I think we can all agree that we want a better life for our kids. We want them to not make the same mistakes we did. We want them to be kinder, take more risks, maybe attempt more sports and activities, and maybe work a little harder.

Kids are telling me things that happen at school, on the playing field, in the neighborhood, and at the playground AND I am just not ready for the stories I am hearing.

When I was a high school teacher, the tough stuff was second nature. It was par for the course. It was what I signed up for.

I am never one to think kids are innocent, but I am always one to think I am in tune with discovering the truth.

Now my life is surrounded by little kids. I am home. I have more opportunities and time to hear, in great detail, the realities of the early years. There are kids at my house, telling my kids things,
as I am “not listening” from a room away.

An elementary student getting a pencil taken out of their hand and their paper scribbled on by another student… everyday.

An elementary student seeming a little less confident each day.

An elementary student being ignored by the “cool” kids.

An elementary student facing the anxiety of what “group”they will be welcomed by today.

An elementary student declaring that the “popular” kids never included them.

An elementary student too afraid to speak up, not wanting to get the other kid in trouble.

An elementary student hoping seats are changed tomorrow.

An elementary student getting invited to someone’s house and then being told the invitation was only extended because the mom forced it.

These statements are heartbreaking.

Children talk like that to one another.

Children are mean spirited.

Children have no filter.

Some children live in fear, as others play puppeteer to their happiness.

I often thought that Camryn had struggles because of her diagnosis, but her struggles are nothing compared to the struggles that “typical” kids are facing.

If our kids are ever mean, we want an immediate text, email, Facebook message or phone call to let us know because that would force us into action mode as parents, not excuse or blame mode. It would force us to evaluate where the behavior is coming from, how we can help to fix it, and how we can prevent it from happening again.

I stink at a lot of stuff, but my kids live with an element of fear. IF they understand that the consequences they will face will be very serious if I EVER get a phone call from any adult regarding their behavior,  I am winning. 


WE. HAVE. TO. WIN when it comes to character development in our children. 

We have to break our kids of the bad habits that they are developing.

After all, these are habits that could follow them through life. Follow them when we aren’t around to help… when it is too late. 

If our child speaks to us disrespectfully, we should worry.

If they have the guts to treat us with disrespect, imagine how they are treating others?

We need to set boundaries with our kids.

We need to role play what to say and not to say.

We need to help them to develop love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. THEY DON’T COME OUT THAT WAY…

WE- Not the coach, the church, the youth group, the teacher, the grandparent, the neighbor, the pastor…

WE- the parent.

Other adults play important roles in the lives of our kids. We play the most important role! 

Are kids learning negative social habits because of the way we allow them to talk to their siblings?

This is not an excuse. I will never agree with the statement that siblings fighting is the norm and it always will be. It doesn’t have to be.

It is our house, our rules. We create the expectations and consequences. We control the climate and culture of our homes.

I am shocked and saddened by the world around me.

I expect more from people.

I hope people expect more from me.

I hope people expect more from my kids.

I expect adults to be friendlier at the playground, games, schools, and in the neighborhood.

I am so disappointed when they aren’t.

Who wouldn’t want to be my friend, your friend, my kid’s friend or your kid’s friend?

We have so much to share with the world, as do our kids. Stop living in a bubble and expand your circle. Your kids may notice and expan their circles too. 

What are we doing to produce kids with integrity?

  • Are our kids seeing us talk respectfully to one another?

  • Are they listening to us gossip and bash others?

  • Do they see us excluding adults as if we too are stuck in the “playground” years? 

  • Do they watch us as someone says “Hi” to us and we ignore the person and not respond? By the way this is just unacceptable adult behavior. Our kids should never witness us ignoring or barely answering another adult. We prompt toddlers to respond yet sometimes act like we are still in the toddler, caveman-like stage, barely grunting at the person who spoke to us.  

  • Do we give off an air of dominance? If Dave or I were to act like jerks, chances are the girls would too.

  • Are they serving others more than they are being served?

 Remember, our kids are watching our every move. Play the game right. We may not win every time, but we have to try to win again and again…everyday. Thank God, everyday is a new day.

We have the power to stop this as early as tomorrow morning. It starts with a simple conversation with our kids.

Tomorrow I am going to make it very clear, yet again,that words hurt, exclusion hurts, being nice is easier.

Let’s stop our kids from having to deal with heavy stuff at such a young age. It isn’t fun to be the victim, but the perpetrator losses in the end.

Victims end up overcoming and rising above.

Look back at the people you viewed as victors during your adolescent years. Maybe those victors made you feel like a victim. Where are they now? In most cases, not where I want to be…. Interesting, right? 

If our kids are mean in elementary school, we better run as they get older.

We will lose our kids to the ways of the world.

Our kids will turn into:

  • Social Media driven

  • Popularity seeking

  • Empty teenagers

  • Broken adults.

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  1. Bobbi Smisko on March 13, 2018 at 6:43 am

    So good, Kristi!!! Preach it and teach it. I know you live it! Bless you!

  2. Christie on March 13, 2018 at 7:17 am

    This is gold! Action mode is what we owe to our kids or their lives will be so difficult down the road. Our house theme is “Kindness wins over cranky”. Wouldn’t life be so much easier if everyone got that message early on?

  3. Pattie Stifnell on March 13, 2018 at 9:07 am

    Your comments are so true Kristi. Thank You for speaking up.

  4. Ginny Moffatt on March 13, 2018 at 11:12 am

    This is a great essay on kindness. My 6th grade granddaughter mentions phrases such as “the popular kids” or he/she is “very mean” almost every week.

  5. Ruth Clow on March 13, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    Excellent, Kristi! It brought to mind something my wonderful sister-in-law said once: “The last words I heard from my mother each day as I left for school were, ‘Remember to think of others today.'”

  6. Lois King on March 13, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    This should be shared to as many people as possible. I worry every day my grandchildren are not being bullied or treated meanly and Hope they are kind to others

  7. Kristi on March 13, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    Thanks! I agree! Keep sharing! ❤️

  8. Kristi on March 13, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    Love this!!

  9. Kristi on March 13, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    The word popular stinks.

  10. Kristi on March 13, 2018 at 6:48 pm


  11. Kristi on March 13, 2018 at 6:48 pm

  12. Kristi on March 13, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    Amen!! Love this!!

  13. Trish Monaghan on March 13, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    Kristi, I have always enjoyed your writings; but I must say this one in the best. It truly touched my heart and my soul. I certainly expect more from adults and parents, and I also am disappointed when their behavior falls short of my expectations. However, unlike you, I do lost sleep over it!

    Children model what they see, and I do fear that (as you indicated) we already have “lost” so many “to the ways of the world.” I am old school, and I feel that “old school” is getting older by the second.

    Keep on writing, Kristi! You have much to say, and you say it well!

  14. Kristi on March 13, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    I try to live it!! 💕

  15. Kristi on March 13, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    Thanks, Trish!!

  16. Trish Luberda on March 14, 2018 at 9:57 am

    Awesome musings, Kristi and albeit very sad, so abundantly true. I look back now through a different lens as 2 of my 3 are now self-sufficient adults and the 3rd is closely right behind,! My real fear is realizing that although I definitely “thought” kids were mean-spirited when my girls were small, I’m seriously daunted at what my future grandchildren may eventually face. It makes my ❤️heart hurt!😢

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