Momma, Parenting

Raise a Child or Rear a Child?

My mom, the retired English teacher, made me aware of a phrase that we all use incorrectly. The phrase, “Raising a Child” is actually incorrect. The correct phrase should be “to rear” a child. She explained it to me in a such a simple and OBVIOUS way. She said, “We RAISE cattle, we REAR children.” When she put it that way it made so much sense!

What a difference one word makes.


Here are definitions taken from “Webster’s dictionary”.


grow, cultivate (raise cotton)

to bring to maturity

to breed and bring (an animal) to maturity

active molding of character, personality, talents, and emotional

and physical well-being of the child.

“To raise” a child would simply mean to feed, water, clothe, and protect. “To Rear” a child would mean being involved in every aspect of their lives.

I admit, there are some days that all I’m doing is “raising” my girls. I have made them lunch, I made sure they dressed themselves, and they are plopped in front of the TV. Those are the days that I have to CHOOSE to change to my attitude and REAR them. I have to remember that if I want mold their character, help them discover their God-given talents, and show them they are loved, then I need to do more than just RAISE them.

They need more than food, water, clothing and protection. They need me. They need me to live by example. They need me to live a godly life. They need me to show them how / how not to act. How to treat others with respect. How to cook. How to care for themselves. How to do things in a home so they can make a home for their family one day.

It would be really easy to just “RAISE” a child, but to “REAR” a child takes work, effort, love, compassion, and…time.

Today, I CHOOSE to REAR…


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