Mailbox Monday is my favorite podcast day, because I get to answer questions straight from you guys. Today it’s a mom having a nervous breakdown because her kids won’t stop fighting (no shame, I’ve been there!) and another mom who really wants to homeschool but isn’t sure she can do it (you can, I’ve been there too!). Join me today, I think you’ll be encouraged!
Today’s Scripture Writing Challenge Verse
- Colossians 4:10-12
Resources Mentioned In Podcast
- Heidi on AllSocial (if the link doesn’t work, just search for my name within the app and click follow!)
- Bringing Up Boys by James C. Dobson
- The Strong-Willed Child James C. Dobson
- Homeschooling Special Needs on The Busy Mom
- Hip Homeschool Moms
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Write to Heidi:
Heidi St. John
c/o Firmly Planted Family
11100 NE 34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682
Support this ministry by donating through E-giving. You can also send donations to: 11100 NE34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682
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Hey everybody. This is Heidi St. John. Welcome to the Heidi St. John Podcast. Today is Monday, May 25th. This is episode number 928. We are creeping very slowly up to a thousand episodes here at the Heidi St. John Podcast. And I am so thankful that you guys have joined me today. It’s mailbox Monday, and you know what that means. I’m going to be answering your questions and hopefully giving you a little bit of encouragement and a scoot off the bench and onto the battlefield. Stick around, I think you’re going to be encouraged.
So thanks for tuning in today you guys. Wow, I hope you’re doing well. Hope you guys have been tracking with me as we’re praying every morning at 7:14, in the spirit of 2 Chronicles 7:14. And if you haven’t joined me in that effort, I’m going to encourage you to do that. We are calling Christians, really around the nation and around the world to prayer and to ask the Lord to do exactly what David did. Father search my heart, try me and see if there’s anything, any wicked way in me. Anything that needs to be rooted out, anything that doesn’t please you. And so often in the church, we’ve discovered that we are unwilling to address sin and has largely made us impotent in the culture.
And one of the things I’m praying for it in this era of COVID-19, this scam-demic that we are facing as a nation, I’m really praying it’s a wake up call for the church. A wake up call to coming back to God’s word and God’s ways in everything from how we relate to each other in the church to how we view human sexuality and how we address the issues that are happening in the culture, which the church really has largely shied away from. So I hope you guys are joining me in that prayer. And as we seek the Lord of heaven’s armies together, we’re going to wait with an anticipation to see what God will do. And I think that God’s going to do amazing things.
It’s Mailbox Monday today, also known as one of my favorite days of the week at the podcast. And I’m really pleased today because I have a sponsor at this podcast. And I know a lot of you guys are wondering whether or not homeschooling is a good fit for you. So this is a great time to talk about it, right? So the summer is here and a lot of you are making plans for the fall. And I’ve talked about this on the podcast many times, and my friends at BJU Press want you to know that you can do it. They also know that you probably have a million questions, right? Am I right? Yes, I am right. So to help you find the answers to those questions, they have a team of consultants who will, get this, talk to you. Yep. You heard me right. They’ll talk to you on the phone about all the wonderful things that BJU Press has to offer because they’re veteran homeschool moms themselves.
And so when you talk to them, you’re going to get answers about practical homeschooling questions as well as more broad based advice. And so if you want to visit with someone in person, they even have a map for finding a local consultant. So check it out. You can learn more at Homeschoolhealth.com/Heidi.
All right, you guys know that I love it when you turn in questions to me here at mailbox Monday. I’m going to try to sort of rapid fire through a lot of them today and hope that it encourages you. If you’ve got a question that you want to turn into me here at mailbox Monday, just go to HeidiStJohn.com/MailboxMonday. As always, I’m always telling you guys, it really helps me if you keep it short and sweet and to the point. And we will get to your questions eventually.
Normally I don’t answer these questions here at the show, but I felt like it was a good time to do it more because we have been asking for your financial support here at the ministry, particularly as I have not been traveling, which means I’m not selling books, which means I’m not getting paid to speak. The Lord’s been good to us and the Lord is taking care of us as he always does. And often he’s doing it through your giving. And I really appreciate that. And so this listener said, “What charitable organizations are supported by your ministries and by the sale of your products? I like to know where my money is going before I make a purchase or support a business.” So actually I appreciate that. That’s the reason I don’t shop at Target, right? Because I know that when I give them my money, it’s going to ridiculous things like Planned Parenthood and making sure the bathrooms are safe for transgendered kids. And so I appreciate you asking me the question. I’m not offended by it at all. When you support the podcast here, or you buy the books or any of the things that I’ve written, or the tee shirts that we make, anything like that, your money literally goes to support this ministry.
And so it supports MomStrong International, which is the Bible study that I have for women. And it supports my family and it supports us in our ability to pay our staff. We have about eight people that work for us, and they are also obviously being affected by COVID-19. So, that is really the bottom line. When we ask for your support, typically right now, it just goes straight into supporting this ministry to keep the podcast on the air and to keep our staff working at capacity. So, that’s where your money is going.
Next question comes from a mom whose kids are fighting. Moment of silence for all of you guys who have been locked in your homes and your kids are fighting. This is no fun, right? And fortunately, I’ve got a little bit of help for you today. And I’m going to link back to some resources in the show notes. But this mom said, and by the way, again, I just absolutely love the transparency in your questions when you guys send this to me. She says, “Heidi, how can I get my kids to stop fighting so much? I have two sons ages nine and five, and it seems they spend 75% of their time fighting. I know that we’re spending more time together since the quarantine, but this was an issue before. We’ll be starting our first year of homeschool in July and I’m afraid if I don’t get this under control, we will not be successful. I’ve tried what seems like every method of conflict resolution and nothing seems to be helping. My nine year old is short and aggressive in his behavior toward his brother. And I’m afraid they’re going to grow up to hate each other. I want them to love and to show love to one another the way Christ would, and develop a relationship that they will cherish. It’s so bad that I’m to the point of a nervous breakdown.”
All right. So I did a whole series. If you guys haven’t watched this yet, hop on over to my Instagram page and you will see in the highlights a part one and a part two of me talking about homeschooling. And I focused a little bit of a section of that on the importance of focusing on teaching your children character. Character always trumps curriculum. You should write that down. Character is more important than curriculum. And so if you’ve got kids that are fighting and acting horrible to each other, then this is not the time for you to start homeschooling. It’s the time for you to get that under control. And in our house, raising seven children, we still have a couple of kids that are prone to fighting with each other. Usually the ones that fight have the personalities that are similar to each other, and so they butt heads.
And we have seen this in our children over the years, hit peaks where I just felt like one child especially was picking on another one. And usually when that happens, my response to that, and my husband’s response is to give that child more chores, it’s to point out the behavior, it’s to say, “Hey, I would love to have been able to do this with you, but we’re working on this issue, this character issue, and you have not earned that. That is a privilege, not a right.” So maybe they were asking for a play date, or maybe they were trying to earn, I don’t know, a skateboard or something like that. And you are able to say, “This is a goal I want you to shoot for.” And sometimes we’ll take a proactive approach. Meaning sometimes we’ll sit down with the kids depending on where we are in the conflict resolution and the obedience point of it, right, between me and the child.
And I might say, “Hey, I know that you’ve been struggling to get along with your brother. And so I’ve decided to give you some incentives. Sometimes it’s positive incentive, and sometimes it’s negative.” I love to start with positive incentive. So if you could say, “I’m looking for improvement in your relationship with your brother. And when I see it, we’re going to do this.” So maybe you put that carrot out in front of them. I always feel like it’s better. My mom used to say, “Talk softly and carry a big stick.” And so we don’t want to engage in the same types of behaviors. And I know, because you’ve just said that you’re to the point of having a nervous breakdown. Precious mom, I have been there myself. And I’m telling you right now, it’s always better to speak softly.
My kids know when I’m really upset because I whisper in their ear. And I might say something like, “If you do that one more time.” You guys know what I mean? And so I am a huge fan of let’s be proactive in demonstrating for our children what we want to see in them. And so if you’re yelling back at your children, you’re actually hurting yourself and you’re hurting your ability to work with them in a constructive way. So always start with the positive reinforcement. And then if you need to, go to a negative. The negative reinforcements are we’re going to start losing privileges. We’re going to start taking things away. You say you’ve got a nine and a five year old. And my approach to that is always to put the onus on the nine year old. The onus is on the older child to say, “Listen, you are really responsible by and large for making sure that this relationship that you’re developing with your brother is a good one, because you’re the older child.”
The downside of that is sometimes that little five year old is a stinker, right? And maybe he’s pushing the nine year old and he just knows all the right buttons, right? So you really have to have wisdom. And you can ask the Lord for wisdom, right? That’s James 1. “If any of you lacks wisdom, ask it from the Lord and he’ll give it to you.” And so I would take it before the Lord and take your children before the Lord with you. Say, “We’re going to pray about this today. And every time I see you guys fighting, we’re going to get back on our knees and say, ‘Lord, we need your help again. We’re back here again.'” And let them see that you go to the Lord for answer. You don’t have to have all the answers. You just need to know the one who does, right?
A couple of things, too. My friend, Dr. James Dobson, has a wonderful book. It’s an oldie, but a goodie called Raising Boys. And I’ll link back to it in the show notes today. That is still one of my favorite books on parenting. He also has another one, oldie but a goodie, The Strong Willed Child. And very, very solid, very sound and very biblically based advice. And so those are two books I know that would be helpful for you. Also if you’ve not read my book, Becoming Mom Strong, we talk about discipline challenges in there as well.
But the point is we want our kids to grow up to love each other. And so I’m going to be praying for you as you work through this, but I just know that God’s going to give you what you need. I love that God chooses to give us children. Many of us, we barely made it into adulthood, right? It’s that reliance on the Lord and realizing, oh my goodness, Lord, I can’t actually do this without your help. And that’s where God wants you, right? He wants you to be in that place of relying on Him.
Next question comes from a listener in Washington State. She says, “Heidi, I’m in Washington State under the emperor as well.” So congratulations. We’re both being ruled by the same tyrant. She says, “What can we do to fight back? I signed a petition for Referendum 90 and wanted to let you know the men and women working the petition said that May is the time to get as many signatures as possible.” So she’s absolutely right. If you live in Washington State, because of COVID-19, we are having a very difficult time collecting signatures, and so we need your help to do that. And I will link to a site where we can find the petition and take it.
If you live in Portland or Vancouver, well, I guess Referendum 90 won’t matter to you if you live in Portland. If you live in the Vancouver area, Camas, Washougal, Longview, and you want to come by the Homeschool Resource Center, we have petitions that you can take and walk up and down your neighborhood and get them signed. Most of the time, what I find is when we take these petitions out to be signed, parents do not know how dangerous this curriculum is. And if we don’t get Referendum 90 on the ballot, this is going to become the way of things in Washington State. So come by the Homeschool Resource Center, if you can, and pick up the petitions. And also we will link back too, in the show notes today, where you can get those petitions.
Last she says, “I need to get my kids out of public school.” Yeah, you right. “What’s the best resource to help find step-by-step information on how to formally withdraw?” The best resource on the planet is HSLDA. So, the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, just Google it. They have state law for every single state. And most of the time, when I send people to the HSLDA website, you can find, they will actually link back to those forms.
In many cases, you don’t need to formally withdraw. You just need to formally send them a letter saying that you’re now homeschooling. So some people think it is a two step process. I think it depends on the state that you’re in. So you can do this. So the Homeschool Legal Defense Association. And then she also asked about resources for homeschooling special needs kids. Yes. And if you go to Heidi St. John, or just Google, Heidi St. John homeschooling special needs, you will find lots of resources over at my blog. Or you can go to Learnathome.today. I’m going to have some of my staff who helped me with this podcast link to some wonderful sites, because I know that the women who work for me that put the show notes together are also in touch with moms that have special needs kids at their homeschooling. So I will link back to those also in the show notes for you.
The main thing you need to know is you can absolutely do it. And what we’re seeing happen, I don’t know if you guys read the latest suggestions, I guess, from the CDC, I posted them the other day on my Facebook page, because it was just almost, almost more than I could take. I’m reading and I’m just flabbergasted by what I’m seeing happening as the CDC is making recommendations for people as they send their kids back to school. I don’t know if you guys read it, but I’ll read some of them to you. These are guidelines. Okay? So not a rule yet, but these are guidelines that they put out: Wear masks over the age of two, no sharing of any items or supplies all belonging in individual cubbies or labeled containers, no sharing of electronic devices, toys, games, or learning aids. Desks must be six feet apart, all facing the same way. Distance on school buses, one child per seat, skipping rows.
How is that going to work? Install sneeze guards and partitions whenever you can’t space six feet apart. One way routes in hallways, tape on the sidewalks and walls to assure kids stay six feet apart. We’re going to turn our kids into criminals. I mean, I’m reading this stuff and I’m like, good stinking grief. Sounds like we’re raising a psychopath. No communal or shared spaces, including cafeterias and playgrounds. You guys, homeschool your kids. This is ridiculous. Physical barriers or screens between sinks and bathrooms. Only pre-packaged boxes or bags of food instead of cafeteria food. Kids must eat in classrooms. No field trips, no assemblies, no external organizations in the schools. Limit volunteers and visitors.
So now you don’t have very much access to your kids either, can I just say? The same children stay with the same staff all day long, no switching groups or teachers. Boring. Stagger arrival and departure times for students to limit exposure to crowds of kids. If possible, daily health checks and temperature checks. This is insane. This is wonky and ludicrous and ridiculous, and part of the scam-demic that we’re all in the middle of right now. And so this is a great time to pull your kids out of school. And in fact, I read a statistic. I wish I could remember where it was, but I read a statistic saying that 40% of parents are saying, “No way. I’m not putting my kids back in school.”
In Canada, they are absolutely off the rails with the guidelines that they’re putting in place. I saw a video of a teacher taking her kids through the new procedures to be in school. They basically said, “Don’t come with a banana because nobody’s going to help you peel it. We can’t touch your food. If we talk to you, we have to have a mask on. You have to have a mask on. If you want to come in the school, you got to basically stand on the dots.”
Wow. You guys. I mean, people keep telling me that this is the new normal. Heidi St. John rejects the new normal. No new normal. #NoNewNormal. This is baloney of the highest order. And you guys have heard me say this before. I’m going to say it again. I do not believe this was ever about a virus. I think this is about a left in this nation, and in fact, around the world, that is completely unhinged. And if you don’t believe me, just check and see what’s going on locally where you live. Check and see what these governors, the democratic governors are doing. The draconian lockdowns that they are instilling all across the United States still. We are still under lockdown here in Washington State.
And I believe this is about an election. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the coronavirus just suddenly doesn’t become a thing after the November election, but they want to ruin the economy. I have a feeling that a lot of the Democrats, I hate to say this, are actually giddy to see this happening, because now they want to blame a failing economy and skyrocketing unemployment on President Trump, rather than our horrible response to a virus that did not need to carry this kind of economic and spiritual and social and emotional damage. And that’s what we’ve allowed it to do. It’s like an eight pronged bullet that we’ve just shot through the heart of the nation. And it makes me sick, frankly. It’s disgusting to me.
And so if you’re thinking about pulling your kids out of school, great. The Referendum 90 has everything to do with comprehensive sex education. Every parent, whether your kids are homeschooled or not, this is an affront to our children. It’s a lie from the pit of hell and every single one of you listening to this should be fighting against this because we are called to stand guard over and protect the hearts of the children in our area. We need to be doing that more proactively.
One other thing I’m going to say about the election, because that was the next question that came up. Someone was asking me if I believed that this was a political nature. By now, you guys know, I absolutely believe that. As I told you several years ago, back in 2015, when I threw my support behind President Trump, when it was not popular, I said I was voting for him. I explained why. I said I would have voted for Mickey Mouse to keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House. And if there’s anything that we’re learning about politics in this nation right now is that it’s a dirty business.
And the Supreme Court hangs in the balance. You guys remember me talking about this last time an election rolled around in 2016. I was saying, “Listen, the Supreme Court in this nation determines how we view law.” Roe V. Wade hangs in the balance. There are so many things that are hanging in the balance. I think the left is terrified that if President Trump gets in there again, he’s going to appoint another Supreme Court Justice. We all know that Ruth Bader Ginsburg is on her way out, right? And in fact, every day I wake up and I’m surprised that woman is still breathing. And I think they know that Trump will get at least one and maybe even two Supreme Court Justice nominations. And they don’t want to see that happen because that will change the course of the courts in this nation for possibly a generation or two.
And so this is what’s at stake and we need to be praying. And so I’m going to encourage you again, every morning at 7:14 AM to join me in prayer. I’m trying really hard to get it up on social media at just the right time. But even if I don’t make it at exactly the right time, know that I am praying. And I hope you guys will pray, too. We have a lot to be in prayer about in this nation. Our children are watching us and we can be salt and light, and people who think critically and act responsibly in the era of COVID-19.
So I hope this was helpful for you guys today. If you’ve got questions for me and you want them to be addressed here at the podcast, you can go to HeidiStJohn.com/podcast. Don’t forget to join me at Mom’s Strong International. Right now, we are working our way through the book of Colossians. This is a great time to join us. About $8 a month. And your $8 a month goes a whole long way in helping us keep this podcast on the air. So we love you guys. Thank you so much for listening, and I’ll see you back here on Wednesday.
Write to Heidi:
Heidi St. John
c/o Firmly Planted Family
11100 NE 34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682
Support this ministry by donating through E-giving. You can also send donations to: 11100 NE34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682