This past week, I attended a high school basketball game. For some of you, that’s a typical thing to do during the week. But for me, an empty nester, this is not a regular weekday event. It brought back so many great memories. Watching my kids on the court or a field was the best! It was always nerve-wracking–my heart rate was elevated the whole time they played. Well, being honest-it wasn’t just my heart rate! I yelled. I jumped out of my seat. As you can imagine, I was very animated!
Not having an athlete on the floor, I caught myself focusing on what was going on in the stands around me. A sign caught my attention. On a wrinkled white piece of paper, some blue paint, some white paint-three simple words.
Those little words spoke volumes to me. I read them over and over. And at that moment, I watched all the families sitting close to the handmade sign hung on the metal rails. One of the most important aspects of what I try to do for our Goby Family is to cheer you on-to support you-to walk alongside you as you cheer on your kids. Helping you be your kids’ biggest cheerleader is something I am incredibly passionate about.
What does it look like for you to be your kid’s biggest cheerleader? Let’s spend a few minutes on those three words.
Go (Be present)
Just go. That’s it. Just be there. Wherever they are, whatever they are doing, show up. Maybe they love basketball, maybe it’s football, or cheer, or swimming, or diving, or running-or chess or theatre…whatever they are doing-GO! Perhaps you can’t make it every single time-that’s ok! When your kid sees you in the stands or reads your text, if you can’t be there, you will never know how much it means to them to know you are squarely in their corner. This is true of the sports field or fine arts event, too. What your child needs most in the challenges of life is YOU. Be present. Listen and validate their issue before you try to solve it. Speak words of encouragement and life!
Fight (Be persistent)
Your kid is going to have bad days. They are going to struggle from time to time. They may even pull away from you, they may withdraw, they may turn entirely inward. You will need to FIGHT for your relationship with them. Separation is a natural part of the adolescent development process—it’s how they grow, but they still need your voice. They will step back from you; your job is the step forward consistently when they pull back. Dig deep; it may feel uphill but don’t give up on them. Stick with them. Let them know that you are with them, that you fight for them and with them every step of the way. And remember, you aren’t alone.
Swim (Be honest)
My battle for my mental health has felt like an upstream swim. Rarely does it feel easy or smooth-but I know how your kid feels when the swimming just seems hard. One of the best ways I connect with my children is to share my struggles with them. Of course, I’m going to use wisdom regarding their age and situation when sharing. But I don’t want to rob my kids of the opportunity to see God at work in my life. I know it gives them hope in their challenges, reminds them they are not alone, that you are making progress, and that they can, too. Remind them that you are right there swimming with them. I know all about the urge to pull them out of rough waters. Teaching them to swim is the better way. Swim with them!
This community is dedicated to resourcing you and supporting you and to help you help your kid always keep swimming.
I have a pdf to share with you. Add their name-make a copy for each kiddo! Read it to them and let them hear you speaking the truth of the words over them. And I want to remind you that this is what God says about you. These words will show them that…
You will go wherever they need you to go.
You will fight whatever fights they need you to fight.
You will swim with them no matter what.
Click here for your PDF!