Bedtimes are Awesome Teaching Moments

Some of my best conversations with Hannah have occured once she is tucked in her bunkbed. Most nights bedtime is a hurried experience because I just want to go downstairs and veg and be off the clock as a mama. Or I am eager to go watch my show I have recorded. But tonight after I quickly prayed with her, she said,”Mama, I just want to talk.” I said,”Do you want to talk or just an excuse to stay up later?” She responded,”kind of both.” I thought I need to take her up on this opportunity. She may not always want to stay up late talking to her mom but I pray it never stops.

So I snuggled and asked how school is going and if anyone has been mean to her or bullying her. She said no so I asked if anyone else in her class is being treated bad. She shared with me about a little girl who no one likes. A little girl who is constantly in trouble, sucks her thumb and is very low academically. We have talked about her before because she sat at her table. Hannah said she is nice to her and lets her sit by her on the carpet. She said other students will loudly groan if this girl sits down next to them or they will actually get up and move away from her. One student actually got in big trouble because she was repeatedly kicking the little girl while on the carpet. After Hannah shared that I could not help but cry. My heart ached for this little rejected girl. I told Hannah how that made mama so sad to know a little girl goes home each day feeling rejected, ugly and unloved. I have talked to Hannah before about kids with behavior problems. I explained that the way they act is often connected to their family and their life at home. We have told her that these kids often come from homes that are hard places to live. They may have parents who only yell at them and or at each other. They may be hit by their parents. They may only have a mom and maybe their daddy is in jail. They may only hear words that hurt. So the way they act at school is often the only way they know how to. They may not have a mom and dad who show they love to each other. We never want her to believe other students are just bad kids. I remind her too that if a kid is really low in reading or struggling in school that it is usually because of parents. Because a 7 yr. old needs help with homework and parents who help them be successful. I remind her that she is where she is at in her studies because she is blessed to have a mom and dad who care so much about her education and have resources and time to help.
I told her that I believe God brings people into our lives to encourage and to show the love of God. We talked about how this girl is special and loved by God. I told her that if someone is told lies over and over then they start to believe those lies that they are ugly, stupid and not special. But we have to help people to know the truth about themselves and tell them how they are special. She shared how a 5th grader had told this little 2nd grade girl that she was ugly. So she heard her teacher tell her that she is beautiful. The little boy next to her whispered under his breath,”No you are not, you are ugly.”
I told her how proud I am of her for being kind to her. I told her that she is leader in her class. Since she is kind, many of the kids like her. I shared with her that leaders have a big responsibility because others will copy them and be like them. So if she stood up for this little girl then other kids may start to be nice to the little girl. But I said even when she is brave and stands up for the rejected that there will likely be kids who tease her for it. But I also believe if she takes those steps of courage that God will bless her for standing up for the rejected. That then lead to us talking about how Jesus regularly during his 33 years on earth stood up for the rejects, outcasts, the ones no one liked. He defended women who were of no value back then. He defended the despised tax collectors, prostitutes and the common man.
We ended the night praying for this little girl that she would not believe the lies that she is unlovely and worthless. We prayed for courage in those times we have the opportunity to stand up for the rejected and prayed the other students would be nice to this girl.