God designed us each to be different. He planned for boys and girls to each be different. They learn differently. They relate differently. They develop differently. All of the differences allow each and every child to be the unique person that God called them to be.
This week in Raising Up Boys and Girls, we explore what's going on in the lives of little ones between birth and age 4.
Disclaimer: As mentioned above, every child is different. While we can see trends in how boys and girls are different, that doesn't mean every child will follow them. Your child may exhibit some, none or all of these characteristics.
THEY ARE DISCOVERING EXPLORERS, WHO SEE THE WORLD THROUGH EYES OF LEARNING.
Little girls tend to be more relational, engaging, and imaginative. Little guys are usually active, adventurous, and curious. How each boy and girl is made determines how we guide them in their growth spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally.
Little girls are relational and connect at a very early age. They watch every move we make. Give your daughter boundaries, structure, and consequences because they help her feel safe and lay the foundation for her self-confidence. She also needs freedom to imagine [“So what princess are you today?”] Girls need to be admired and noticed. Your daughter wants you to see her as beautiful, smart, funny, and all the things she is. She needs and longs to be delighted in.
Little guys explore the world with their hands as much as their eyes. They are active and act first before they think. Your son may have to be "tricked" into conversation sometimes as boys aren't often keen on just talking. He needs you to give him simple, clear directions to follow. He can be aggressive, so having boundaries with consistent, realistic expectations is so important. He needs a safe place/way to release his emotional anger or frustration and help with putting those emotions into words.
LITTLE ONES FROM BIRTH TO FOUR YEARS OLD NEED TO HEAR THAT GOD MADE THEM, JESUS LOVES THEM ALL THE TIME, AND THEY ARE LOVED BY YOU.
- You can begin modeling prayer for them, and as their vocabulary increases, allow them to say their own prayers.
- Start early reading Bible stories to them.
- Sing worship songs with them.
- Repeat and repeat is the best way this age learns.
- People interactions help young kids learn about trust. You are giving them the first glimpses of our Heavenly Father on Earth.
No matter if you have a girl or boy in your life, God picked them for you! He wants you to be interested in everything about them. When you are a student of your child, you know what they are thinking when they are quiet, what they worry about, what brings them joy and sadness, and you know when to dig a little deeper into what is going on or when not to.
The early years in a person’s life are so important as you begin to lay the foundation for their future years. This is where God’s grace is so beautiful! He will guide you and direct you as you make parent wins and when you make parent mistakes. He uses kids in our lives to grow us.
Luke 10:21 “At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, 'I praise you, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because you have hidden things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.'”
Be dependent on God. He will show Himself to you right where you are. He will use the kids in your life to fully depend on Him.
Mimi Brookshire // Children's Minister