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The "Day of Silence" is scheduled for April 17 this year.

It is an annual event at schools organized by GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network).

I appreciated receiving this educational piece about it this week:

Keep Your Children Home from School on Day of Silence April 17, 2015

If you have children in public schools—or know kids from your church in public schools—you owe it to them to find out what they will be faced with on that day.

This article explains how the "Day of Silence" puts teachers as well as students in what feels like a lose/lose place.

Read the article. And then together let's pray that Christian parents and teachers will be equipped to make Godly responses to this overt attempt to manipulate students.

Image: Corey Ann “Jitters” via Flickr Creative Commons
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Stormy First Week of School?

Lisa Cherry —  August 28, 2014

storm clouds 33011952_32afa56892_z Note: If this post does not apply to you perhaps you know a friend who needs some strong encouragement!

This post is for those who need a little encouragement right now.

Maybe the first week of your new school year did not go as smoothly as what you hoped. Or maybe it is even worse—it was a complete disaster!

Just this morning I was  walking in my house when a strong memory hit my mind. I remembered when my 15 year old daughter Kalyn was in the worst state after her sexual abuse. E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g about my daily life became difficult.

She was Defiant with a capital D and Miserable with a capital M! (In fact, the first day of one of her semesters she protested by running away for a day!)

Let's face it. For many different reasons children can go through seasons where it feels almost impossible to have peace.

But here is my encouragement: You serve a God who is the Prince of Peace and who surrounds His people with songs of deliverance!

Draw close to Him immediately, dear parent. Do not try to figure this all out on your own strength.

He understands your disappointment and your embarrassment. And He is right there with you to bring you comfort, wisdom, and strength.

Go back and read Isaiah 61: 1-4. Take strength from those precious words of hope.

You will make it through this season of struggle. God will breakthrough with the wisdom and grace you so desperately need. Please know I am praying for you right now!

Here are some links that can help you right now to gain some fresh strength and vision.

Am I Ready for a Parenting Crisis?

Mission Accomplished: She Rebelled So Hard, But God’s Plan Prevailed

Peace in Parenting At-Risk Teens

Image: Tim Hamilton “A Storm Brewing”   via Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

 

 

 

 

storm clouds

https://www.flickr.com/photos/22017189@N00/33011952/

 

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In one sense I hate to see summer go.... But in the other sense I love the thrill of new beginnings.  

We lift off into the new school year with high hopes of wide vistas, great adventures, and new triumphs.

But after 26 of these August rituals, I must confess to something rather unpleasant.

Long about 10 days after the start of school, I will experience a terrible letdown when my romanticized excitement wears off!   

We find ourselves back on the ground, wondering how to regain our momentum.

For no matter how many fresh new supplies I buy, we STILL seem to fall into some of the same old weakness traps we had last May!

Just yesterday I was making my own personal reality check when a new thought hit my mind.

balloon above landscape 85922275_758ba03b97_zLisa, what if this year you disarmed that overwhelmed, letdown feeling by making some new decisions?

What if instead of trying to pretend the "old giants" are somehow magically gone, you just went ahead and faced them now. And then built a new plan.

So here is what I did yesterday that caused me to wake up this morning much more prepared for the August ride.

3 Ways to Avoid the After-School-Starts Letdown

1. Remember
Go ahead and let your mind turn back to last April and May. I know the summer months are a welcome oasis (which is why I am NOT a fan of year-round school!)

But go ahead and remember the developmental challenges and stinky attitudes. But this time, do not let yourself fall into the familiar emotional pit. Instead use each one of those memories as a springboard for an honest conversation with the Lord.

2. Dig deeper
Here was my prayer:

Lord, what is really going on here in this issue? What is the root immaturity or wrong thinking pattern that I am not seeing?  How do I need to help my child grow out of this state? What fresh insight or perspective or tool do I need right now? How can I map out on paper a strategy and vision for my leadership over this problem?

Here are a few of the good things that happened for me yesterday during this step:

  1. I developed fresh motherly compassion.
  2. I began to see myself as a leader... instead of a victim.
  3. I discovered how one of my kid's strengths could be used to cover over a weakness.
  4. I found a website that taught me a whole new insight into one of the developmental issues that has been causing our household some stress.
  5. I made a plan to actually teach some new life skills to my kids, instead of just nagging them about how they are missing those life skills!

3. Do it now....don't wait

It suddenly hit me that for some of my plans, we did not need to wait for the official school start date! We just needed Mom to be like Nike and Just do it!

Maybe you can sense what I mean here. No fanfare. No grand announcement. No ceremony. Just a quiet stepping into what I already knew I needed to do.

And guess what? It worked! We took our first step toward greater maturity. And first steps are really what a good school start is all about anyway, isn't it?

I went to bed last night confident and at peace.  My Father God is so good to me! I am ready to take on the new year with a smile!

Image#1 : messycupcakes “Hot air balloon” via Flickr Creative Commons
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Image #2: Michael J. Slekzak (JW)  “Blue Moon over Fairbanks Ranch”via Flickr Creative Commons
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Gratefully linked to:
List It {Tuesday}
Mommy Moments

 

Your kids' friends will shape who they become. How do we helpsoccer friends 11275093783_aa1a0dee7e them choose wisely?

How about finding a way to turn a negative into a positive?!  

As parents we are always concerned about the problem of peer pressure. For good reason.

We know what the scripture says (i.e. bad company corrupts good morals. 1 Corinthians 15:33) , and we know what happened in our own lives (i.e. we either got caught up in the wrong crowd or watched others get shipwrecked.)

But our kids will often say....

"But Mom, he is my friend!"

 It is entirely age appropriate and necessary for our children to form friendships and learn to build relationships. The problem is they are inexperienced in the process and prone to naive errors.

So .....here is our helpful conversation #3: We must teach them about the concept of the levels of friendships. Who can we borrow some expert knowledge from to help us with this task? Interestingly enough, a casual Google search proves that "levels of relationship" is a concept talked about by everyone from the marketing world to the  ministry world. I suppose everyone has their own theories and terms.

For me, a simple bull’s eye chart makes a lot of sense. Of course, it is very difficult to get all relationships to neatly fall on the classification chart, but I think you can get the idea. By way of discussion, let’s say there are 5 levels of friendships and we use these labels:

1. Casual friend
2. Good friend
3. Confidant friend
4. Mentor
5. Jesus

You may like other labels better, but pick one set and run with it. Then help your kids correctly identify the characteristics of each level and who is currently in each level of friendship. This is highly diagnostic as you check their ability to discern!

Here Are Your Tools:

 - 20 Bible Verses on Friendship

- 5 Levels of Friends Article

Facebook Friends vs. Real Friends - Podcast

- When Teens Are Lost - Podcast

- Stages of Friendship

Be prepared. They won't "get it" without your help. They will need your wise counsel to help them draw correct guidelines as they learn to manage their own relationships.

I am personally not a fan of the BFF concept, as I think it causes so much confusion and pain. Can you see a way to mature that image in their mind using this chart? And while you are at it, help them to place online friends on the chart.

We all know that friends enter and exit our lives as seasons of life change. But kids do not know this. Help them to understand that when friends leave or seasons change, it does not define them.

And here is a big one: I truly believe that siblings and parents belong on this friend chart.

Parents are to be the closest of mentors.  And as some of my children have grown and launched, they are discovering that siblings are for life (level 3)....while friends move on.

How can you help your children cultivate healthy confidant-level friendships with their siblings this school year even as they may meet other new friends?

Sincerely,

Lisa Cherry

Send us your response to this conversation and be watching for "Conversation #4" in your inbox tomorrow!

Image: “blue brothers” woodleywonderworks via Flickr Creative Commons
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We just finished our summer tour and are finalizing our fall & spring tour schedule! If you are interested in having Frontline Family Ministries come to your church, school, or event please call Lucas Cherry at 618-525-0002 or email him at Lucas@FrontlineFamilies.com. Here is a link to our speaker packet: SPEAKER PACKET

cliff

Is that your child is standing on the edge of a dangerous cliff? 

He could fall...  or jump off!!

What can you do to protect him?

I told you last time that I would be sending you instructions for 5 important conversations for us to have with our kids before school starts again.

Most of us are down to the last days of summer. So while we are busy buying the school supplies, let's also attend to the more important work of before-school preparation.

Do I need to spend much effort to convince you that something is terribly wrong in our culture? With every passing day, we are watching horrible, ungodly changes. I figure if you are reading this email, you are already in agreement with us that we have a big PROBLEM.

But may I remind you, fellow parent, that what we see as an obvious PROBLEM may not appear so obvious to our children.  They don't remember the good ole' days when God was honored and moral boundaries were clear.

Hey, to our kids 5 years ago seems like a lifetime. Therefore, they are in danger of recalibrating to the new normal.

So with this big PROBLEM, our families' risk is no longer just the danger of our kids developing a rebellious attitude, smoking some cigarettes, and failing a few classes. You are up against something far more serious. We are up against:

The spiritual force of Lawlessness…

     .....and the Great Falling Away from God

Parents, before school starts again, we must alert our children of these two dangers they will most certainly face. If they are not aware of the spiritual atmosphere they are living in, they may become easy prey for the forces of darkness seeking to steer their life over the cliff.

Are you prepared to have this important conversation with your child? Are you prepared to explain to them that many of their peers even this year may develop an "I can write my own rules and be my own boss" attitude, and will begin to smirk at things like absolute truth and biblical values?

Are you ready to help them become astute at recognizing the voice of the devil when he presents them with smooth sounding lies? (Luke 4:1-13)

This is the most important stuff. For your children's spiritual life may depend on their ability to withstand the pounding tide of spiritual warfare that is destroying this current generation.

We (not just the pastors and youth leaders) must be the ones to warn them and to train them to know the truth. For either we help them recognize and resist the poison flooding toward them, or they will end up swallowing the lethal mixture for themselves.

Conversation #2 requires courage, wisdom and a Bible. So here are your tools to get you started. You do not have to be a Bible scholar to understand. But when your family reads these scriptures together, feel free to consult Bible Study Tools.

Matthew 24: 4-14

2 Thessalonians 2

1 Timothy 4: 1-2

2 Timothy 3:1-5

If they are not yet recognizing the PROBLEM, we suggest getting them a copy of our book Not Open: Win the Invisible Spiritual Culture War.

Together as a family you can STAND in the REMNANT!

Image: Andrew Catellier09-23-2012” via Flickr Creative Commons
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