Thursday, March 22, 2012

Benefits of Mothers and Daughters Reading Together

La Lecture by Berthe Morisot

"My son, hear the instruction of your father,
And do not forsake the law of your mother;
For they will be a graceful ornament on your head,
And chains about your neck."

~ Proverbs 1:8-9

Proverbs 1:8 in the NIV phrases it, "Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching."

As mothers, we feel like we are always teaching, preaching and lecturing (and rightly so!) which is why I wanted to share a peaceful approach to instilling values into your children. What I have found to be very beneficial, is saving some of my "little sermons" for our special reading time together.  For once you enter that world of literature, much instruction from mother can take place in a natural and non-invasive way. The bonus is all those wonderful memories being shared together with wonderful books which also imparts a broader knowledge of vocabulary, history and human nature.

Radient Morning by Lisa Auger
I am not merely speaking of daughters who can not read but more specifically, those that do. Older daughters have a lot of physical, emotional and spiritual needs which reading time with mother can help to nurture.  Reading a variety of literature, inspirational and instructional books help to place experiences and ideas in front of them prior to them experiencing them in the "real world". This is so helpful because we can not follow our children or grown daughters around all their life (though some may want to!). They are eventually going to be unleashed and alone in this wicked world. We may wonder if we taught them enough? Are they prepared for what is ahead or what situations may lie in their paths? This is where the beautiful bonding of reading together comes in!

Through the pages of noble books, we are placing thousands of different scenarios in front of our dear daughter's and, we are available at that moment to offer gentle instruction in a "should this happen to you, sort of way". We are placing a scene detailing the importance of honesty, purity, mercy or perhaps even safety before them! We are watching a character from a book being introduced into a potentially harmful situation. Or, perhaps the girl in the novel is facing a spiritual dilemma. Now, at that point, we can discuss the appropriate way to handle the obstacles that are placed before the main character in the book. What does Scripture teach about this certain situation?  This would be applicable for all ages and reading, whether it be picture books, chapter books, classics or instructional books. We have the perfect opportunity to share the wisdom of God to our children through carefully chosen literature.

Reading by James Shannon

For example, in the book, Dear Princess: A Book for Girls by Mary M. Landis, the author places some girls in a situation where they are alone, walking on a country road when a car of strange boys drive by and start to interact with them. There are many safety lessons at that point that can be discussed with your daughters. What would they have done in a similar situation? What would you suggest is a good approach to their predicament? You are able to place the seed of safety into your young maiden's heart prior to experiencing something on her own. She is that much more prepared and wise for the outside world.

When reading Beautiful Girlhood by Mabel Hale, the "Dreams" chapter beckons us to ask our daughter's to share their dreams. Have they changed since she last spoke of them?  Are they godly goals? If so, what preparations can be made in order to facilitate them? If they are lacking in noble direction, your motherly instruction described in Proverbs would be in order.

Another example would be, when reading something as pleasurable as Anne of Green Gables together, we can stop at the chapter when Anne loses her temper and hits Gilbert over the head with her slate. We can ask our daughter casually, "what would you have done?" We can talk together about a more "fitting" way to have handled that test of patience and we can laugh about how we may have wanted to handle it like Anne!

A Story Read by James Tissot
Reading together gives you the opportunity to see how your daughters react to certain circumstances. It is the perfect time to talk about situations hypothetically instead of waiting for something to happen in "real life" when you may not be available to help her. Discuss different scenarios with her so that if she ever experiences it in "real life" she has your loving insight to fall back on should the need ever arise…

Here are some Biblical minded books which will help to build a bond between you both when reading and reflecting on the words together. 
Don't forget that a cup of tea always nurtures a cozy and peaceful atmosphere together.

"My son, keep your father’s command,
And do not forsake the law of your mother.
Bind them continually upon your heart;
Tie them around your neck.
When you roam, they will lead you;
When you sleep, they will keep you;
And when you awake, they will speak with you."
~ Proverbs 6:20 - 22

Dear mothers and maidens, this message of teaching is written TWICE in Proverbs which only stresses the importance of passing knowledge down to your children. What better way than by your example, the influence of good and proper books and the Scriptures to guide you through life's lessons. It prompts the question in your child's mind, "What would Jesus do?" and by God's grace and your diligent instruction, the Holy Spirit will strengthen them to do it!

Mother and Daughter by George Goodwin Kilburne

It is also worthy to mention that the same concept applies to your young men as well in order to develop the character of a true, godly, courageous gentleman who will one day lead a home of his own in honor to God, and be a future husband to a godly maiden.







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12 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this post! I am so encouraged this morning. Have a blessed weekend!

    Mrs. Sarah Coller

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    1. I appreciate your kind comment so much! Thank you :)

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  2. Appreciate this! Between the two of us we have four daughters (so far!) and we both read to our girls very often. It's such a special time to cuddle and read and dream together!

    --Daja and Kristina of The Provision Room

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    1. I agree!!! :) Thank you for visiting.

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  3. Wow wonderful suggestions, thank you for this wise post. I found you at a wise woman's link up.

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  4. Thank you for the great suggestions!

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    1. You are welcome, thank you for visiting :)

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  5. JES, As always, this has spoken to me!! the older she gets the less I do!!! I will have to change that!! Many blessings, dear friend

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  6. Great Suggestions :) Thanks!

    http://christianmodestyblogger.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks for coming to "call" :) ~ JES

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  7. what a nice post and I'd appreciate the suggestions and ideas.
    Cheers xxxx
    Regina
    Mother Daughter Quotes

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