So God Made a Mother is Here! 🎉

Last week, a fellow police wife posted a story about her husband’s attempts to get dinner after a 13 hour day. He approached a drive thru in his police vehicle wearing his uniform, ordered, and paid for his meal. When he came to the second window, the worker refused to serve him because he was a cop.

The post went viral to the point that Fox News picked it up. As a police wife myself, the situation both angers and saddens me. As an educator, I see the other side. I don’t personally know what it feels like to fear police, but some of my students do. Recent actions by an officer in the Midwest have prompted even more controversy. The divide between citizens and law enforcement grows tragically larger with each news report.

As parents, how do we address these media stories with our children to alleviate this fear and create habits that keep everyone safe? Here are a few ideas to spark conversations at your dinner table tonight.

 Teach Your Kids Not to Fear Police

The news is full of tragic reports about officer-involved shootings. The loss of any young life is heartbreaking for all involved. That said, law enforcement exists to serve the community. Those in blue are the helpers. They put their lives on the line each day for our families, and they are more than willing to do this for your children. It’s why they put the uniform on to start with. 

Teach Your Children to Be Discerning

Should your community be the site of an officer-involved incident, please let your children hear you suspend judgement of the situation until you hear the full story. Whenever there is a crime, there is much confusion around the scene until the situation is sorted out. Initial reports can be confused as media outlets are eager to get information to the public. Press conferences will give the most accurate portrayal of the facts. Even if you’re boiling inside, let your kids see you weigh all the information before passing judgement. 

Try Not to Hate

Even if your community has been affected by a tragedy, please steer your kids toward peaceful activism and discussion rather than rage, violence, and terror. Hate clouds judgement and doesn’t solve anything.

Talk About Guns

Guns are a source of rampant discussion among politicians and news outlets these days. Whether you allow them in your house or not, others do. Teach your kids never to touch them, unless you or another trusted adult are present and part of the action.

Additionally, carefully consider where you allow your children to play with toy guns. Our son got a realistic-looking cap gun while we traveled out west. My husband made him leave it at the hotel and only allowed him to play with it in certain spots. There have been countless reports of kids with guns shared with police, only to find out later that the guns were toys. Sometimes these incidents end well, sometimes tragically. It’s nearly impossible for anyone to tell the difference between a realistic toy gun and a real weapon from a safe distance. Please don’t allow your child to jeopardize his or an officer’s safety by playing with them in public places.

Teach Your Kids to Listen to Officers

Teenagers are world-famous for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Often kids are incorrectly detained by police just because they were in an area where a crime has just occurred. Please, please explain to your kids that they must do what the officer tells them. Ask them to be respectful and tell their stories. Nine times out of ten, an officer will instantly recognize that they have the wrong person. If further action needs to be taken, do it through legal channels. Discuss your complaints, problems, or even praises with the precinct or sheriff’s office after the fact. During a situation, officers may seem curt. This is because they are on high alert, trying to keep the public, as well as themselves safe. 

Science tells us that an officer has less than one second to evaluate a threat. They have less than two seconds to decide what to do. One slip-up in this minute amount of time could result in tragedy—either an officer or a suspect won’t go home to his or her family. It’s easy to judge these high profile shootings—some of them have been the result of tragic mistakes on the part of officers. Others have been shown later to be justified decisions. If you or I, the average person, were in a life-or-death situation could we make the best decision in less than three seconds? Could we get it right every time? Officers make these choices every single day. As you discuss these stories with your kids, I respectfully ask that you remember this. 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Jennifer Worrell

Jennifer Worrell has been teaching in both the elementary and middle school classroom for 22 years. All the while, she has been writing for a variety of publications including Trailblazer, Women in the Outdoors, Practical Horseman, Daily Press, Virginia Wildlife, The Virginia Journal of Education, and TeeterTot. She also creates high-quality instructional materials for the classroom which she shares on Teachers Pay Teachers. As the wife of an outdoorsy guy, a stepmother, and a biomom, her humorous and poignant perspective enables her to create powerful content for clients and for her own blog.

Look beyond the Labels for What You Don’t See

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three kids sitting on parents' laps smiling

I’ve always said that labeling someone with high- or low-functioning autism, or any disability for that matter, isn’t ever truly accurate. You may see an extremely smart girl who seems “normal” but you don’t see everything. You don’t see how the noises hurt her ears. You don’t see how the bright lights hurt her eyes. You don’t see how hard she struggles to fit in. You don’t see how she struggles to understand the social cues. You don’t see how seriously she takes what you say even if you’re joking. You don’t see the struggles when she’s having an overwhelming...

Keep Reading

When You Look Back on These Pictures, I Hope You Feel My Love

In: Kids, Motherhood
Four kids playing in snow, color photo

I document your life in pictures. I do it for you. I do it for me. I do it because I want you to know I lived every memory. And loved every moment. When you go back through the thousands of moments, I hope it sparks something deep inside of you. Something that perhaps your heart and mind had forgotten until that moment. And I hope that it makes you smile.  I hope the memories flood and you remember how much each moment was cherished.  I hope each giggle and secret that was shared with your sisters at that moment sparks...

Keep Reading

For the Parents of the Kids Who Don’t Fit the Mold

In: Kids, Motherhood
mom hugging her daughter

This one is for the parents of the kids who don’t fit the mold. I see you holding your kid together with nothing but love and a prayer as they cry or feel defeated and you wish the world would see your kid like you do. I see you wiping away their tears after they were yet again passed over for all the awards and accolades. There is no award for showing up for school despite crippling anxiety or remembering to write down assignments for the first year ever. So they had to sit clapping again for friends whose accomplishments...

Keep Reading

Let Your Kids See You Try and Fail

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter sitting on floor knitting together

Let your kids see you try and fail at something. That’s what I did today!  My daughter wanted to take a knitting class together. I said sure, naively thinking the skill would come pretty naturally. I’m usually good at things like this.  Guess what? It didn’t. Although she picked it up easily and was basically a knitting pro within five minutes, the teacher kept correcting me, saying, “No, UNDER! You need to go UNDER, not OVER.” She was kind enough, but it just wasn’t clicking. I started to get frustrated with myself. I normally take things like this in stride...

Keep Reading

My Kids Don’t Like to Read, but They Do Love to Learn

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two children reading with each other, color photo

I fell in love with books during a war while my kids lost interest in reading during COVID. Between 1975 and 1990 during the Civil War in Lebanon, my mom, an avid reader, was determined to make me one despite many odds. Once every few weeks, starting when I was about 10, she and I would make the half-hour trek by foot from our apartment in Beirut to a place we called the “book cave.” It was a nondescript space—about 15 by 20 square feet—tucked in the basement of a dilapidated building. Inside, it housed hundreds of books in various...

Keep Reading

Dear Teachers, Thank You Will Never Be Enough

In: Kids, Living
Kids hugging teacher

Growing up a teacher’s daughter has given me a lifetime of appreciation for educators. Of course, it’s true; I may be biased. I’ve been fortunate to have learned and been guided by many outstanding teachers, including my mother and grandmother, who passed those legacy skills onto my daughter, who strongly feels teaching is her calling. But if you’ve had your eyes and ears open in recent years, you, too, probably feel deep gratitude for the angels among us who work in the school system. So, as the school year ends, and on behalf of parents, grandparents, and anyone who loves...

Keep Reading

Before You, Boy, I Never Knew

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three boys playing in creek, color photo

Before you, boy, I never knew that little boys could get so dirty. Play so rough. Climb so high. Assess your risks. Make me hold my breath. Messes everywhere.   Before you, boy, I never knew how much my lap will make room for you. My arms will stretch to swallow you up in endless hugs and just hold you close. And love you to the moon and back. And back again. Snuggling and snuggling.  RELATED: I Met a Boy and He Changed Everything Before you, boy, I never knew that there would be so much wrestling. And superheroes, and far-off...

Keep Reading

It Hurts Seeing My Kid as a B-List Friend

In: Friendship, Kids, Teen
Teen girl sitting alone on a dock

Kids everywhere are celebrating, or will be celebrating soon. They will be playing outside, enjoying warm summer days, bike rides with friends, and maybe even sleepovers. It’s summer—it’s fun, right? Sure, it is. And sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes it isn’t fun for the kids you least expect it from. We have that issue, and I knew it was building for the past few weeks with our teenage daughter. She was moody (moodier than normal). Short tempered. Obviously frustrated, but not ready to talk about it. But it was when she came home on the last day of school, in tears,...

Keep Reading

Dear Hunter’s Mom, What I Really Want to Say

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding toddler boy, color photo

Hi, I’m Krystal. I’ve wanted to say that every Tuesday and Thursday when I see you in the preschool hallway. I don’t know why I never say it. It might be because I’m afraid to. Maybe you just want to get the drop-off over with and get out of there. I get it. Hunter is crying . . . hard. People are looking . . . they always look. Your face is flushed, your jacket twisted. You are caught between trying to do what you are supposed to do and what you want to do. I can tell. I know...

Keep Reading

5 Money Tips to Set Your Kids Up for a Strong Financial Future

In: Grown Children, Kids, Motherhood, Teen
Father putting quarters in child's hand

As parents, we want to see our children become independent, but the transition to financial independence has unique challenges. I get it. I have three children of my own, and each of them deals with money differently. The transition can be especially difficult if you are a family that doesn’t talk openly about money. Regardless of whether money has been an open topic in the past, as your high school graduate moves on to the next chapter in their life, it’s important to help them start thinking about their financial future. College tuition, rent, and other expenses can be overwhelming...

Keep Reading