Standing Up For Your Kids

Father Holding Sons Hand

The conversation is a familiar one. “How can it be that school has already started?” “Yeah, I know. I can’t believe it’s that time of year again.” I enter the dialogue by sharing my most recent theory. Mankind is living out a sci-fi movie in which the passage of time has been ramped up. Somewhere, in the far reaches of the galaxy, Dr. Who or Captain Kirk are frantically trying to save the planet. Meanwhile earth’s inhabitants are trying to live out their days with normalcy despite the fact that some unknown enemy has altered Einsteinium time principles.  At this point in the conversation the other women exchange polite glances and change the subject.

Regardless of the back-story one fact remains——

The kids are back in school.

There are a hundred joys that come with school. It doesn’t matter if it’s home-school, public or private. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the people you love learn and grow as they morph into the person God created them to be.

On the flip side, there is nothing more painful than seeing your little people enter a great big world and come home with heads dropped and tails tucked licking their wounds. Ouch. It makes a Mama’s heart hurt just thinking about it.

What on earth is a DoAhead mom to do? We all want to parent with foresight. We know our kids need to learn life lessons on their own. But when is it right to step in? Many years ago our family wrestled with this issue. I poured over scripture with as much fervor as I poured my heart out in prayer. Answer came in the form of a book that sits dog-eared, underlined and coffee stained on my shelf.

Vicki Caruana’s Standing Up For Your Child (without stepping on toes) was a god send. The book gave me much needed wisdom on how to handle a teacher-student situation that had been a source of anguish in our home for years. It’s been a long time since I opened up these pages but it occurred to me that some sweet DoAhead out there might appreciate this resource. Below are eight primary principles from the book.

 1. Be mindful of what we model.

Our children will deal with conflict the way we do. Caruana maps out three possibilities, the buddy, the bully and the hero. Bottom line, our kiddos are watching us.

2. Know intimately the needs of both sides before you speak for either.

If we do get involved it is imperative to listen to THEIR story before we tell ours.

3. Keep the long term best interest of your child in mind when you make short-term decisions to intercede.

It’s easy to be a helicopter parent but we need to teach our kids to ask themselves and their teachers, “What can I do to succeed?”

4. Make sure your words and actions are in harmony when dealing with others.

The goal in confronting with truth is not to slander, humiliate or discredit.

5. Be willing to seek advice when you’re unsure, instead of pretending you know it all.

Ask questions that clarify, provoke thought and enlist help.

6. Consider carefully the self you want to present to the world as a parent.

It can be helpful to reveal to others your decision making process, offer them a behind-the-scenes tour.

7. Let your children see how it’s done, then step back and let them do it.

Allow that last part to sink in——Let. Them. Do. It.

8. Trust in the certainty of your calling.

You’re the one God chose to parent. God is sovereign. The combination of you and your child is NOT an accident.


The kids are off and running and by God’s grace it will be a great year.  But in the event a teacher, coach or classmate becomes  source of concern perhaps Caruana’s book and the book will help us navigate the hardest DoAhead ever——parenting with wisdom!

“Instruction does much, but encouragement everything.” ~ Johann Wolgang von Goethe

Your DoAhead Friend,

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