Six Ways to Help Your Children Find Their Way

He comes out of school smiling now.

I know the answer before I ask it, “How was your day?”

“Awesome, Mom.”

I pull him close and ruffle his hair, but not too close, he’s a 5th grader and has an image these days.

On one of these good days, he stops and I squint at him in the sun, “Thanks, Mom.”

I ask for what and he says, “you know.”

And I do know.

confidant

We both remember how hard last year was-how his confidence was at an all-time low, beaten down by bullying peers and demanding work load. He was sullen and angry. He dreaded school. I feared we were losing a part of him to a world that can be harsh at times. We moved to a smaller town and school for so many reasons, but we both knew this was one of them.

But even months later when he confided, “I just want to be good at something,” we knew he was discouraged and trying to find his way. What we really heard was a boy who longed to be more confidant. We have been searching for the key to unlock his esteem. Between moving, his God-appointed teacher and a new love, archery, we have seen profound changes.

His teacher pulls me aside, “Your son is a smart kid. He’s a great kid.” She’s not telling me something I don’t know, but she tells him this and he believes her. I thank God for this Marine-turned-teacher every day. She laughs and says, “He’s a talker though. Boy, does he love to talk.”

I smile because I know he talks out of confidence. He is comfortable in his own skin again. He feels safe.

After homework, he heads to the backyard to shoot his bow. He’s a good marksmen. It doesn’t matter if he’s the best or even above average, he feels like he is and that’s all that matters. I watch thru the window and see the arrow land in the middle of the bullseye.

He turns towards the window to see if I’m watching.

IMG_6486

I am.

6 Ways to Help Your Children Find Their Way:

  1. Listen to what they aren’t saying: Are their grades failing? Are they angry, depressed, down on themselves? Kids don’t always communicate with words.
  2. Let them fail: Oh this is a hard one. But they never really understand success if they haven’t tasted failure.
  3. Encourage them to try new things: Not every boy will be a football player and every girl a cheerleader. We live in a competitive society where people have enough money to help kids perfect their skills.
  4. Reevaluate: I’m not a homeschool mom (yet). But we decided a long time ago to evaluate education for each of our children every year. We are open to whatever our kids need and it might not always be public school.
  5. Be there: I have this overwhelming urge to fix things for my kids and I’ve learned this usually makes situations more broken. While I can’t stop them from falling, I can be there to help them get up.
  6. Pray: It seems trite, but I believe we have seen a difference because of prayer. We asked God to lead us to the right school and to provide the right teacher. He did both and that’s no accident.

Comments

  1. says

    I always find such encouragement and truth in your words of wisdom. Thanks for always sharing where you are in your journey, where you want to be and what God is teaching you along the way.

    Blessings!

    Megan

  2. says

    Great words that every mama needs to hear. We get stuck in this trap of what the world tells us is best for our kids.

    I’m so glad I didn’t fold when it came to letting my kids be WHO they are…

    Awesome job on the bullseye!!!

  3. says

    “But they never really understand success if they haven’t tasted failure.”

    ^^^^^Yes, yes, yes. And I’m trying to remember this in my own life, too, as a grown-up. Such a good word here.

    (Also, Kristin, I’m so glad your boy is on the other side of that heartache!)

  4. Brooke says

    Oh My how this speaks right to us and our boy this year. He is 3rd grade and in a struggle I needed this Thank you!

  5. Meagan says

    As a mom who isn’t quite as far along in the journey, I was wondering if you could give a little insight beyond the “Listen to what they aren’t saying.” My 6 year old (six!!) has been very sullen lately, a little weepy, and very down on himself (he’s said a few time “I wish I wasn’t even made!” which breaks this mama’s heart into a million pieces). I do feel that there is some underlying feelings and frustrations that we need to help him address, but am not able to really pull anything out of him. So I’m left at a loss — and feeling like I’m doing it all wrong. Any advice here?

  6. says

    I KNOW its ridiculous (seriously, I know!) but I woke up last night so concerned that my son will be bullied. Why is this ridiculous? He is 8 months old! But already he is so very quiet and observant and the big kids at daycare roll right over him (in love) but he just sits there and doesn’t even cry. With all of the horrible things you hear on the news about bullying and how bad it seems to have gotten, I’m so relieved to hear that you were able to help your son overcome that horrible issue and come out a happier kid! Maybe now I can stop borrowing troubles and focus on what a joy he is!

  7. says

    The desire to keep them from failing is so big! As is wanting to “fix” everything. I struggle with these a lot!

    Thanks for this post! Such wonderfully encouraging reminders!

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