the in depth conversations my 11 year old does. He is happy just to have me sit and watch him play or help him with a puzzle. On the other hand, my 11 year old loves to pour out all her ideas on me and one way for me to sow into her is to listen and encourage her in these ideas.
When we do Bible reading, my younger children will not understand the deeper meanings of the Bible the way my older children will. I sow Bible stories and simple truths into my young children while I encourage conversation and critical thinking with my older children.
Clearly these look different from each other and this are just a couple examples. The more time you spend with your children individually, the more you will see their needs and the best way to sow into them. Conversely, when you see a child misbehaving consistently, this could be a sign they need you (or dad, or both!) to pour into them. These little seeds will bloom beautifully later!
When our two adopted daughters come home, ages 8 and 10, new needs of sowing will be present.
Some children are talkers and some are listeners. Some are thinkers some are doers. This will be another deciding factor of the best way to sow. My six year old is an affectionate guy and he needs me to sow in hugs, kisses, and cuddles. He needs affirming words and encouragement.
My five year old is active and needs plenty of good ways to be active. Failure to sow into her need to be active leads to lots of unreleased energy channeled in the wrong direction. It could result in more serious problems later in life if I do not sow into her self-discipline and healthy direction.
Our children will have passions for different things. What can we do to sow into them? Do they enjoy art? Sow into that passion by offering space and supplies to create–but even better than that is sitting and creating alongside them! I think art is a lot more forgiving than music or singing!
My daughters love to dance and my boys like baseball. Those are the extracurricular activities we allow them to do.
My six year old has a passion for music and wants to learn guitar. We are sowing piano lessons for him (first) so that when he is older, God can use his gifts for His glory.
Helping our children live out their passions isn’t enough on their own. Those passions need to be directed down the right avenue. We need to train our children how to be open to God’s calling on their life and seek what He would want them to do with these passions that would glorify Him.
This factor may not weigh in until our children hit a certain age, but eventually, it will come into play how we sow. And mothers and fathers will sow differently.
I believe this factor requires lots of conversation sowing. Lots of talks about life and roles. What does God expect from each gender and how should they respond? How can our daughters be excellent wives to their future husbands? One of the best ways to sow this seed is to lead by example. Let your daughters see you being an excellent wife to their daddy.
All of these things factor into how we can sow into each individual child.
There are a thousand little ways to sow. Our goal is to make sure we are sowing the right ways into the right children for maximum growth. We also need to make certain we are sowing into fertile soil. One way to prepare the soil is to pray for our children.
What way can you add to this to sow into your children? What individual need do you see standing out in your individual child?