Top 8 Things We Say to That Child

Welcome to my new series on That Child. If you missed my first article (and my confession) about my That Child, you can read it here.

We are about to really start digging in and having the hard conversation about our That Child, but before we get too deep, I wanted to remind everyone to not let yourself fall into the habit of living frustrated and grouchy.

Instead, really try to find the beauty and humor in our everyday life. Believe me, you will need that perspective some days!

Remember to laugh (and breath) on a regular basis. And to help you out, I’ve compiled a list of the top 8 things we say to That Child. Leave me a comment and let me know if any of these sound familiar to you.

Or if I left any off that I need to add!


8. Stop!

In fact, probably several times a day you find yourself saying “Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop! Stop, stop.” Right?

I used to love to go in, at night, and watch my That Child sleep.

He was so still.

So peaceful.

He was never that way when he was awake!

So I loved to go in at night, and just pray over him, and just stay, because he was finally still.

7. No!

They ask outrageous things.

At outrageous times.

And unfortunately sometimes it’s just our go-to answer.

Truth is, we don’t even really listen to them.

And I’m going to challenge you to work through that.

6. Pay attention!

Because so often, they’re off in some other land. So it is another very common thing to say to That Child.

I used to cradle Charles’s face in my hands and I would say “Look at me.” Because sometimes he would be looking at me, but the lights weren’t on, right?

The lights are on but no one’s home?

That’s the look that I got from Charles’s face.

So we want them to pay attention because we have something very powerful we want to say to them.

5. What were you thinking?


Things that you and I would never have thought to do.

And we need to pray for, as mothers of a That Child, we need to pray for discernment.

For the ability to see when they are really being rebellious, and when they’re just being curious.

Oh, and that God would grant us patience, when curiosity reigns the day.


4. Slow down!

Because they’re just running.

Running, running, running, running, running.

Everything is at full speed.

Glasses of orange juice on the table, not a good setup when that child’s around.

They need to learn to slow down, when it’s appropriate mom, but not all the time. We need to give them outlets for all of that energy.

With my  grown That Child and the one I currently have at home, I often will send them out to run laps around the house.

You’re gonna think that’s crazy, but instead of just sitting there, asking him to slow down over and over and over, something he just can’t do. I want to give him an ability, an ability to use that energy in a positive way. So running around the house, go out and shoot some hoops, something, to get the energy out.

3. What are you supposed to be doing?

See, That Child is very often not doing what they are supposed to be doing and it’s not that you haven’t been clear… they’re just easily distracted and they’re curious.

And so a caterpillar was crossing the road and they were supposed to get the mail, but, there’s a caterpillar.

And they had to put it back in its home and it’s home was three streets away, and…

You get the idea. I’m gonna tell you, they get a bad rap. I get that, they need to do we’ve asked them to do, and we say this a lot, but we need to build in grace when we’re saying these things to them.

2. Are you listening?

And the answer is often no.

They’re not listening because there is so much going on in their head.

So many ideas.

So much curiosity.

So much imagination.

So much going on that they’re probably not listening to you.

But again, it’s not always, rebellious. Sometimes it’s just childish immaturity.

1.  How many times do I have to tell you?

This is one of the things that I like to say often to my That Child regularly

Yeah, I have a book by that title.

Anyway, I had a friend one time that was calling her husband on one of those mornings with her That Child, and she was recounting to her husband all of the things that had gone wrong that morning,

“…he did this, and he did this, and he did this.”

And I think she told me it was 7:45 in the morning, her husband was already at work, and the day was already in shambles.

And she went on, and on, and on.

And the climax of her story was, “How many times do I have to tell him?”

And her husband responded “That’s, your job.”

Yeah, that IS our job as moms… we get to tell them over and over, and if we keep making it a “have to”, that’s when a root of bitterness can spring up, which we are warned about.

Hebrews 12:14-16 (NASB)

14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; 16 that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.

Here we have an opportunity to tell them over and over in a loving and patient way.

Your That Child was sent to you as a blessing, and even if right now, today has been a really hard challenging day, I hope you’ll drive a stake in the ground and determine to go forward with grace, and a new vision for that child.

I want to suggest to you boldly and courageously today that what our world needs, is strong young men and women, who are totally dedicated to the cross of Jesus Christ. That’s the opportunity that lays before us as moms of That Child.

To raise a generation of World Changers – young men and women who seek to serve God – and it’s not gonna be easy.

They’re gonna fight.

They’re gonna question.

They’re gonna push back.

And we have a profound strength with the Mighty God of Heaven, to raise a generation, that’s going to point others to the cross of Jesus Christ.

Join us for the rest of this series as we discuss, vent, and pray over our own version of That Child.  I hope to challenge your perception and encourage you in your mothering. I pray that you will be blessed as we lift each other up and mother Those Children.

In His Grace-

Rachael Carman

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Rachael Carman
I had it going on—or so I thought. After surviving sixty-three months of pregnancy, countless sleepless nights, and 35,000+ diapers, this one-time control freak encountered God’s grace. And I’m here to encourage you to do the same! I love encouraging and inspiring moms to grow deeper in their walk and relationship with our Heavenly Father.

I’ve been married to my beloved, Davis, since 1986; our life has been a roller-coaster ride, with God at the controls. We have seven kids and let me tell you our family loves to laugh! I enjoy playing in the dirt, eating dark chocolate, and walking on the beach. I’m an author and speaker and I am passionate about helping moms not only survive motherhood, but draw near to the Father and thrive in motherhood.

I’m so glad you’re here.
Posted on: October 28, 2016, by : Rachael Carman

5 thoughts on “Top 8 Things We Say to That Child

  1. I have only just begun reading your posts. They are already a huge blessing! I love my THAT Child so much, but I think you understand him so much better than I do! I appreciate your words, they are dead on! I also appreciate the Scripture you have chosen. It’s reminded me how often I become impatient and respond incorrectly to his behavior. Definitely some things to change and think about…. Thank you!

  2. 6+ months ago I would have read this sobbing and yelling at the screen to make it stop. I would read it through blurred vision and just agreed and asked you to pray. In simple words, I wasn’t ready to hear it! We have finally gotten our “That Child” some help and our home/family is in a place to except him and work with him. I no longer want to run away from him and look at hime like how did I get here. I love my “That Child” and want to fight for him, even if I go bald in the process 🙂 I say all 8 of those almost on a daily basis, but God is growing us individually and together as a family. Thank you for your wise words. I look forward to the rest!!

  3. You just described my life, and I pray every day for God’s help to get through it … and for patience, and for clarity, and for faith in God’s plan for my That Child. Thank for letting us know that we are not alone!

  4. Wow! So I’m not the only mom with ” That child”. You have described our lives and my words to the “T”. I’m praying for focus. I’m praying for patience to mother “that child”.

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