Even though we are all self confessed Christians, hurtful things can happen at Co-op, for instance; our children might embarrass us, another parent might be impatient with our child, or a child might tease our kids a bit too much…
Here are 5 things we can do to be gracious and prepared:
1 Pray for our co-operative effort.
2 If someone bothers you in co-op, either forgive them without
mentioning it, or obey Matthew 18:15 “If your brother sins
against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of
you…” If we discuss our problems with other people (other than for
coaching on how to deal with them), or if we don’t speak to our friend
about it, we are disobeying the Lord. (YIKES!)
3 Prepare your kids to mind another adult…but no brainless
obedience, we don’t want to put them in that situation. I mean
something like this, “Respect and obey your teacher; unless they tell
you to do something wrong, (which probably won’t happen) or you have
some important information that they don’t know; in that case appeal
to them tactfully.”
You may need to practice what “appealing tactfully,” sounds like
Why do we need to tell our kids this? It may not be obvious to
them. I once asked a young homeschooled teen to explain to me
why some of his acquaintances at a function would not stand in line and
wait for my attention, no matter how often I told them too, especially
as they were usually so docile. His response was, “Oh, We have to obey
you too? I bet they thought it was optional.” Why was I not going to
the kids directly? I forgot about Matthew 18 and I was hopping mad.
But back to my point, how many other homeschooled kids truly don’t know
that non-parental adults must also be respected? I wouldn’t obey a
usurper either! So, lets alert our own kids that a co-op adult is not
out of line to give them instruction, and warn them that disobedience
will have repercussions.
Summarizing point 3, let’s make things easier on each other by
prepping our own kids to be respectful and co-operative. Help
them to practice appealing to authority winsomely. If another co-op
parent or hired teacher lets you know that your child did misbehave,
make sure appropriate consequences occur, aside from a reprimand here
and there, we will NOT be disciplining each other’s children. But since
we are all on the campus, parents can discipline their own quickly.
4 Insist that any child under your supervision at co-op treats
the other children respectfully. (If they don’t, let their
5 Let other parents know what your expectations are of their
children while you are supervising them, so that we put up a
Will these 5 guidelines work?
Well, no, that would be legalism.
James tells us where fights and quarrels come from,
besides miscommunication, early lunch, missed nap time, Friday-itis,
growth spurts, and maybe even refined sugar! It’s our job to faithfully
lay out the rules, enforce consequences, teach our kids that they are
sinners in need of a savior, and pray for them. All these problems are
opportunities to glorify our Lord by our obedience to him in
trouble…and if we are all on the same page, there may not be much
trouble in the first place!