Raising Grace: Are Our Children Gracious Enough?

As parents, we want to make sure we are doing our very best to raise our children with a little bit of grace. What does this mean to me? I do not mean saying “Yes Ma’am” and “No Ma’am” when talking to adults. I do ask this of my children and constantly remind them to say this, but that does not make them gracious. I want my children to go into this world with the best attitude possible, and I want them to share their compassion with the rest of the world. We do our best to teach them right from wrong and empathy for others, but how do we know they are being kind and courteous when we are not around? For the most part we won’t, until we do …gracious

Gracious Children

Of course my children are on their best behavior when I am watching them and correcting them. As a mother, we fear that our children will be left out or bullied when they are not with us. The sadness that they will feel if this happens; the hopelessness that they may experience; and most of all, as a mom not being able to protect them at all times. But another thing I worry about is my child BEING a bully or purposefully excluding another child from something. This would break my heart in half.

How do we know?

So the question remains. How are they when they are away from us? For the most part, we do not know how they behave, but in the last 3 months I have personally witnessed my son and his grace. These two experiences were all that I needed to confirm we must be doing something right, even though it may never seem that way. 

One day I took both kids to the Children’s Museum by myself, and I was running back and forth to make sure they were partially supervised. When I got back to the cafe to check on my son, there were two young mothers there with a little girl that was maybe 1.5 years old. They made a point to tell me how sweet my son was to the little girl. She was crying because she wanted the ice cream cone my son was holding. He gave her the cone and said “I don’t want her to be sad, she can have the ice cream cone.” Had I been there, I would have asked him to give the cone to the little girl. But I wasn’t there and he did it anyway.

The second experience was just last weekend at the soccer field. I had all 3 kids at the soccer field by myself and it was our weekend for snacks. His team had won the game and the other team had not scored any goals. Out of the corner of my eye. I saw him in the middle of the other teams huddle and I started screaming calling his name. He gave the coach a high five and ran to me; I asked him what he was doing over there, and he just said “I told the other team and coach good job.” I envisioned his competitive self talking trash to the other team. How horrible am I? Maybe, just maybe, we have raised decent children.

Keep it up Momma!

We cannot control all of our children’s actions and that is okay. Sometimes they need to do something wrong to learn how to do it right. Will they be kind every time? Will they always make the right choice? Will they always be inclusive and share? The answer is no; they are young children and they are still learning. Just keep encouraging them to do the right thing, and they may just surprise you one day. 

Lauren James
Lauren is a native New Orleanian that was transplanted to Lafayette in 2008 by her husband of 11 years, Daniel. She has a B.S.N. from Louisiana State University – School of Nursing and a M.S.N. from the University of South Alabama. Her “paying gig” is as a Nurse Practitioner with a focus in Quality/Infection Prevention at a local hospital. Her other full-time gig is as keeper of her home and mom to William 7, Mary Kathryn 6, and Benjamine 2. Most of her days at home are spent picking up toys and socks off the floor so the family Bernese Mountain Dog, Tipper, does not demolish them. When she has a spare moment, she enjoys reading crime novels, playing board game with her kids, cooking and baking foods that are not on her diet, and finding any reason to celebrate by drinking her beloved champagne. To burn off a few calories and any leftover energy, the family enjoys walking or riding bikes on the shaded boulevard on which they live. Lauren has fallen in love with the people and city of Lafayette and is very proud to raise her family here and to now call it home.


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