Are Children the Enemy?

Are Children the Enemy?

are children the enemy

Messes, stickiness, broken dishes, little time alone, noises, laundry, blah.

I have often heard, throughout my lifetime, mothers speaking of their children as the cause of all of their woes. They blame them for their misery. They can’t wait for them to leave the home. They curse them with the mother’s curse, “I hope you have a child just like you!”

I was a child who heard these words almost daily. Yes, my mom had mental illness, but the hurt caused by those words went deep. I resolved to never do to my children what was done to me. I had to become the chain-breaker in the family as I healed the emotional scars. The path has not been easy.

Children do not see the big picture that we adults see. They are rules by their feelings and impulses. They are learning to control their little bodies, their impulses, and understand the rules and boundaries of home. They are learning about reaction, cause and effect. They are led by interest and excitement. And they are so excited to experience.

From a mother’s perspective, it isn’t easy. I have ten children and there are times I need a break, or get frustrated. But, when I look into the eyes of each of my children, I see trust. They trusted me more than anything else to bring them into the world. They trust my decisions. They agree with my philosophies. They comply with my requests, for the most part. But they are learning-learning to obey. They are learning how to use their agency. They are learning about life and about the planet we live on. They are learning so much in their short eighteen-ish years in the home, it truly is amazing. I feel so honored to be a part of it. I feel so honored to be trusted.

I think we as parents sometimes get caught up in the selfishness of society and see our kids as the enemy and the cause of our stress. It is so easy to do when you hear those messages everywhere. I’ve even met people who have chosen to have no children and have a dog or cat instead. (Note: Infertility is a heartbreaking trial and one that has touched our family personally, but that is different than choosing to have no children.)


Recently, I took my children to a pumpkin festival. In the center of the celebration they had an area for kids. It was a large, wooden roofed structure filled with loose hay and several additional open bundles of hay. It was fenced for safety all the way around. All of my kids (except the sleeping baby), ran to it and rolled around in the hay, throwing it on each other, squealing with delight, and had a joyful time. I sat close by in a seat in the front, my eyes filled with tears as I watched each one of my precious children with love. I want my children to be happy and to have joy. I go out of my way to provide opportunities they will cherish and remember, knowing that I loved them and indeed tried to provide a space for happiness. Just like our Father in Heaven does for all of us. He also trusts us as parents to provide the safe structure, the opportunities to experience and grow, and times to allow joy to flow uninterrupted.


Yet, it is easy to get caught in the monotony and frustration of the day to day trap. In your overall day, is your family the focus? If it isn’t, it should be. From my experience, nothing is more rewarding than growing spiritually and focusing on the family.
If children aren’t the enemy. They are the ones trusting us to lead and guide them with gentleness and love unfeigned, then who is really the enemy? The answer is: anyone or anything that interferes with our time and love for our family.

If we’re too busy to talk one on one with a child, we’re too busy. If we are too focused on our business, or hobby, or other things, we’re too unfocused. It is not easy and by no means do I suggested spending every waking moment with our families. But society is not falling apart because of a little busyness. Society and family are falling apart because we do not see the kids, family, and marriage as important as we should.

Are children the enemy?

Look deep into the eyes of your child. See how much they need you. If they are hurting or struggling, they need you even more. Children and youth are not the enemy. They are our future. They are our charges. They will be forever grateful for all the moments, teaching, love, and memories you give to each one. They may never know how hard it is for us to hold our tongues instead of yelling, or how many tears we’ve shed as we raise them. But God does and that’s all that matters.

All of the messes, stickiness, broken dishes, little time alone, noises, laundry, will one day be gone. And you will remember how insignificant they were as you remember the people you were with and the precious children you raised.

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My greatest dreams are to have a housekeeper; unlimited reading time; to travel wherever and whenever I want; to live in England, Italy and Hawaii; to go to Oxford University in the UK; to have all 11 children go on missions and to college; and to die peacefully in my sleep as an old, healthy woman. ♥

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