Don’t Talk About Me! (Discussing Our Children With Others)

Don't Talk About Me!It’s amazing how our children cannot hear us when we’re standing right next to them, talking in their ear. But, somehow, through a noisy room, their ears perk up when mom mentions their name. They give us that look, and we know what it means. “Is this good or bad?” Perhaps, it might even be, “Please, don’t talk about me.”

Truth be told, we all have hard days. Whether it be a struggle with parenting or a homeschooling concern we’re dealing with, some days are just plain difficult. Maybe it isn’t just days. It might be weeks or months. When we finally have an opportunity to fellowship with friends, we let it all out. It felt so good to get that off our chest. It felt good to us. But what about those little ears listening across the room?

Understanding the Boundaries of Family – Are there things we’d prefer not be discussed outside the family? Maybe my husband only wants certain issues shared with him, and we can tackle these concerns together. Before I go to the “village”, I need to understand what is permissible to share and what is best left at home.

Understanding My Children’s Boundaries – If we enjoy our privacy, shouldn’t we afford our children a little of their own? I don’t wish to damage the relationship I have with my kids by over-sharing struggles they are currently working through. Openly discussing a learning disability with anyone and everyone might put a damper on that or cause them shame. I want to be selective about when and with whom I share.

Being in Prayer – Am I looking for help or an outlet for my frustration? Before I open my mouth, I need to pray about what’s going to come out of it.

Being Selective – There is such a thing as TMI. I can get help with a learning disability or character development without explaining every detail of my child’s issues. I want to leave them with some dignity. It might be enough to simply explain we’re dealing with lying, and ask for prayer.

On this note… Being a blogger, and having a minor presence on social media, I should also point out our need for being selective online. My kids read my blog – crazy, I know – they see what I post and how I address each issue. Generally, I don’t discuss matters which are personal to them and never that which would cause them shame. This goes for ALL medium.

Being Gentle & Kind – How I speak will determine how people see my children, and my parenting. Will I leave them with the understanding we’re not perfect, but genuinely seeking the Lord’s will, or an angry mama who can’t stand her kids? I might be frustrated now, but ten minutes from now regret the words I spoke. Gentleness will prevent harsh words.

Being Positive – This isn’t an opportunity to trash talk the kids. (Even if you’re positive they’re being ridiculous.) If we need help, I definitely should speak with a councilor or close friend. However, this isn’t time to complain. It’s time to get answers and be honest with where we might need improvement.

May the mediations of my heart be pleasing to the Lord, and the words of my mouth be edifying to the hearer. May I speak from a humble heart and listen with the intent to grow. And may my children learn God’s love towards others by how I love them.

I need to remember little eyes are watching. If I’m not careful, our children will pick up bad habits and begin to repeat my mistakes. And, really, what parent wants to hear their child trash talk them?

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
~ Ephesians 4:29

Your Turn!: Here’s a question… Do you feel comfortable sharing photos of your children online?

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Tying Strings

Tying_StringsThe relationships we have with our children will not always run smoothly. There will be times they need training and discipline. There will be times we provoke them or hurt them, even if it is unintentional. While it would be easy to say, “That’s part of life; they’ll get over it”, and move right along; it is crucially important we don’t. There is a strong tie between a child and their parent; a bond that is more than just blood. When our relationships are injured and strained, we need to draw them back in and retie those strings.

How do we retie strings once they have been pulled or cut? Here are some great suggestions that have been given to our family:

  • Smile often and express joy in your child.
  • Go out on a date and have a good time!
  • Enjoy their company. Pick a book, a movie, or something they like and enjoy it together.
  • Have a tickle war!
  • Go on an adventure; even a hike can be adventurous.
  • Make something together; it can be as simple as dinner or as complex as a treehouse.
  • Include them in your daily responsibilities. When children have an opportunity to help out, they feel loved, respected, and needed.
  • Hug often! Even big kids secretly like to be hugged; just grab them and let them know you are there.
  • Tell them you love them; sometimes we take this for granted, but kids need to hear the words.
  • Surprise them with “blessings”. Even something silly, like their favorite gum, can touch their hearts.

I am sure the list could go on and on, but it is definitely a starting point. As our children get older and as their personalities change, we will have to adapt the ideas; constantly growing along with our kids.

More often than I would like, I find myself in a position of needing to discipline my kids. While this is important and needs to be done, I also need to make sure I retie those strings of our relationship; reaffirming my love and affection.

If I fail to retie those bonds, my children will find me to be a tyrant or a bully. They will turn away from me, refusing to hear my words and rebelling against our authority. If I fail to retie the strings of our relationship, my children will cut themselves loose and I would lose their hearts.

The relationship I have with my children is crucially important. I need to be constantly aware of the “ties that bind” and ensure that they are strong.

“And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? ‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.’ It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?…”
~ Hebrews 12:5-11

📢 Chime In!: How do you “tie strings”?

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Tying Strings

Little Man and IThe relationships we have with our children will not always run smoothly. There will be times they need training and discipline. There will be times we provoke them or hurt them, even if it is unintentional. While it would be easy to say, “that’s part of life, they’ll get over it”, and move right along; it is crucially important we don’t.

There is a strong tie between a child and their parent; a bond that is more than just blood. When our relationships are injured and strained, we need to draw them back in and retie those strings.

How do we retie those strings once they have been pulled or cut? Here are some great suggestions that have been given to our family:

  • Smile often and express joy in your child.
  • Go out on a date and have a good time!
  • Enjoy their company. Pick a book, a movie, or something they like and enjoy it together.
  • Have a tickle war!
  • Go on an adventure; even a hike can be adventurous.
  • Make something together; it can be as simple as dinner or as complex as a treehouse.
  • Include them in your daily responsibilities. When children have an opportunity to help out, they feel loved, respected, and needed.
  • Hug often! Even big kids secretly like to be hugged; just grab them and let them know you are there.
  • Tell them you love them; sometimes we take this for granted, but kids need to hear the words.
  • Surprise them with “blessings”. Even something silly, like their favorite gum, can touch their hearts.

I am sure the list could go on and on, but it is definitely a starting point. As our children get older and as their personalities change, we will have to adapt the ideas; constantly growing along with our kids. Playing in the Rain

More often than I would like, I find myself in a position of needing to discipline my kids. While this is important and needs to be done, I also need to make sure that I retie those strings of our relationship; reaffirming my love and affection.

If I fail to retie those bonds, my children will find me to be a tyrant or a bully. They will turn away from me, refusing to hear my words and rebelling against our authority. If I fail to retie the strings of our relationship, my children will cut themselves loose and I would lose their hearts.

The relationship I have with my children is crucially important. I need to be constantly aware of the “ties that bind” and ensure that they are strong.

How do you “tie strings”?

Heartbroken

A Certain SadnessI read a post yesterday that broke my heart. The young girl was speaking out about her homeschooling experience and her plot on life.

(Normally I would post a link to her blog, but I cannot, in good conscience, do so with this post. The language that she was using was astounding.)

In short, this young person was complaining about her online schooling. Her family has recently relocated and her parents have opted to use a virtual academy. The virtual academy is not to her liking and she is struggling with learning. She is apparently very dissatisfied with her lack of social outlet and is very much frustrated with, what she views as, her mother’s lack of understanding and follow through.

So what was wrong with the post exactly? Perhaps the girl is justified in her frustration. Perhaps the virtual academy really isn’t working. Perhaps she does need to meet some new friends and get involved in something outside of the home. Those are all valid reasons to be upset and they should be addressed.

No, my problem was the attitude behind the post. The mother was called every name in the book (no kidding!) and was accused of being a liar. The young girl, very obviously, had more going on than a lack of enthusiasm for her curriculum.Looking Outside

It all seems to boil down to one thing… lack of relationship.

If her parents spoke with her about their choices and helped her understand, would she still feel this way? If she was free to speak with her parents, vent her frustrations and explain her needs, would she still feel this way? Do her parents have a history of not telling the truth or not following through with their promises?

I suppose it also got me thinking. Do my kids trust me? Am I true to my word? Do I fully explain why we do what we do and allow them to vent their frustrations, as long as they are respectful? Do we respect each other and have a good relationship?

My heart breaks for this young girl who is obviously in need of attention and help. I hope that her parents start to hear her, before it is too late and they have lost their daughter completely.

I pray that as my children grow older, they will never feel the way this girl does. I pray that our children’s needs are always met, that they can count on us no matter what, and that they feel comfortable in sharing their feelings.

What advice would you give this girl?