School

NOT THAT SMART

As we were celebrating the end of the school year, I was reminded of something Ellie said years ago. Her report card reflected all A’s, and I praised her for being so smart. But she said, “Mom, I am not really that smart. I just have the character to sit in class and listen to my teacher.” She was saying her grades were a reflection of her ability to be taught more than her inner IQ. Character matters and is something we go after for a lifetime, but those younger years are vital to setting a child up for lifelong success. If your child has never been taught to listen to and honor your voice, they will have a harder time in the classroom. If your child has not been expected to get along with siblings, they will have a harder time with peers. If your child has not been required to practice self-control in the family room, they will struggle with it in the classroom. Character matters! 

I SEE YOU

Whip up a batch of cookies as an after-school snack and sit with them, talking about their day for an extended period of time. Go deeper than the “How was your day?” You are giving them the gift of being seen and heard.

Get moving – nothing stirs up our natural endorphins like exercise. Pick them up from school, play some family basketball, kick the ball around, or play tag. Join the fun and play with them. You are giving them the gift of play which is critical for a child’s brain.

Joy – Find a pocket of joy today (simply doing something that ignites great joy). Jump on the bed, dance in the rain, have a wrestling match or tickle attack, or cook together. Joy increases the chemical in the brain to endure hard things. You are giving them the gift of hope.

Speak truth over them – remind them of who they are. Call out their identity. “You are my favorite,” “You are passionately loved and fiercely wanted,” “You are unique and special,” “You bring me joy.” You are giving them the gift of being valued.

Which one will you do today (for their heart and yours)?

ATMOSPHERE SHIFTERS

I believe this statement includes our children on the playground, in the classroom and with friends! 

“As Christians we should be the best atmosphere shifters on the planet.”

READJUST AFTER SCHOOL

Want to help your child reset after coming home from school? Give them an intentional few minutes of just being still in God’s presence. I would have a snack prepared for them and tell them to grab a corner of the living room and enjoy their snack while just lying quietly. Sometimes all it took was five minutes, and you could feel a shift in the atmosphere.

Do you have teens who resist spiritual things? No problem. YOU soak and fill the atmosphere of your home with His presence before they come home. When they walk through the door, they won’t be able to help but feel His presence.

RESET

Want to help your child reset after coming home from school? Give them an intentional few minutes of just being still in God’s presence. I would prepare a snack for them and tell them to grab a corner of the living room and enjoy their snack while lying quietly. Sometimes all it took was five minutes, and you could feel the shift in the atmosphere.

MORNING SCHOOL ROUTINE FOR A CHILD

Morning School routine for a child: Get dressed – Eat breakfast – Chores – Brush teeth.

Morning School routine for a parent: Fill their love tank – Create pockets of JOY – Remind them of who they are – Fight for peace.

Before you send your child out into the world, arm them with: A belly full of healthy food – A mind anchored in the truth – A heart tank overflowing with love.

GODHEAD PARENTING

Once you learn the incredible ways earthly relationships can impact or distort a child’s view of the godhead (God, Jesus, Holy Spirit), it changes the way, you parent. I am constantly looking for ways to reveal to them the reality of who God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit really are. There have been times when I have not modeled it well and have responded harshly or with impatience. When I go back to make it right, I will say, “Holy Spirit is never harsh or impatient with you, and I am sorry that I treated you that way.” One of the most helpful things you can say to a child going through a divorce is, “Do you know God will never leave you?” or to the child being bullied, “Jesus would never treat you like that.” Humans fall short, but God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit do not.

LOVE WON

When my son went to take his entrance test for his current school, he wasn’t even able to test. He knew the answers if you asked him but struggled to read at that level. Finally, a teacher said he would help my son take the test by reading the questions to him.

He was so sad to leave his two best friends in Colorado, and I assured him countless times God wasn’t asking him to give up something without having something in exchange for it. Hudson was given a place in the classroom (thank God) and came home the first day to report God had given him not only one but three new best friends. These three boys were SO good to him and made him feel like a brother. A week later, they wanted to move him into a smaller classroom where he could get more 1:1 time with the teacher. When I told Hudson, he was upset all weekend. I thought it was about the reading level, but he finally told me, “You promised God would have something for me here with friends, and He gave me three of them. Why do I have to give them up, too?” I told the principle we would honor whatever professional decision they felt was best for his academics but shared with him Hudson’s heart. The principle’s response was, “I am not touching that. We aren’t moving him.” He jumped an entire year’s worth of reading levels in ONE month. I have always believed the love of brotherhood with these three other boys created an atmosphere where he could not only catch up but thrive.

OVERFLOWING

Ever had a hard day as an adult? Children have hard days at school, too. Sometimes they get tired of managing being told what to do, constantly learning new things, the pressure of tests, managing peers, the constant bombardment of atmospheres, and missing you! Children need to be filled with love and connection when they come home from school. This is why knowing their love language is so important. Be intentional and fill their tank. It doesn’t take long. Remember, children’s hearts leak quickly but fill fast. Simply showing interest in their day, offering an intentional hug, or spending time with them can align their hearts. I once met with a couple who talked about peers on the playground not being kind to them when they were younger. The wife said mean comments just rolled off her back while her husband became quite wounded from them. What was the difference between the two? Her love tank was filled often, and she was told who she was, while her husband felt isolated and empty most of the time growing up – filling the tanks DAILY matters!

MEAN GIRL

My daughter was so excited to meet a sweet girl on the first day of school. It made her transition moving out to CA so much easier knowing she had made a friend, but as the days rolled on, another girl seemed to have a real problem with her and was making life difficult. She would come home and talk about what the ‘mean girl’ was doing to her. Finally, I asked Lauren if she was willing to forgive the girl for not being loving. After she let go of the offense, Jesus showed her the girl was scared my daughter would take away her friend and that she would be left alone. Then I had her ask Jesus what HE wanted her to do about it. Instantly, she heard she was to ‘kill her with kindness’ (which is a verse in the Bible that she has never read). The next day, Lauren pulled her aside, apologized for any way she may have made her mad or upset, and then blessed her with a sweet treat. It broke that girl’s wall down, and she immediately began accepting her. The following day, she presented my daughter with a handmade thank-you note for being so kind to her. THAT is how we teach our children to be the head and not the tail, how to flip situations for God’s glory and how to release heaven in worldly situations on earth.