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Small moving children are amazing. They are little learning machines; touching, tasting, and exploring every part of their world they can reach. What a joy these little people can be and what a challenge!

What’s a busy mama to do? Begin with embracing these little darlings as gifts from a loving God who will grow up to change the world. There is no more important task in the world than spending time with this little person and influencing him as he grows!

If you have been double-minded as a mother; constantly dreaming of doing something else, it will show. Mothers who are discontent in their role are less likely to raise happy children. Throw yourself into the arms of your heavenly Father and ask Him to give you His vision of Christian motherhood.

To help your little one navigate his way through baby, toddler and young childhood, seek to understand how different he is from you and I.

1) He loves routine! Knowing that breakfast will come shortly after he wakes up and that bath time comes before bed gives him a sense of security and sameness to his day. God made him this way. Even though your world may not be full of routine, seek to create a schedule in your day and his so that he feels like he is safe. This is more work for you initially but will be worth it in the long run.

2) He needs good nutrition. Yes, the commercials make it seem that all good American parents buy Happy Meals for their children but do the research and find out what those meals really contain. Believe it or not, healthy snacks can be very quickly made at home and a well-nourished child will sleep better and feel more cheerful! Find 31 days of simple, healthy snacks which can double as meals for little ones here.

3) He needs to learn. Develop several learning boxes. Don’t use them every day but have one ready to pull out when your child needs a distraction! Decorate each box to make it special. Use your imagination and what you have around the house to fill them up. If you are brave, fill one with water play toys such as funnels, sieves and an old-fashioned egg beater to use when you are willing to pull up a chair to the kitchen sink and fill it with soapy water for your child.

Fill another decorated box with toys that your child has not seen in a while; a plastic bottle filled with rice (to shake) and a CD of children’s songs to enjoy. Be creative! Search your house for little-used but safe objects that will thrill your little one because they are something “new” and exciting!

If you use these boxes sparingly (no more than three times a week) they will continue to intrigue your child…at least for awhile!

4) As the crowning surprise, develop a “Sabbath box” to make Sunday special. Fill it with very special loved toys along with a surprise treat such as a yummy goody or a stick of sidewalk chalk. Some families like to buy a Noah’s Ark toy or some other very special set of toys that are only used on Sunday.

A little extra effort will go a long way in giving your child pleasant memories of his day of worship.

In between pulling out Learning Boxes and feeding your child nutritiously, remember to enjoy your child. The bond between a mother and her child is sacred and God meant it to be a close one. Sing and read with your little one and be sure to teach him to clap with you when Daddy comes in the door!

Ask God to give you creative ideas that cost little or no money to build a joyful and happy childhood for your little one.

You are doing a great job…you are raising up the next generation!