In most instances, it is the calm between storms.
It’s that wonderful time of raising kids that falls between the terrible two’s and the rollercoasters of middle school.
If Elementary School was a type of dog, it would be the “Golden Retriever.”
If Elementary School was a season, it would be the “Spring Time.”
If Elementary School was a ride at the fair, it would be the “Ferris Wheel.”
If Elementary School was a ride at the water park, it would be “The Lazy River.”
If Elementary School was a flower, it would be a “Daisy” or a “Sunflower.”
I think you get the picture I’m trying to paint.
And, I believe God gives us a wonderful gift in raising children–it’s called “Elementary School.”
All of the ages have their challenges and their joys, and this stage is not without some hiccups. However, most parents and teachers would tell you that these are the “sweet” years for children.
Those moms that I interviewed concurred.
Here are 10 Sweet JOYS of Elementary Age Children:
Sweet JOY #1 – They LOVE to learn!
Mom Lori Schumaker shares, “The elementary years are precious. It’s such a joy to watch them gain so much information and learn so many life skills!”
Mom of four young boys, Jennifer Dover, explains, “These boys bring so much joy to my life by their constant desire to learn and their amazement as they do so. I do tire of the thousands of questions some days, especially when I don’t know the answer to half of them, but they teach me that I need to be a life-long learner, ask the hard questions and stand in awe of God’s amazing creation. I also find great joy in watching them learn to read and then take off on their own.”
Sweet JOY #2 – They are very open & transparent!
“I love their openness and transparency. I know there may come a day when they won’t tell me everything that’s in their hearts but for now I will treasure up these moments in my heart and try not to miss any of these opportunities to listen and learn more about these little people God has entrusted into my care, “ shares Jennifer Dover.
Sweet JOY #3 – They are able to understand sin, to forgive others, to receive forgiveness, and to give grace!
Teacher and mom Tina Ayers shares, “One of my joys for teaching and parenting young kids is their honesty and ability to forgive… They also have such forgiving hearts still. Would love for them to stay this way!”
Mom Aimee Imbeau explains, “They can begin to understand grace, sin, and forgiveness. We have to understand that our children will sin. We live in a world where sin is rampant; therefore, we ought not to be surprised when they do fall into sin. We have a choice here – we can shame them about their sin or we can teach them how to deal with it appropriately. We can remain angry with them…and make it seem as though we are sinless, or we can lead them to the cross of Christ and show them that running to Jesus is how they will be free of their sin. Always go with grace when sin is revealed.”
Sweet JOY #4 – They are honest!
“I teach third graders and then my Gabbey is fourth grade and Briley is kindergarten. I love how they are so honest–sometimes brutally honest,” shares Tina Ayers.
Sweet JOY #5 – They are openly affectionate!
Mom Ashley Batchelor shares, “I love that when I drop her off at gymnastics she still gives me a goodbye kiss!”
Sweet JOY #6 – They listen to what you have to say!
“Another joy of this age is that my daughter still listens to what I have to say! She has respect for me and I don’t have to question that – EVER,” shares mom Ashley Batchelor.
Sweet JOY #7 – They play well with others & begin to really care about others.
Mom Jennifer Bly says, “They are eager to help and serve others. Something happened when my daughter turned seven… suddenly she had an awareness of others and their needs. When she hears someone has had a hardship, she starts brainstorming ways to help. She’s eager to help those less fortunate than her and seeks to help others. In fact, she even asks family members if there’s anything she can do for them.”
Lori Schumaker shares, ‘They are learning to be a part of the family team. Helping out and making sacrifices for each other all take root in these years. They have the potential to go from “me, me, me” to “I want it, but I understand if it doesn’t work for us” mentality.”‘
Sweet JOY #8 – They are fun!
Jennifer Bly shares, “They are interesting to talk to. While I find conversations with preschoolers hilarious, I love the depth of conversations I have with my elementary-aged child. I enjoy hearing her perceptions on issues. Her thought process is fascinating and I often feel like I’ve learned so much about her personality simply by talking with her.”
Mom Tiffany Essary says, ‘I teach 1st-5th-grade children’s choir. At the end of each practice, we play “Dance like David” and the kids all dance and sing in worship to God. It is amazing watching them love each other and have so much fun.’
“I adore the misspelled, stick-figure love notes that my children hand me as they anticipate my reaction to their own personal masterpiece. I smile every time,” shares mom Valerie Murray.
Sweet JOY #9 – They start to really get interested in spiritual things – God, the Bible, & prayer.
“In teaching the Bible and prayer they are like sponges and wanting more and more of when they need to become more like Christ!! That just brings me such JOY,” shares Ashley Batchelor.
“Just recently my 9-year-old started reading his Bible on his own without any prompting from me and my 6-year-old told me he was going to practice by reading his Bible. I can’t even tell you how much joy filled my heart in those instances,” shares Jennifer Dover.
‘I love how clearly they represent the character Christ was speaking of when He said, “the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” These kids of mine are curious and they love wildly. They haven’t lost their wonder. They enjoy creation and bring joy to their Creator. Their love is unguarded, their affection unabashed, their passion unrelenting and their intentions unaffected by the hard of this world. They smile wide, laugh loud and long and show us weary and worn adults what it’s like to truly enjoy, truly revel in goodness. Oh, that I would learn to take such joy in my Creator, to serve him with as much fever, as a first grader,’ says Katie Westenberg.
Sweet JOY #10 – They love their parents & like to do things with them!
“My daughter still loves for me to do things with her like bring her lunch at school, hang out on the weekend, and have me come to her gymnastics class,” shares Ashley Batchelor.
‘I am a parent to 4-grade school kids and this past Saturday we spent hours coloring together. I printed color pages from the computer of things they each like (Hello Kitty, Snow White, Jurassic World, Bible Verses). During this time there was no fighting, just “look at this” and “will you share the red?” Love these moments,’ shares Tiffany Essary.
Mom Katie Westenberg shares, “This, may sound awful, but I like the control of parenting elementary aged kids. I love that we all hop in the car for a road trip, together. I love that we all sit at the dinner table, together. I’m starting to get a sense for exactly how quickly these years with my kids will fly by. Years where they will be driving and working and our family will be running in 6 different directions aren’t that hard to foresee. But for now, most of the time, it’s us – side by side and in it all together. I want to stretch these years as long as I possibly can stretch them!”
And, you may want to check out these previous parenting articles for other age groups: (Just click on the title to access each article.)
- JOYS of Young Adult Kids
- Praying for Young Adult Kids
- JOYS of High School Kids
- Praying for High School Kids
- JOYS of Middle School Kids
- Praying for Middle School Kids
- JOYS of Elementary Children
- Praying for Elementary Children
So, what about you?
Do you have elementary kids?
What do you enjoy about them?
I always enjoy hearing from you!
*Very special thanks for all of the moms that helped me with this post! You ladies are amazing! Thank you, Valerie Murray, Tiffany Essary, Ashley Batchelor, Jennifer Bly, Lori Schumaker, Jennifer Dover, Aimee Imbeau, Tina Ayers, and Katie Westenberg.
**And, would you do me a favor — if this article has encouraged you today — would you share it with someone else?
Maybe you can send it to a friend or family member?
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