Black Friday Deals Inside!🎄

Last night I went to a parent teacher conference for one of my children.

All in all, he is doing great and I am a proud mama.

When I got home and had space to think (read: laying in bed, trying to fall asleep… it’s where I do my best deepest thinking, who needs sleep anyway?) something struck me about the conversation with that sweet teacher.

You see, this particular child is doing great, especially when he applies himself.

However, this kiddo can also act like a kid and rush through an assignment, get distracted, or maybe just not care as much as he should.

She discussed a few tactics of how she was going to keep him on track.
(Do you think it would be too much to ask her to convince him that he must practice these skills at home while say… cleaning his room? I mean, practice makes perfect, right?)

I praised her for her efforts,
I praised her for her endurance,
and I praised her for sticking to her guns.

She looked a bit bewildered for a moment… it was like she was waiting for the next foot to drop.
Like maybe, I was going to follow up the praise with excuses or justifications.

There was moment of awkward silence.
(This is becoming more and more common in my life.)

Then she thanked me.

The rest of the conference was great but while I was trying to sleep last night, I just kept replaying that one particular piece of the conversation.

She. Thanked. Me.

Then it hit me…
teachers are not given the freedom to teach these days,
their hands are often tied, and parents are constantly breathing down their necks.

We need to get out of the way and let teachers teach.

Now don’t get me wrong.. of course, as parents it is our job to protect our kids from harm and injustice.
I am, by no means, suggesting that you stop doing that.
(Be warned…I will show you a whole new level of cray cray if you are harming my child.)

But what about all the uncomfortable stuff for your kid?
What about having to redo an assignment?
What about having to miss a recess, sit in a time out?
What about when the teacher doesn’t have mercy on them for their late assignment and they get a zero?

What are we teaching our kids if we swoop in to save the day every time things don’t go their way?

I’ll tell you what you are teaching them…
You are teaching them they can’t do this thing called life on their own.
You are teaching them mom and dad have more power than all other authority figures.
You are teaching them if you whine a little you will get your way.

Those are all lies.

Being their heroic protector now is only putting a band-aid on the issue which will continue to fester and become a gaping wound in their adult life.

When our kids venture out into the big bad world…
we will not be able to email a college professor to “discuss” the latest issues,
we will not be able to storm a college campus to reprimand an unfair grade,
we will not be able to scorn their boss to help them get their way,
and let’s hope we don’t think we will be able to get all up in their marriage.

We have to teach our kids how to handle life.

We have to let them fail and then teach them how to recover.

Sometimes this is hard to watch, painful even… but it is truly forming the character of that future adult.

I want to raise our kids to be prepared to work hard and own up to their own mistakes.
I want them to be equipped to persevere the trials and tribulations that life will undoubtedly throw at them.

I truly believe it is better for them to progressively learn these lessons while they are under our roof.
Little people, little problems… bigger people, bigger problems.

It is our job to walk beside or behind them in these struggles.
It is not our job to go before them.

We have to raise them to NOT need us.
We have to raise them to leave us.
(it’s OK to cry now)

*This article originally appeared on

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

Christen Spratt

Christen is the wife to one (he is the coolest engineer you will ever meet) and a mother to four (one from her teen pregnancy, one with epilepsy, one with SPED needs, and the fourth may or may not be related to the Hulk.) She is a recovering “perfect wife/mom,” up to her eyeballs in all things motherhood. She doesn’t have a Pinteresting life, she doesn’t cut sandwiches into dolphins, she doesn’t have a perfect marriage, and she regularly shares all this good/bad/ugly with her sweet readers over at Christen is passionate about authenticity and frequently writes about the FaKebook phenomena, parenting, marriage, and faith while keeping a canny sense of humor. It is her heart to offer hope to other moms in the trenches. You can also find her on Facebook -, Instagram -, and Twitter -

When Your Kids Ask, “Where Is God?”

In: Faith, Kids
Child looking at sunset

How do I know if the voice I’m hearing is God’s voice? When I was in high school, I found myself asking this question. My dad was a pastor, and I was feeling called to ministry. I didn’t know if I was just hearing my dad’s wish or the call of God. I was worried I was confusing the two. It turns out, I did know. I knew because I was raised to recognize the presence of God all around me. Once I knew what God’s presence felt like, I also knew what God’s voice sounded like. There is a...

Keep Reading

Go Easy On the Parents Who Refuse to Skip Naps

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two little boys and their sister walking down a gravel road, color photo

Greetings from a mom who is done with napping children. It’s great to have the flexibility during the day for longer activities, meeting friends for playdates, or day trips to faraway places. It’s a new life . . . the life without naps. The freedom to make plans and keep them. But not that long ago, I was something very different than the flexible, plan-keeping, up-for-it woman I am today. I used to be the mom who refused to skip my child’s nap. Yep, that one. Here’s the thing, for a lot of parents, It’s so much more than just a...

Keep Reading

My Heart Isn’t Ready for You to Stop Believing in Santa

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy standing in front of lit christmas tree

“My friend doesn’t believe in Santa anymore, Mom,” my son said out of the blue the other day. We were driving in the car, and when I met his gaze in the rear-view mirror his eyes searched mine. Immediately, my heart sank.  This sweet boy, he’s our first. Thoughtful and smart and eight years old. A quick Google search tells me that’s the average age kids stop believing in Santa, but as his mom, I’m not ready for that—not even a little bit.  I can still hear his barely 2-year-old voice going on about reindeer as we lay together on...

Keep Reading

Motherhood is a Million Little Letting Gos and Fresh Hellos

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother sitting with child on her lap by the setting sun and water

I missed my grocery-shopping buddy the other day. Mondays are usually the days my littlest and I knock out our grocery list. In the past, we’ve dropped the kids at school and then headed to the store. I grab a latte, and she chooses a hot chocolate. But that day, they were all in school. That day, she sat in her kindergarten class, and I went to the grocery store. Alone. A new rhythm. A changed routine. A different season. I listened to a podcast on the drive. My podcast. Then I grabbed a drink. Just one. I got the...

Keep Reading

Dear Kids, This Is My Wish for You

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother hugs three kids

To my kids, The world you’re stepping into is unlike anything I experienced at your age. It’s fast-paced, interconnected, and sometimes overwhelming. But within this chaos lie countless opportunities for growth and joy. My wish for you is that you find the perfect balance between embracing the modern world and staying true to yourselves. Change is one thing you can always count on. Embrace it because it’s often the motivation for growth. Embracing change doesn’t mean letting go of who you are; rather, it’s about evolving into the best version of yourself. Remember, you don’t need to have all the...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, Stay Wild

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter on beach, color photo

I can’t really put my finger on it. Or manage to find all the words. But there’s just something about that girl. Maybe it’s the way her hair sits tangled. Curled up at the end. The way she moves. Dances. As if everyone was watching. Or no one at all. RELATED: There is Wild Beauty in This Spirited Child of Mine It could be the way she smiles. With her heart. The way only she can. The way she cares, loves. For everyone. For herself. You see, she is beautiful in the way only wild things are. The way they...

Keep Reading

You’re Becoming a Big Sister, But You’ll Always Be My Baby

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Pregnant woman with young daughter, color photo

The anticipation of welcoming a new baby into the world is an exciting and joyous time for our family. From the moment we found out we were expecting to just about every day since, the love and excitement only continue to grow. However, amidst all the preparations for the new addition, I cannot help but have mixed emotions as I look back at old videos and pictures of my firstborn, my first princess, my Phoebe—for she will always hold a special place in my heart. As the anticipation grows, my heart swells with a mix of emotions knowing we are...

Keep Reading

Cowgirls Don’t Cry Unless the Horse They Loved Is Gone

In: Grief, Kids, Loss
Little girls Toy Story Jessie costume, color photo

The knee of my pants is wet and dirty. My yellow ring lays by the sink—it’s been my favorite ring for months. I bought it to match Bigfoot’s halter and the sunflowers by his pasture. Bigfoot is my daughter’s pony, and I loved him the most. The afternoon is so sunny. His hooves make the same calming rhythm I’ve come to love as I walk him out back. A strong wind blows through the barn. A stall labeled “Bigfoot,” adorned with a sunflower, hangs open and I feel sick. I kneel down by his side as he munches the grass....

Keep Reading

Let Them Wear the Costumes Whenever They Want

In: Kids
Kids in costumes walking around living room

I have five children. My oldest is 18, and my youngest is 8. Over the years, I have bought quite a few Halloween costumes. It always starts in late summer—the kids start getting excited about dressing up and want to start looking online for costumes because they want to make sure they’re delivered on time. As the kids have gotten older, a couple of them have even planned out costumes a few years in advance. It’s always fun watching their excitement, and it’s always fun “sharing” the candy with them. One of the things I’ve always done is allow them...

Keep Reading

Boys Are Feral and Raising Them Is Worth Every Single Wild Moment

In: Kids, Motherhood
Muddy boy plays by water

Coming from a home with three sisters and practically swimming in an ocean of estrogen my whole life, I had no idea what to do with a boy. When I had my firstborn, boyhood was a complete mystery to me. Having boys and a girl, I can tell you that they require you to tap into two completely different sides of parenting. Both are hard in their own ways. But raising boys is just constant noises, weird smells, and bizarreness. If you’re a boy mom, you know exactly what I mean. My sister, mom of two girls, is always a...

Keep Reading