Raising Kids

13 Reasons Why…A lesson for parents


The new Netflix series 13 Reasons Why has really gotten a lot of attention since it aired. Not all of it positive attention, but attention none the less. The only reason I began watching it was because of the hype behind it. The longer I watched and the more episodes I made it through the more and more it bothered me. It truly bothered my soul. I thought about it through my day, as I watched my own kids go about their day and watching others around me. There are so many messages it gives, how NOT to treat others, how to be a real friend, how to stand up for people, or maybe how to look at your own kids in a different light (not just how you think you know them). These are all great messages but the biggest point I got from watching was not what Netflix had intended.

At 28 I don’t feel like my high school years were very long ago. Granted I do see A LOT that has changed in the last 11 years since I graduated. I believe many kids (in general) still act the same towards each other by being a bully, shy, awkward, friendly no matter what, naive, careless, hurtful, and to be honest just an idiot. However, what I’ve noticed as the biggest change is how kids RE-ACT to a situation. I will go ahead and ruffle some feathers and say, I don’t believe the heart of the issue is the kid but the parents. The way we teach our kids about how they see themselves or feel about themselves…Something is MISSING.  Maybe it’s the way adults are treating each other that’s setting our kids up for failure?

** Alert** I will be going through several parts of this series, discussing different characters and the rolls they played. If you have children that are teenagers I would suggest you not allowing them to watch it. There is a lot of mature scenes and a lot of profanity that needs to be guarded, especially with teenagers that may share likeness with some of the characters. However, I do think it’s a great thing for parents to watch and learn about school life today and what their own teens might be dealing with. I hope this show can help parents start an open dialog with their kids to learn and talk about their lives, all the good and ugly.

Synopsis from Netflix: After a teenage girl’s perplexing suicide, a classmate receives a series of tapes that unravel the mystery of her tragic choice. Hannah Baker’s suicide shocked her family and friends. Now the dark secrets that killed her are coming to light.

Hannah Baker was a girl who, on the outside looked happy and normal but on the inside was struggling with some serious problems. Life problems. People problems. Self-worth problems. The list goes on. Don’t we all struggle with this? The heart of the issue is not the problem itself, but the decisions made along the way and how the problem was solved.

There seems to be a lot that goes wrong for Hannah and it’s portrayed that she is in theory doing the right thing and still getting the short end of the stick (which in many ways is true). Her friends turn against her and are cruel. A boyfriend betrays her. When she reaches out for a new friend things turn upside down yet once again. Even when things do seem to be going right her own head gets in the way and screws it up. Then when she reaches out for help the issues she’s facing aren’t taken very serious, ending in her untimely death.

To start off she meets a boy (a popular jock) in the park, without her parents knowing. The fun ends with her going down a slide while he snaps a picture from his phone. Then they kiss, her first kiss. The next day this picture gets sent around school. Rumors fly that they had sex and she’s now classified as a slut, when in reality nothing happened but a kiss.


From this point on she is labeled, because of ONE picture. Other problems with boys ensue down the road. In our world of social media everything is open for anyone to see. Are you guarding your children’s life with social media? Do you know what’s going on under the surface?

The choice Hannah made to meet this boy, maybe began innocently, but had a spiral effect on her life and future choices. You can see how she is searching. Searching for meaning and reason. Searching for MORE than she currently has.

“I wanted a purpose, a reason for being on this planet.” – Hannah Baker

This sounds deep for a teenager, but it’s what we all want. What every human is searching for. It’s how God made us. He made us to be missing something, but that something is Him. We will never fill that hole with anything else but God. No amount of money, friends, possessions, career aspirations, or relationships can replace God. We can try and be happy for a while but in the end we’ll still want something more.

Do our kids know who they are? Its not about being the most popular, having the nicest stuff. It’s about our character and that’s established by knowing who you are… a child of God.  Nothing else can satisfy that longing.

When we know who we are (in Christ), cruel words and actions hurt but we know where to turn. We know God is on our side and instead of maiming our identity it strengthens us when we come out of those trials, because we learn to lean on God.  It’s hard for teenagers to work through struggles because their brain isn’t developed enough emotionally.  So when they are dealing with something, even though it seems insignificant, to them it’s going to last a lifetime. It’s hard for them to see the future, they are focused on the now, with the pain and torment, but it doesn’t have to be like that. There can be excitement about the future regardless of what’s happening in the present! That mindset won’t happen without the knowledge of God!

James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 

That’s why knowing the word and God’s promises at a young age is so important. Parents!!  We’ve got to bathe our kids in Him and teach them what God says about them. One day they are going to start hearing what the world says about them and it won’t be pretty!  If they’re not grounded in the truth they will believe what the world says. Stupid, ugly, lazy, slow, dumb, mean, hateful, or heartless. Instead fill them with God’s word, smart, beautiful, loving, caring, giving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, faithful, gentle and selfless. What do you want your kids to believe about themselves? More so how do you want your kids to treat others and say about others?


If a child believes the good things, that will spill over to those around them. That doesn’t mean they will be perfect and always do or say the right thing.  None of us do or say the right thing. Try and remember yourself as a teenager or even now. We all make mistakes, its how we deal with those mistakes! When you do something wrong do you ask for forgiveness and try and make amends? Or do you blame the other person for what you’ve done and play the victim? Remember it starts with the small things!

The more I watched the more I hurt for these kids. God is definitely missing and it’s why we see such a rise in drastic events happening. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in teenagers. How can a kid, that has SO much life to live feel like they are so worthless that death is better than life? I firmly believe it’s because God isn’t their center at home. One of the biggest lies the devil will throw is to make you think you’re all alone. He wants to isolate you and pour the shame and guilt on where you feel you’re the only one going through the situation. For many this makes it almost impossible to reach out to anyone for help, which is the most important thing that could happen!


This leads me to another point with parents. We aren’t here to raise our kids. We are here to train our kids. Leading and teaching them how to be an individual. How to be a friend, co-worker, mother, father, helper and so much more. The classmate that discovered the tapes, we find out is Clay who in reality was extremely close with Hannah. After finding the tapes it literally turns his world upside down. In one scene he’s out with a friend (Tony) and his parents are discussing his actions over the past weeks. He’s been getting into trouble and having issues with other kids.  After some discussion about friends, Clay’s dad says something that really stuck with me.

“My sense is that Tony is a very good influence.” – Matt Jensen

Wow….Seriously? Here I go with ruffling some feathers. Do you know, really know the friends of your child? Do you know their parents? Do you know their general belief’s? I’m not saying you need to get their tax returns and their attendance at church. What I am saying is as a parent we should be so involved with our kids that we KNOW their friends, almost as well as we know our child. We should have a relationship with their parents. Friends are so important, and they shape us into who we are as adults. Being around friends that encourage us, help us through hard times, and tell us the truth is what brings us closer together. On the opposite side a bad friend can tear us down and ruin our character, not to mention the trouble it can lead to.

1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”

We have to be in tune with our kids and their friends. I say a simple prayer daily over my kids. I have since our first born and we had an amazing sermon from Joe Mcgee (yes I talk about him a lot). He handed out cards with 3 points to pray daily for your kids. These 3 points will shape them forever, if you don’t have a prayer like this it’s never to late to start!

  • I pray my children grow up to know the Lord and fear Him.

  • I pray they are surrounded by good, godly friends.

  • I pray that the Lord will pour out His favor over my children.

Now start praying and doing! Friends are important but only if they are the right ones. Having friends means sleepovers are inevitable but there’s good news! You don’t have to be okay with your kids going to a sleepover. Make your home the place where everyone hangs out.  Having a house full of kids might sound like a nightmare, but the more comfortable it is the more they’ll WANT to come back and stay. There will be a lot less trouble done under my roof than somewhere I’m not able to supervise the situation.

That being said you don’t have to be a helicopter parent. Have you heard the parenting phrase, Trust But Verify? You can trust them to make decisions on their own and you can also call or drive to make sure they are doing what they said and they are safe. That’s part of our job!


The last thing I want to talk about confirms to me everything I’ve already discussed.  In episode 12 Hannah describes the details of being raped. It’s not from a stranger on the road that threw her in an alley like we expect a rape to happen. It’s from a High School classmate that had already previously raped one of her friends. She gets in a situation where she’s alone with him, not because she wants to but that’s how the scenario unfolds. In the moment she tries to get away but freezes in panic and he has his way with her.  This is what happens all the time! We don’t plan to make bad choices or to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The devil plans it though. If we aren’t diligent in where are kids are, who they are around, molding their character they could easily find themselves in a situation they may not be able to get out of. That’s when trouble strikes.

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It’s sad that Hannah felt like she couldn’t get away. At that point she didn’t feel human anymore but an object. What’s also sad is that he didn’t view her as anything more than an object. Character goes a long way when it comes to how we treat people. Could this all have been avoided if different choices had been made? Of course! Those choices have to start with the parents, and they failed on so many accounts.

I’m also concerned with the boy that did this to her. Where are his parents? He had such low self respect that he had absolutely none for another human. He was numb when it came to people, maybe it was how he was treated at home? For some dealing with struggles/conflict they inflict pain on themselves, others might do it to someone else.

A lot may be left out from what is portrayed in 13 Reasons Why, I don’t see any parents involved with their kids. They have no clue what was going on but instead wrapped up with their own lives. We have been given a precious gift that we are made to mold and care for. I want to be the best steward over what God has given me and that most importantly is my kids!



Right now the ruler of this world is Satan and he is the author of confusion. That starts young, if he has his grasp on a young kid it can grow and manifest into tearing that person up. So keeping your child under your wing, teaching them about God, and sheltering them in a way that keeps them safe isn’t a bad thing. That doesn’t mean they can’t experience the world. However, when they do experience it I hope they are so grounded in the Lord to know how to handle it and when questions arise or problems arise they know where to turn. Its hard to talk to teenagers about certain subject (sex, suicide, bullying, etc.) but that doesn’t mean we don’t talk about it.

Being open and honest with our kids is the best way to know whats happening. Then if they have a problem they’ll come to us for answers. This also will give us the chance to open up about our life as a teenager and the mistakes we made. Knowing your parent isn’t perfect but human and still made it out fine reassures them they can too!

I feel like there is so much more to talk about on this series. My hope is that we can change how we love each other and how we raise the next generation!


“It has to get better, the way we treat each other and look out for each other. It has to get better somehow.”  Clay Jensen (13 Reasons Why)

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– The Clucky Hen 





Raising Kids – What’s Important?

Raising kids is hard work! It’s mentally, physically and spiritually draining. As a parent we are in a constant state of learning and experimenting what to do and what NOT to do. We can read all kinds of books, go to seminars, get advice from someone who’s been there, and while that might help it’s still all touch and go right? I have lots of things that I want for my kids but I think there are 3 that are most important to me. They will need to be nourished for growth but that’s what us parents are for! No one said it was easy, and a good parent knows that and tries and tries and tries. Hopefully this can help you with your kids, and if you have advice or stories please share!!


I have 3 beautiful children, and they are fun (at times). Many times though it’s not fun at all. It’s, “STOP KICKING THE DOG” OR “QUIT LICKING YOUR BROTHER” OR “HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I TOLD YOU _________?”and another “GET YOUR CLOTHES ON”. I’m sure we all have little sayings that come out almost daily. One day I finally said, I’ve got to change something, I’ve got to put positive things into my kids life, not just ordering and punishing all day. The best thing I did, besides digging into my Bible, was to get the book from Joe Mcgee. It’s called, “God knows how to raise your kids even when you don’t” and this book has so many things to offer I highly recommend it!! The link is below if you are interested!


So here are my top 3 things I want for my kids.

#1 To know the Lord

My most important goal is that they are saved and are going to heaven. On another level though I want them to not just be in church or pray or love God because its what we want them to do, or because it’s believed to be “right”. I want them to make their own independent decisions, and with that I want them to know God personally. Many christian adults go their entire life being saved, going to church and not really knowing God on a deeper more personal level. It’s what our entire lives are built around, without God even the smallest decisions can seem like huge mountains to climb. Every time they have a struggle, big or little, I want their immediate response to go to God for guidance. How as parents can we help our kids with this?

As we know kids learn by seeing and doing. Heck, I learn by seeing and doing. So anytime my husband and I have a problem we pray about it out loud with our kids. Not only that, we ask them to pray for those things for us and with us. Since praying is a normalcy in our house they are more than eager to pray. Don’t ever make fun of how they pray, it’s a serious matter to them and the more confidence they build as a child praying, the easier it will come when they are grown. Here is an example of what our kids pray about:

There is also some random items thrown in each time also, but we want them to pray for anything and everything because there is nothing to big or small that God doesn’t care about! I’ve also noticed something else with our middle son. Anytime something hurts on me or my husband, we might say “oh my head hurts” or “man my back hurts”, if he hears it he’ll come over to us, put his hand on us and ask God to heal us. It’s a short prayer,then he smiles gives us a kiss and off he goes. In his mind it’s done, God is our good doctor and if he’s prayed for it, he knows God will heal us. If only we could have that faith!!!

Matthew 19:14  Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”


#2 To know their gift

Everyone is born with a purpose, no one was an accident in God’s eyes. Each one of us has a unique gift that we can do to make us money as well as make us happy. This is what lots of people are searching for their entire life. They work at a job they hate and go to work miserable. I definitely don’t want that for my kids! I want them to know before leaving our home what they want to do in life, and I want to help them develop that! I don’t want them to waste time and money trying to figure it out and going down a road of debt that really leads to no where.

There are things we can spot when our children are young that we know they are good at. For example, our oldest son, when he was just learning to talk his first word was daddy (like many babies), but it was his second word that is special. Of course as his mother, I wanted it to be mommy, not even close. It was tractor, yes, tractor. At the ripe ole age of about 8 months old he said tractor, and he has been tractor crazy ever since. I didn’t push tractors in front of him, and I can promise you I wasn’t trying to get him to say tractor, I wanted him to say mommy! BUT, that wasn’t what happened and I’m happy because the word tractor perfectly describes our now 5 year old little boy. He now can tell you what brand each different color of tractor is, what size many of them are, like the John Deere’s 4250, 4010, 4020, 3010, 7700, and the list goes on. He knows many of these because he’s around them and he literally studies them. To say that he is infatuated with farm equipment would be an understatement.

Now this could be something that Kyle and I see as cute and fun for a little boy, but it’s really something way bigger. It’s his gift, I don’t know what this might grow into has he gets older, but I have no doubt he will be doing something with farming equipment. It’s part of who he is and something that comes completely natural to him and God knows what He has made our son for and that’s what matters!

I could give you other examples but it might take all day. ; ) Look at your kids, what do they like? What interests them? If you don’t know, ask them (if they are old enough). Spend some time doing what they love, and put those things in front of them. Help them learn more about it. Sometimes that means doing things out of our own comfort zone, and learning also! I grew up on a farm and I can promise you I’ve learned more about tractors and farming equipment in the last five years than my entire life. In our house we have books, movies, pictures, catalogs, magazines, toys, and anything else about tractors and equipment. This isn’t just for his pleasure, this is helping his mind grow. Of course anytime daddy, grandpa or a friend is on a tractor, or working on equipment he’s in the middle of it and learning too.

Do whatever you can to strengthen and guide them with their gift. You might learn a lot in the process! It’s also a great way to make memories with your kids!

Ephesians 1:17-19 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.

#3 To be a servant and a giver

Many might take this wrong, and that’s okay. There are a many times in the bible people didn’t like what Jesus said or did. It’s counter intuitive to our human nature and we immediately want to reactive against it. Just because it’s hard, or goes against our society/culture doesn’t mean it’s not the RIGHT thing to do.

Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.

I feel if they learn to serve others and be a giver at a young age it’s something that will not only bless others, but it will greatly bless them. Nothing is better for me than to give something to someone in need. Honestly, I enjoy giving even if that person doesn’t need anything, it’s just in the act of giving that I enjoy. There are so many scriptures in the bible talking about giving and being a servant. Why is that? Maybe because God knew how hard it would be for people to lay down their own desires or interests and focus on what someone else wants. He even put it in the 10 commandments, Love your neighbor as yourself. Easier said than done though right? It’s not easy loving someone that isn’t very lovable. So for me to make this a priority for my children while they are little is huge. When they are adults and in the real world I pray its something that comes easy for them.

Whats the best way to teach this? As I said early we learn by doing. Children will do what they see us do. So if we are givers and servants its easier for them to be. This might come easy or hard for you as a parent, but I strongly encourage you to make it a priority. As a stay at home mom I can come up with all the excuses in the book to NOT do this like, “I don’t want to load all the kids up to go somewhere” or “We really don’t have the money to make an extra batch of cookies for the neighbor”. I mean really? How lame is that, and no matter how easy or hard it is we can always come up with an excuse. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, or costly. Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference.

One thing I enjoy doing is giving away eggs. We have plenty and I know many people around me enjoy farm fresh eggs. It’s a great and easy way for us to bless our neighbors. If you don’t have the money to buy something, look around your house. Is there something that is in good condition you know someone would want or need? Each of my three children have boxes and boxes of clothes that no longer fit them. Now, I will say I have sold a lot of clothes, but just as many as I’ve sold I have given away also. Many of the clothes we have were from friends and family that gave them to us and it was always a HUGE blessing! I enjoyed receiving those clothes in a time when we really needed them. How much more of a blessing it is to give them to a family that needs them also!

Being a servant doesn’t mean just being a rug to everyone around you. You can be a strong independent person and still be a servant. Our kids see us serve each other. Maybe doing things we don’t always want to do, but we do it out of love for the other person. It can be as simple as getting in the floor and helping your kids pick up their toys after you’ve just asked them to pick up their mess. Helping your spouse with dinner or cleaning up after dinner. Helping a stranger take their groceries to the car. Babysitting for a friend for free just so they can have a night out. These are just a few examples of small things we can do for those around us, and they will have a huge impact on our children.

Would you rather have a boss that is hands on working right beside you or one that is just ordering you around but has no clue of the job your actually doing? The best leaders are the ones that are respected by those around them and that respect is earned through serving!

Serving may be simply pulling your brother in a wagon and doing so with a joyful heart. 


1 Corinthians 10:24 Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.


– The Clucky Hen