I feel it now in my own household- a fight for our kids’ hearts. Do you feel it in your own? I’m timid to write, knowing all families aren’t believing families. But as a friend reminded me tonight “I don’t know how I would get through life without Jesus.” So, I shout it out, Jesus is the real MVP of parenting woes, worries, and wonders.

Going from homeschooling a few years to public school was a momentary shock. “Like, what do I do with all this free time now? I can’t believe how worry free my life is now! There is literally 0 responsibility for me to raise up kids now! WOOHOO!!!” <<< Lies.

Without my kid close by my side, there was more worry. New worries. Time might have been on my side, but the self searching almost instantly began as the title “Teacher of the Year” was ripped like a bandaid away. The responsibility to raise kids with values and self awareness feels even more heavy now.

Homeschool was a decision we as parents made for our son (the only one in school at the time) to help him grow in both learning and personality without the direct influence of peers or administrations for many hours a day. It was the best for us for a season! And like any seasonal fruit, eventually it was gobbled up, digested, and the unneeded/toxic parts were emptied out! (I want to say “pooped out”, but not sure we are that close yet.)

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loves us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Eph. 5:1-2

We have to earn our kid’s trust. This comes in listening to the small things and instilling values they can SEE with how you live your own life. Like the above scripture says “as beloved children”- here demonstrating how kiddos are natural imitators!

So in the same token, they are imitating what they see at school. Now, I won’t call out my own big kids’ troubles at school, because those are forgiven and (hopefully all) brought to Light in their time. BUT, know this friend… we have walked some doozies I never imagined! “Not MY KID!” kinds of things.

What I wish someone had said to me as a kid when I acted the same fool as him, “Be an influence more than you are influenced by others.”

I was so selfish, self-righteous and full of self preservation. Having the “nothing can touch me” attitude. But where does that get an adult woman?

Think now, what influence do you see that your child will have? Mindy is just 6, but I already see her as an empathic creative encourager. Lillie-Mae is 7, and already I see her as a loyal friend who wants everyone to believe they are loved. SEE these things in your kids and CALL THEM OUT!

”Dallas, you’re a great leader. An amazing influence. Right now, you’re letting others influence you more than standing the ground you have already laid in this area.”

Get a friend with kids the same age so you aren’t so shocked with shenanigans that come up. I promise you not ONE THING my son has done, hasn’t already been done by a friend’s kid recently or in the past around the same age. Fascinating little boogers they are!

PRAY for discernment. I love to tell my son, because it both amazes him and shows him Biblically God is FOR him and FOR parents, “I’ve prayed for discernment since the day you were born. There’s not a thing you can get past me. I might not know exactly what, but I can tell when your heart isn’t right. God is the one who knows EXACTLY what’s going on. Talk to Him. And I’ll keep praying for you.”

If you’re a homeschool Momma, chime in on how you teach your kids to interact and love on their neighbors. I hear the “they don’t interact with their peers enough” baloney enough, but see it from friends what a blessing that can be to be present more!

In school Mommas, how are you making sure you have a clue in on what’s going on with your kids at school? How are you making sure you don’t play off the “well, the principals and teachers see it all when I’m not there”. That won’t float when the flood waters rise.