Friday evening, in my little town, we had a back to school bash. It was a great time. The kids played, danced and everyone socialized. There were lots of food vendors and lots of fun games. There were a couple of businesses that donated some gift baskets to giveaway and my oldest daughter won one of these baskets. I was excited for her but had no idea what was happening behind the scenes. I had two moms approached me and let me know that a few other girls were snatching things out of her gift basket as soon as it was given to her, but my sweet daughter took it like the mature little girl that she is and turned the other cheek. After she had her picture taken, she proceeded to pass out the candy that those girls had already tried to steal out of her basket. These two moms blessed me in a way that they don’t even know, just by their words. They told me that we, as parents, we’re doing a great job raising wonderful girls. They said that they were proud of my daughter for the way that she handled it.
There were a few lessons that I learned that night. First, when you see something good in someone else, or in their kids, tell them! Do not rob them of that blessing. My husband and I were just talking about this exact same thing earlier that evening. When the first mom walked up to me I was automatically assuming that one of my girls had done something bad. We need to change this. Don’t just tell the bad things. Let people know about the things that you appreciate and the good things that you see.
The second lesson was this. Parents, we need to do better and be better. Our kids follow our example and our lead. They repeat the awful things that they hear. They do what they think is cool. Now, I’m not saying that they don’t do things that we tell them not to. My girls do things that aren’t right and they know that isn’t how we do things in our family. They are kids, they want to fit in, they have trouble controlling emotions, but we can’t turn our heads when we see these things. Every moment our kids go through is a teaching moment, whether it’s good or bad. Be careful who your kids hang out with. Again, they learn from who they are around. Middle School is hard, let’s not make it worse. Instead of pointing out other’s mistakes and the bad things that you see in others to our kids, talk to your kids about the good things that you see in their peers.
Knowing what happened Friday evening made me proud and sad at the same time. We’ve been dealing with a little social anxiety and it broke my heart that she had to go through this. It did make me feel better when I found out that these girls weren’t girls that she considers friends, but it still should have never happened. It made me proud to know that she is maturing into such a wonderful young lady. I struggle, as a mom, wondering and hoping that I’m doing a good job with my girls, raising them to love God first and love people. I know other moms feel the exact same way, so let them know when you see that they are. The next morning, when I was listening to my music while working around the house, the song “The God Who Stays” came on and in that song it says “You’re the God who stays, You’re the one who runs in my direction, when the whole world walks away“ and it brought tears to my eyes because I want my girls to always remember this. You can’t rely on the world. It will walk away and disappoint Every. Single. Time. God is the only one who is constant and will never leave you. He loves you more than anyone ever could or ever will.
So, parents, let’s do better by watching how we are and what we say. Also, let’s do better by pointing out the good in others, not only to our kids, but to other parents. Thank you to those two moms for the blessing that you gave me Friday evening.