Are Other Moms Hiding from You?

I have a confession to make.  I used to hide from other moms.

Let me explain.  I’d pretend I didn’t see them or walk in a different direction diverting my eyes hoping they wouldn’t notice me.  I’d pull back from interacting with the moms who always seemed to want to share the latest new accomplishment or wise choice or great opportunity of their kid that was similar in age to mine.  If I did interact with them, I would listen and try to engage in their excitement only to walk away feeling defeated.

My child wasn’t measuring up — translate, I must be a loser parent.

I have another confession to make.  I’ve also been that mom that I’m guessing other moms wanted to hide from.

You see, it is natural to want to shout it from the mountaintop when our kid succeeds or makes wise choices.  It is easy to think that our parenting skills put that child at the head of their class so to speak.  Our kids can make us proud.

We can also be a proud parent in one moment only to be in the pit of despair the next moment when they do something that we find frustrating or life-altering.  Yes, being a parent can be unbelievably difficult at times.

And when our kids do something that everyone can see, that’s when we want to hide.

Whether it is really happening or just our imagination, we hide out of fear — fear of judgment, fear of exclusion, and fear of gossip and what others are thinking.  Our kid’s behavior can be demoralizing for us.  It can cause repercussions for our child.  It can break our hearts.

I talk to women on a regular basis who are exactly where I’ve been.  They feel like they can’t talk to the other moms that they have always called their friends.  

Our kids’s choices can make us feel shame as we parent because we’ve wrapped our identity up in their behavior rather than our identity in Christ.

Sad, but true.

These women need a safe place to land.  They need someone who will listen without passing judgment.  They need someone who will openly share their parenting heartaches as well, so these parents don’t feel like the worst parent on the planet.

These moms need someone who will emotionally hold them even as their world is falling apart — someone who will cry with them and laugh with them in a way that says things will be okay.

They need another mom who can point them to the truth — we can’t be God in our children’s lives.  We can’t always control our children’s choices.  All we can do is love them through it and give them a safe place to land when they are ready to make better decisions.

Regardless of where our children are in the moment – great kids making great choices — or challenging kids making poor choices, can we share the love of Christ with those who are hurting in their parenting walk?  Can we walk into the hurting parent’s world offering a hug and no judgment?

Maybe instead of saying “Look what my kid did” (implying what a great parent we must be), maybe we can say something like “Look what God is doing in my child’s life”.

Choosing to see God in our children’s lives takes away the parenting mountaintop experience or the depths of despair and will unify us in a way that can take away the stigma of shame when our kids make mistakes.  After all, it isn’t about our kids.  It isn’t about us as parents.  It’s about Him.

Romans 8:1

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.  For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
Dare you to be the Christian mom God has called you to be as you walk beside those who are hurting.
“Let go…and Let God”,
If you would like to encourage moms who are struggling or even if you just want a better relationship with your own teen, why not build a community of parents who would like to learn together?
With All Due Respect isn’t a book to sit down and read, it’s curriculum.  Actually it is a devotional and a course with stories and prayers all rolled into one that can be completed in 40 days.  What’s more is that every group leader we’ve talked to has told us the same thing, “Parents and teachers alike need this information!”  We promise you that by starting your own group, you’ll make close friends and be able to share and pour into other moms unlike anything you’ve seen before.  It will challenge you to set a path for healthy launch of your kids.
Why not put a group together and hang out at the pool while your kids are swimming this summer?  Or find another time to all get together?  We promise you an experience like you’ve never had.  You’ll grow closer to God and build healthier relationships with your kids at the same time.

What if I Mess My Kid Up?

As I talk to mothers across the country, I hear it more and more, “I’m afraid I’ll do something to mess my kid up”. 

I want us to take a step back from that statement and think deeply about what that real fear might be.

  1. Do we think that we might say something that will make our child want to leave home and never speak to us again?
  2. Are we afraid that our actions might cause our kids to make choices like drinking, taking drugs, cutting, getting pregnant, or something else?
  3. Do we think that they’ll need to be in therapy when they get older because of something we did?
  4. Are we fearful that if we don’t teach our kid everything they need to know our child might make a mistake and something bad will happen to them?

I’ve heard some women make comments like this and laugh afterwards hoping it comes across as a joke.  I wonder if deep down, under the surface, there is a subtle thought that one false move could turn their fear into a nightmare.   I wonder if holding onto that fear will move them toward abdicating their God given authority and perhaps swing them into the permissive parenting zone in order to not rock the boat with their kids?

Let’s face it.  We all want to be the best mom we can possibly be to our kids and the reality is that we won’t always get it right. 

No, we-won’t-always-get-it-right.

I hope you are breathing a sigh of relief here. 

I hope you are taking a deep breath and letting that reality sink in. 

You can let go of the fear, the anxiousness, and the “did I do that right? questioning”.  We don’t have to always second guess our decisions and wonder if everything will be okay.  The bottom line is that sometimes it won’t be all right.  Sometimes we will cause our child pain or frustration.  That is how they have to learn at times.

We also need to remember that we aren’t God.  If we parent as if we are in control of our kids’ world and their happiness, we’ll most likely mess them up anyway.

If you will, take a step back and think of where God has woven the tapestry of your own life.  Your childhood set you on a path.  You learned some tough things as you grew up.  You learned survival skills, and how to take ownership.  You learned that there will be good times and bad times.  You learned that your parents aren’t perfect and that sometimes Christians don’t always act like Christians.  You learned about relationships, and conflict, and a host of other things.  And sometimes it was painful.  And, yes, sometimes we’ve had to go to counseling for it so that we can better understand our past.

And that is okay.  Life should be a growth process.

The contexts in which you have learned have been in every aspect of your life — as a student, as a daughter, as a sister, as a wife, as an employee, and as a friend.  Through those contexts God has woven our testimony for our good and for His glory.

And He will do the same for our kids if we don’t get in the way.

Can we trust Him?

We don’t have to feel the weight of being the perfect mom.  We just need to be the best we possibly can given the tools we have in the moment.  The best thing we can do is learn who we are in the context of scripture and apply principles from His Word so that we will be what our kid needs in the day to day of life.  

We need to give our tweens and teens the freedom to make choices.  We need to build relationship.  We need to encourage independence.  We need to resolve conflict well.  We need to interact with respect.  We need to apologize when we mess things up.  And we need to be their safety net when they make wrong choices.  

God is weaving our kids’ journey that He wants to use for His glory.  And truth is that we might not like the path He allows them to go down.

The question we need to ask is, “Will we let Him be in control?”  Or, will we take ownership fearing that we will mess them up?

2 Timothy 1:7 

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and self-control.

Matthew 6:31-33

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

1 Peter 5:6

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

John 14:27 

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Psalm 23:4 

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Letting go of fear means that we don’t have to worry or fret any more.  Letting go of fear means we can love more deeply regardless of the choices our kids make.  Letting go of fear is that we can admit that sometimes we will blow it.

Letting go of fear means that we trust God’s promise that He will work all things together for our good.

Dare you to see where fear might be impacting your relationship with your teen.

“Let go…and Let God”,

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For more information on what Greater Impact does as a ministry, check us out at www.

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5 Things to Consider in Modeling Healthy Relationships for Our Kids

Most all of us have struggled at one time or another with a relationship.  A best friend who takes advantage of us, a parent who always has to have the final say, a boss who uses his positional authority in a negative way, can leave us unsure of what to do next.  Depending on whether we are wound to actively engage in the struggle or retreat to the sidelines determines the lens with which we most likely will teach our kids about how relationships work.  Our advice and counsel will be based on our own experiences.  Did we get the result we wanted with the action we took?

Take, for example, the notorious bully on the playground.  When Jeffrey comes home upset about an incident that happened at school, we as parents respond to Jeffrey’s emotions typically in one of two ways: 1) “You need to learn to stand up for yourself.”  And we’re ready to sign Jeff up for Taekwondo or boxing and we’ll consider marching Jeffrey over to the bully’s house to talk to the bully’s parents.  OR  2) “You need to stay away from that kid.” And we’re ready to call the teacher to intervene if need be.  We might even go as far as telling all the moms we know about what is happening so that Jeffrey is protected.

I’m not going to debate which way is right or wrong because there are too many variables in the average bullying scenario to even sort through the best response in a given situation.  However, it is important to realize that these are two extremes on the same relationship scale.  Depending on how we respond, we’re either teaching our kid to engage or retreat.

There is another scenario that we typically don’t see and that is the power of influence in the muck of relationships.  It is finding ways to communicate such that the other person can hear.  Things like respect, empathy, validation, and reminding the other person that we belong on the same team can go a long way.  However, another piece of influence if we aren’t getting the result we need is to be willing to create boundaries and utilize our right to instill consequences if the other person is causing us physical or emotional harm.

We know that kids tend to embrace what is “caught not taught”.  And so my question to us as parents is what are we modeling with our relationships?

I was talking to a woman last week about a difficult parenting situation she was struggling with and how it was being handled.  The longer we talked I began to ask questions about how she was responding to the dilemma versus her husband’s response. It was obvious they weren’t even close to being on the same page.  Or were they?

I don’t think she even knows what her husband’s true thoughts or feeling are on the situation.

Here’s why.  What I discovered was that her husband appeared to have had an overbearing mother who still tries to control her now adult, married son with his own kids.  This dad is caught between responding to his mother’s thoughts on how to handle her grandchild and his wife’s desires on how they should handle the situation.  Based on this woman’s comments, this dad seems to be doing exactly what his dad did–retreat and hope it would all blow over.

How sad.

His lack of action will most likely not bring the best outcome for his child.

But more importantly for us as moms, could we be doing the very same thing to our kids?  Are we modeling control in such a way that we are impacting our kid’s relationships now and in the future?

What if in the same situation above a daughter had witnessed the relationship dynamic with her parents.  Would she learn that moms are to control and dad’s role is to retreat?

So what can we as moms do to model healthy relationships so that our kid’s don’t end up on one end or the other of the relationship scale?

  1. Take a self inventory.  Do you retreat?  Do you tend to engage in conflict?  If so, do you fight fair?  (Fighting fair means that we engage in conflict in a way that builds the relationship rather than taking an I’m right/you’re wrong position.)
  2. Do your kids see you operating in your relationships in healthy ways:  With your spouse?  With your parents?  With your in-laws?  With extended family?  What about the friends you interact with on a day-to-day basis?
  3. How do you know you are modeling healthy relationships?  What is your measurement?  In other words, is there always conflict?  Do friends stick around?  Do you stay engaged with the person when difficulty arises between you and another person?  Do you know when it is in your best interest to hold that person at arm’s length?
  4. Take a look at how you deal with your teen’s relationship struggles.  Do you counsel in a healthy way hoping to bring both people back together so they can remain friends?  Or do you always take your child’s side empathizing to the point that your child feels justified with their feelings and actions?  Do you help your child try to see both sides?  Do you encourage them to go pray about the situation and for the other person?
  5. Do you re-engage with your teen to see how things are going so you can coach them through the next phase of reconciliation or being able to walk away with dignity?

I’ll admit that this can be deep work for some of us.  When healthy relationships have not been modeled for us, we typically don’t even become aware of it until something happens where it really matters.  The potential loss of a job, or marriage, or the possibility that we will lose a child who chooses to walk away will bring any of us to a place of looking hard at ourselves and how we do relationship if we are willing to take ownership for our part.

Sometimes we forget that it takes two people to have relationship just like it takes two people to have conflict.  By taking inventory of ourselves, we’ll be able to make sure we are operating in a healthy way so that we can better model it for our kids.

Ephesians 4:2-3

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 
 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
2 Corinthians 5:17-18
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here! 
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
Dare you to take inventory to see what you are modeling in your home.
“Let go…and Let God”,
Healthy relationships are so important, yet many of us don’t even know what they should look like.  All the training materials we create at Greater Impact lead women toward understanding what healthy relationships could look like if our eyes are focused on Jesus Christ. It’s skills based on brain-science and research along with what is taught in Scripture.  You will walk away with a whole new perspective of what it means to have relationship with Him, yourself, and others.
If you want to grow in your relationships, here’s what we offer: 
          For Moms: 
With All Due Respect: 40 Days to a More Fulfilling Relationship with Your Teens and Tweens
          For Wives:
 The Respect Dare: 40 Days to a Deeper Connection with God and Your Husband Daughters of Sarah Participant Manual
           For All Women: