I Hate School! What’s a Mom to do?


I remember being at an event where I met another little six-year-old who was right at my age.

“I hate school,” I said with all the passion of my being. Let’s just say that my first grade teacher and I were far from compatico.

She liked to talk. And talk. And talk.

I liked to daydream and place myself anywhere except that little desk.

But, seriously…What can you do if your kid hates school?

My Mom is a retired Kindergarten teacher from wayyyy down in south Alabama. I got input from her as well as from a church friend who also has a master’s degree but in middle school.

Here’s what they suggested:

1. Get them involved in an extra-curricular activity that they’re passionate about.

2. Keep the lines of communication up between you and the teacher. Maybe your child is exaggerating, but maybe not.

3. Invite your child’s school friends over and meet their parents.

4. Try to let your older kids handle problems themselves so they can grow in their confidence.

5. Redirect their negative thoughts into a positive if possible. For example, if they despise math, remind them that they also get to do art, reading, or drama. (Okay, so that was my issue in school!)

6. Above all, take their problems seriously and be empathetic–especially if their safety is involved. After all, you want your kids to be able to come to you with any problem they have, right?

I found this fantastic website from Dr. Judy Willis–a Santa Barbara neurologist who actually started teaching middle school for awhile to put her neurology knowledge into practice.

Her site has links, video clips, and insight galore into the minds of our Littles: www.radteach.com.

Let me know what you think, and I’d love to gather more ideas to potentially publish in a parenting magazine. I’ll give you credit, of course! 🙂


If “Parenting isn’t for Cowards,” Just Call Me “Ol’ Yeller.”

First published in 1987, Dr. James Dobson wrote Parenting Isn’t for Cowards: Dealing Confidently With the Frustrations of Child-Rearing. It looks like he wrote an updated version for the new millennium in 2010.
I don’t know about you, but I think I’m a parenting coward.

Funny thing, though.

used to have it figured out.

I studied family dynamics, human development, and elementary education when I was in college. By the time I got out, I was certain that I would never (n-e-v-e-r!) give my child candy in a grocery store or mall. No, I wouldn’t even allow my child to have candy–ever.

I would never use the TV as a babysitter, and I took the parental oath in the delivery room that I would never allow my child to have more than 2 hours of daily screen time–based on advise of educational researchers. (After taking the oath, the delivery nurse handed over the baby…jk–I made that up.)

Which takes me to the illustrious start of a new school year.

Every year I gaze at kids in adorable first-day-of-school clothes on Facebook. More often than not, even more adorable than the kids are the Pin-worthy signs that the children/teens are holding.

Alas, alas! 

My kid adamantly refused to be in one of those pictures. I promised not to put her on Facebook. I promised her all the candy that she could possibly eat when it was done. I promised that she could hold a cute chalkboard sign that I personally made with my own withering fingers.

And she put her foot down.

But not quite.

She finally allowed me to take a snapshot of her sitting on the sofa, tying her bright red Converse tennis shoes, her backpack and gaggle of musical instruments in the background.

I’ll take what I can get, okay? Judge me if you must…but shhhhhhhhhh! I’m secretly going to post her picture on FB. There it is, in black and white at the top of this post.


Deep Waters — A Devotional Thought for Monday


In Psalm 69:1-2, the Psalmist experiences something that we all go through every now and again–deep waters.

He says, “Save me, O God; for the waters have come in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I have come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me (KJV, Psalm 69:1-2; http://www.Biblehub.com).”

In fact, I experienced something like this today. I have a writing deadline today and my computer wasn’t working. It kept locking up. So, I finally managed to load my docs on a thumb drive and take it to our local public library.

All I had to do was a simple edit.

Everything was going swimmingly (pun intended!) until I realized that I had saved an article under the wrong title…Which meant that somewhere along the lines, I’d deleted an article. And I had long ago deleted the client’s interview from my recorder.

Fortunately, I’d saved an earlier draft, so things weren’t that dire. Except that I had to go back home and use my rickety computer to get the previous draft.

Okay, so this isn’t the worst thing that could happen, even though I was close to tears and ready to take a sledge hammer to my cathode ray tube. But it was one of those life stressors. And we all experience those.

See the pictures that I took of the creek in Madison, Alabama? The one where Snuggles is gazing down at it like she would enjoy a nice swim?


What you may not know is that the creek is way too swollen for her to take a dip because we’ve had so much rain. Just give it a couple of weeks sans rain, and it will go back down.

When life’s worries seem to have you neck-deep in stress, remember the creek. Most of the time the stress will diminish.

In the meantime, ask our Father to give you strength until the floods recede.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path (Proverbs 3:5-6).”


The Sunny Sunflower Field

Sunflowers in the Isom’s Field.

The other day, I drove past this beautiful field of Sunflowers in a sunny field in the country near Athens, Alabama. Love!!!

What southerner doesn’t love sunflowers? I surely do!

There was a sign that said something like: You pick–Saturdays mornings!

The field was near Isom’s Orchard, one of my favorite roadside farmer’s market that is known for their delicious peaches, apples, etc.

I met one of the Isom ladies, who is nice as she can be. All of those Isoms are super-nice.

What do you think of the sunflowers that I picked for Sweetgum House? I love comments! 🙂

Sunflowers at Sweetgum House.

Note: I paid $1/stem for the sunflowers, which won’t growing much longer. You may recall that my Papa Lindsey and then my parents owned a little store in rural south Alabama…So I love promoting local businesses such as Isom’s, Lowe Mill, Funky Monkey, University Pickers…all of those people! They’re cut from the same cloth as my Lindsey clan! 😉 Not to mention, I love writing about them!