I Can’t Believe You Just Said That

Charlotte Mason didn’t just focus on schoolwork. She addressed parenting, too. In fact, more than a third of her volumes is devoted to parenting issues, because she knew that education is about much more than academics. Education is about shaping who your child becomes. It’s about helping your child become the best version of himself that he can possibly be. And that work goes on outside the school room. It’s a 24/7 job.

Parenting plays a huge role in the education of your child. So, I’m excited today to introduce to you two friends who understand that huge role that parents play in education and who are devoted to helping you become the best parent you can be: Ginger Hubbard and Katy Morgan.

Sonya: Welcome. I’m so excited to have you guys here!

Ginger: Well, thank you, Sonya. We are very excited to be here and have been looking forward to it for quite some time.

Sonya: Now tell us a little bit about your families to get started.

Ginger: Okay, you go first, Katy.

Katy: Okay, I’m married to my husband, Brian. We’ve been married for 16 years, and we have three children. Our oldest boy is 11. We have a nine-year-old daughter and a six-year-old boy. We’ve homeschooled the whole time.

Sonya: And you mainly use Charlotte Mason, is that correct?

Katy: Yes. A little eclectic, but mostly love Charlotte Mason and just the style and the relaxed atmosphere in our home when we use Charlotte Mason predominantly.

Sonya: Great. How about you, Ginger?

Ginger: I have two kids who are 27 and 25. And then 10 years ago, I married Ronnie Hubbard, who came as a package deal with two boys who are also in their twenties. And so, between the two of us, we’ve got four. I homeschooled mine all the way through, which should be a huge encouragement to your readers, because I barely made it through high school myself. So if I can homeschool, anybody can homeschool. Ronnie’s boys went to public school, so when I married him 10 years ago, we got to experience the whole thing between the two of us.

Sonya: I was fortunate to meet you guys and connect with you guys just over this past year. And Katy, you kind of started this, right? Do you want to confess what you did?

Katy: Sure. Well, I’ve actually got my parenting hero and my homeschooling hero in one room. I convinced Ginger to start the podcast with me and through the course of doing conferences together and being there together, I said, “You really need to meet Sonya. She’s amazing.” And I just would talk and talk and talk about your sessions and all that I got out of them. So Ginger went with me to one of your sessions at Teach Them Diligently.

Ginger: And now we’ve been fighting ever since over who’s your biggest fan.

Katy: Exactly.

Ginger: So after I heard you speak—because Katy took me to hear you, and I just loved everything you had to say, and I felt such a connection with you about reaching the hearts of kids—and so I’m like, “Yeah, Katy, you were right. We have so much in common.” I was just dying to meet you. But every time I went by your booth, you were not there. Finally you were there, and we talked and we really connected, and then you said, “Hey, what would you think about coming and being on the podcast?” And so I’m like, “Yes!” And you gave me your business card and said, “Give me a call or email me or whatever, and let’s schedule this.” I was so excited! And then I went to the restroom and when I pulled my phone out of—your card was in my back pocket—and when I pulled my phone out, somehow, apparently, it wound up falling in the toilet. I didn’t notice until I went to flush and it was already swirling. So I called Katy, “You’re not going to believe what happened.” So I’m not really good with quick, knee-jerk decisions, but I’ve got two choices here. I can either go tell Sonya Shafer that I just flushed her business card down the toilet . . .

Sonya: Which is perfectly fine.

Ginger: But I didn’t know you that well then. I didn’t know how you might take that. Second choice is to stick my hand in the swirling pee.

Sonya: No. That’s not even a choice, girl.

Ginger: But I did, knee-jerk decision. So I reach in, and I’m like, “What am I going to do with this?” So then I’m in the bathroom and I’m frantically—I had soap, and so I’m scrubbing off this, and two people are at the sink with me and they’re like, “Why is she scrubbing a business card with soap?” So, you know, the whole COVID thing, I thought really quick and I’m like, “You know, you can never be too careful.” They just looked at me like I was crazy. But then I noticed that the writing was starting to come off of the card. So then I’m panicked even more. So I run up to my hotel room and I dry it off with a hairdryer. I think I actually have it. (pulls the card out of her back pocket) Y’all this is the cleanest . . .

Sonya: You’re kidding!

Katy: No.

Ginger: You want to hold it?

Katy: No, I’m good!

Ginger: This is the cleanest card. It is so clean.

Katy: It didn’t occur to you to take a picture with your phone. That’s what cracks me up.

Sonya: And see, I wouldn’t have thought of that either.

Ginger: But when I’m panicked, I’m panicked. Then what’s so funny is I wound up going and telling you exactly what happened, so it defeated the purpose of the whole thing. So then I said, “She’s never going to invite us to be on the podcast. I shouldn’t have told her that. Katy’s going to be like, ‘Yeah, it’ll probably be don’t call us, we’ll call you.'” So we were thrilled when you asked us to come on after all that.

Sonya: Well, after all that effort, you have to honor that somehow.

Ginger: Somehow.

Sonya: What’s fun is, when I first met you, it’s like, “I know that name.” Then I saw the books that you had written, and I remembered Don’t Make Me Count to Three, which I had read—I’m not going to say many years before, because that dates us.

Ginger: It was many.

Sonya: But I had read it when my children were still younger, not out of the house. I remember thinking, “This woman gets it.” I loved that book. So when we were talking at the convention, and you showed me your new book, I was just so excited about it. It’s called I Can’t Believe You Just Said That. We can all relate to this as parents, absolutely. What led you to write this book?

Ginger: Well, Sonya, after I had written Don’t Make Me Count to Three and I had this little Wise Words for Moms chart companion that went with it, I started speaking all over the country. And as a national speaker, I started listening to parents all over the place, really frustrated about some of the tongue-related offenses that their children were struggling with and just had some frustrations about not knowing how to handle that. I decided I wanted to write a book to really help parents get to the heart of that. I addressed all these different tongue-related offenses that I could think of, like whining and tattling and everything that I could think of. What are some of the other ones?

Katy: Complaining.

Ginger: Whining, complaining, everything, all these different ones—and really wanted to help parents move past the frustrations of not knowing how to address those issues. There’s some really great parenting books out there. A lot of them address the tongue-related struggles children have, and a lot of them are full of Scripture that are helpful for parenting, but what I found was that few of them really offered the information parents needed most, which was how to practically apply those Scriptures to the everyday struggles their kids were facing. So that’s what I wanted to do, research the Word. I really shouldn’t even take credit for it, because all I did is sit down and research what the Word of God has to say about these different tongue-related offenses, and then how we can really get past the outward behavior of them and pull out what’s at the heart and then address them from a biblical perspective. That was my goal for writing the book.

There’s some really great parenting books out there. But what I found was that few of them really offered the information parents needed most, which was how to practically apply those Scriptures to the everyday struggles their kids were facing. So that’s what I wanted to do, research the Word.

Sonya: It reminds me of, with my kids, whenever they would start bickering with each other, I knew the Scripture, but it’s like, “How do you handle this?” It’s like, “Well, say you’re sorry.” So they, you know, “Sorry.” Well, they said it, what do you do then? Then it’s like, “Well, hug each other or something, I don’t know,” you know? We need those practical tools. I’m so glad that you put those together. I like how each chapter in the book talks about those different verbal offenses that we can come across, then you have that three-step plan. Tell us a little bit about that plan, those practical tools.

Ginger: Let me back up just a little bit, because you were saying something else that motivated me to write the book: not just listening to the parents but also in my own parenting. I wanted to help parents recognize something that took me a long time to recognize: that is, that the things that come out of our mouth come from what is in our heart. Because like so many parents, I’m sure you guys can relate, I was often shocked by some of the things that I would hear come out of the mouths of my kids, and I would find myself looking at my kids going, “Why do you act like that?” But after a closer look at the Word of God, I began to realize that I was actually asking the wrong question. In Matthew 12:34, it says, “the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” In other words, there’s merit to that old saying, What’s down in the well comes up in the bucket. Our sin does not begin with our mouths, it begins with our hearts. The sin that shows up in our words, it comes from inside us. It starts a lot sooner than we might think. King David proclaimed, “Surely I was sinful at birth. Sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” So I think that when parents really begin to grasp the origin of sin and just the total depravity of the human nature in general, we no longer have to question why our children sin. So I slowly learned, it took me a long time, but to stop asking “Why does my child sin?” and instead I began to ask myself “When my child sins, how might I point him to the fact that he is a sinner, just like I am, in need of a Savior? How can I really help him to understand and live in that transformational power of Christ?” I think that for a lot of us, like you, it’s like, “Well, just hug each other,” and you don’t know where to go from there. That’s kind of how I was. I really wanted to help parents get past that outward behavior and realize what was going on in the heart, because if we can reach the heart, then that behavior is going to take care of itself. So that’s where I came up with the three-step plan for how to do that.

The things that come out of our mouth come from what is in our heart.

Sonya: And the whole intent of the three steps is to reach the heart as we are dealing with these issues. Talk a little bit about those three steps.

Ginger: Step one is, no matter what they’re struggling with, is to ask heart-probing questions. And again, that goes back to Scripture and the example that Jesus set. If you think about it, in all the stories throughout Scripture, when someone did something wrong, Jesus didn’t point His finger in his face and say, “This is what you did wrong and this is what you should have done instead.” That’s not what He did. Instead, He often used heart-probing questions. In order for the people to answer those questions, they had to evaluate themselves. Jesus was a skilled heart-prober. He knew how to ask those questions in such a way that the people would have to take their focus off of the situations and the circumstances going on around them and onto the sin in their own heart. That is where I got the example of the heart-probing questions that are going to help pull out the issue.

I learned to stop asking “Why does my child sin?” and instead I began to ask myself “When my child sins, how might I point him to the fact that he is a sinner, just like I am, in need of a Savior? How can I really help him to understand and live in that transformational power of Christ?”

Steps two and three are based on the Ephesians verse that says we’re to put off our old selves and put on our new selves. Those verses say “You were taught with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by deceitful desires and to be made new in the attitude of your mind and to put on your new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” [Ephesians 4:22-24]. So steps two and three are based on that verse. Step two is what to put off. What does God’s Word say about that particular behavior and what it can lead to if it’s continued? Step three is what to put on. How to replace what is wrong with what is right. Step three, that’s such an important thing, because so often in our parenting, we tend to stop our training at telling our kids what not to do. But that can exasperate our kids, because 1 Corinthians 10:13, God says that when we’re tempted, He always gives us a way out. He always provides us with a means of escape. So when we just correct our children for wrong behavior and we don’t walk them through right behavior, we’re going to exasperate them, because we’re not providing them with that means of escape. We’re not giving them that way out. According to the Scripture, that sort of neglect can actually provoke them to anger. So I really encourage, always follow through in not just telling them what not to do, but follow through with what God’s Word says what to do. How to replace what is wrong with what is right. Then we want to have them practice it.

Sonya: Yes, it gives them hope that they can make that change, that they can put on what is right. And it also reminds me of what Charlotte says about the old bad habits: you don’t focus on breaking the bad habit; you focus on what’s the new habit you want to put in its place.

Ginger: And we see a big difference when we take it a step further.

Katy: Oh, absolutely.

Ginger: And I’m sure you do with your kids, too.

Katy: Yes, absolutely. I think our instinct as parents is to only do, “Don’t do this,” “stop doing this,” and just to end there. Not even start with heart-probing questions. Unless we say, “Why did you do that?” Which no child knows the answer to that.

Sonya: We often don’t know the answer to that for when we do things.

Katy: Exactly. “Because my heart is deceitful above all else, Mom. That’s why I did that.” [laughs] I don’t know if that’s what we’re waiting for them to say or what, but it’s a pointless question. It’s more of a rhetorical question and a frustration. The great thing about the heart-probing questions is it forces us to slow down, to recognize that we are sinners raising little sinners and to help them get to the heart of why they do things and what the motivation is in their hearts when they do these things. It slows me down enough, and your chart—I don’t know if you are planning to talk about the chart, but the Wise Words for Moms chart goes specifically by behaviors and gives specific heart-probing questions and then has verses related to what to put off and what to put on. That is the greatest resource for us, and we have it all over our house.

Ginger: I had mine hanging in my kitchen for when my sweet little angels grew horns and I was at a loss for words. But a lot of times, that’s the thing. When we’re in the heat of the moment, that’s when we don’t respond the right way. That’s when we find ourselves just correcting our children for wrong behavior and administering a consequence.

The great thing about the heart-probing questions is it forces us to slow down, to recognize that we are sinners raising little sinners and to help them get to the heart of why they do things and what the motivation is in their hearts when they do these things.

Sonya: Because they don’t give us warning. They don’t let us prepare for this. It’s just like, boom, there it happens. It’s like ahh, I was thinking about five other things, and now here is this. So it helps to have them.

Ginger: When we have some verses already written down and some heart-probing questions already written down in accordance with the things our children struggle with, then when we’re in the heat of the moment, we’re going to find ourselves being a little bit more consistent as far as pointing them to their need for Jesus and pointing them to the Word of God. Sometimes it’s just about having a plan, having the Word of God already broken down and ready for us to talk to our kids about, with the struggles they have. I have 22 different behaviors listed in my chart, but they’re not going to struggle with all 22 behaviors. I mean, they’re usually only struggling with maybe two or three, maybe four at a time.

Katy: Hopefully. It might be a little overwhelming.

Sonya: Today.

Katy: Exactly. Well, that’s it, and we run the gamut. I do find myself going back to complaining an awful lot, but now I have a kinder, gentler way to approach something like complaining, because shouting them down really does not help.

Sonya: I want to play off of that: you said a “kinder, gentler way.” When we talk about a three-step plan and we have a chart, I know it can sound very heavy-handed, and it could be easy to go there. I love when Charlotte talks about not using a sledgehammer on our children, in that it’s an instrument with which they don’t have very much sympathy, she said [School Education, p. 23]. And it’s so true. So how can we make sure that we use these tools in that kinder, gentler way? Not beating our children over the head with this. Do you have any tips for that?

Ginger: I think the main thing is to communicate it the right way and make sure that our heart is right before we reprove our children and before we correct our children. It’s okay for us to say, “I’ve got to go have a timeout in my room to make sure that my heart is right.” So I think the three-step plan can actually help us to present it in a more calm way, because it’s hard to scream the Word of God at them.

Sonya: That’s a good point.

Ginger: When we’re just yelling at them to go to their room or “No TV for you tonight” or no whatever tonight, that’s usually going to come across in a harsh way. The three-step plan is a good plan because it is biblical, it’s following the example of Jesus, it’s taking them to the Word of God, which that is always a good thing across the board. But the heavy hand in it is in how we present it. If we are correcting our kids just because they’re getting under our skin, they caused us some sort of personal discomfort or embarrassment or trouble, then we’re going to sin against God, we’re going to sin against our kids when we administer that reprove. That’s not a good representation of the Word of God. A lot of it is making sure that we’re prayed up and always asking the Lord to help us. Because in my natural state, I’m not going to communicate with love and gentleness, because I have a sin nature. Sometimes we have a tendency, when our children misbehave, or even when they sin, we take it personally.

Sonya: We do.

Ginger: And that’s not the thing. We should view those moments as these precious opportunities to teach them. If we could view all of their misbehavior as precious opportunities to train them in what’s right, we would be far more joyful. We would be joyful and eager all the time instead of angry and frustrated. But now, I know that is so much easier said than done.

Katy: I will say though, having a plan and reaching for it physically is enough of a pause for me and enough to get my mind right; because I’m not reacting, I’m approaching it from, “Okay, now we’re going to address this in a biblical way.” So it forces me to have a biblical mindset going into it. Like Ginger said, it’s really hard to scream heart-probing questions at your kids. Or God’s Word. Having the plan actually really gives me more of a gentle approach to my kids.

Ginger: I actually give some questions, because I know when we’re in the heat of the moment, sometimes it’s hard to think of the right questions, especially when we’re in the heat of the moment. If I’m cooking supper, or I’m upset, or I’m emotional about something, and my kid does something wrong, it was hard for me to immediately think of what kind of heart-probing questions will help get past that outward behavior and really address the issue of the heart. So I’ve actually thought through two or three heart-probing questions, and they’re really super, super simple. I mean, even a child who is disobeying, like a two-and-a-half, three-year-old who is disobeying, just super simple questions like, “Honey, are you obeying or are you disobeying?” See, that’s a very easy question. Some people are like, “Well, my kid would just clam up and not answer.” Well that’s okay, just answer for them. Just say, “Sweetie, you were disobeying. And I love you too much to allow you to disobey.” That’s just a very simple way. Even if we ask a heart-probing question like “Are you obeying or are you disobeying?”—that seems like such a simple thing—even if children don’t answer, they’re pondering in their hearts the answer to that question, and that helps them to take ownership for the sin that is in their hearts. And the first step to acknowledging our need for Jesus is to recognize the sin in our heart. So even at a young age, we can do that at very age-appropriate levels by asking very simple questions like that.

Sonya: Now, Katy, you said you have three children?

Katy: Three, yes.

Sonya: Do you use these same questions with all three, or is there a way that you individualize it, to respect each child as a person and their own personality? How do you use that tool that way?

Katy: Well, for our youngest, I find that it’s best to give him the question and the answer if need be. That is a really helpful method for the younger. But for the older, I could even hand him the chart and say, “There is a sin that has happened in our home that has separated you from God and has caused problems with your siblings. I want you to find what sin you think that might be, and let’s talk about it,” and have him ask the questions and have him just have a discussion with it. You can even take it to the point where you’re giving him the Scriptures: “I want you to look these up and let’s talk more about it after you’ve had time to think and process.” Even I find a lot of benefit from reading these myself and applying it to my own life and see how my behaviors are not in line with what God’s Word says. So there really isn’t an age limit on either side, as far as the chart and the things in it and the three-step plan in general. You can tailor it. Especially with boys, my boys in particular really need physical touch [puts her hand on Ginger’s shoulder to demonstrate] a lot of times to get their attention and to slow their minds down to where they’re able to focus. Whereas for our daughter, auditory processing isn’t as difficult for her. So in those types of ways, our approach can be changed, but the content is the same. It’s God’s Word.

Ginger: Right. Now here’s what’s really fun is, like I said, I had mine hanging in my kitchen. What’s really fun, because I did that too as mine got older, I would say, “You go get the chart. You look up the Scripture, and then let’s talk about what you believe God is teaching you through this.” So it’s just a more mature approach of having them take responsibility and go to it. But what’s really fun is my kids got so familiar with this chart, they started whipping it out on me. They’d come hand it to me. “Mom, what do you think?”

Sonya: Oh, wow.

Ginger: But it’s accountability. We all have accountability.

Sonya: We’re all growing and learning as we go.

Ginger: Confessing to each other, yes.

Sonya: Now, parenting is a big challenge for all of us, no matter our situation. But in some ways, it almost feels like it’s more of a challenge when you’re also homeschooling. So talk a little bit about the added challenge that you see of homeschooling and parenting. Then let’s also talk about some of the benefits, because I think there are some benefits to doing both as well, all right?

Ginger: I’ll let you [Katy] address that as well. But I’m going to start with a benefit. I think that the greatest benefit of homeschooling with my kids and being able to parent them is that I was with them all day. So as struggles arose with my kids, I was able to address them at that moment with them, because teaching that is done as you go, and in the moment, that is teaching that really benefits the child. The greatest benefit is done when teaching is done in the context of the moment. Because I was with my children all day, that was a benefit because I was able to teach as we go. I would say the greatest challenge is also that I was home with them all day.

Sonya: All day, yes.

Ginger: And that, we can get very frustrated with training our kids in some of these issues, especially the ones that they seem to struggle with over and over and over. We’re having to teach the same principles over and over and over. We could become very weary from doing that all day every day. But we can be encouraged. This is one of my favorite verses: Galatians 6:9. And that verse says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” That was my life verse for parenting and homeschooling. So the greatest challenge is that you’re there all day, and the greatest blessing is that you’re there all day.

Sonya: That’s true.

Katy: I don’t see a huge separation in my parenting and in my homeschooling, only because my greatest responsibility is to teach my kids how to be God-honoring, successful adults. By successful, I mean able to control their emotions and be in relationships that are productive and positive. So much of the time we spend in our classroom is spent on relationships and behavior and things of that nature. So while we do academics and those sorts of things, I refer to that chart as much as I do any of our other books, only because the attitude they come to the table with affects everything. It affects everything in the room.

Ginger: Back to the heart-probing questions, and this is not even in my chart, but the other day, you were telling me about one of yours that was really struggling, Katy. It was day one of homeschool. One of hers was really struggling with a bad attitude about the schoolwork. The way that you probed his heart was just—It completely changed. Tell that, I love that.

I don’t see a huge separation in my parenting and in my homeschooling only because my greatest responsibility is to teach my kids how to be God-honoring, successful adults. By successful, I mean able to control their emotions and be in relationships that are productive and positive. So much of the time we spend in our classroom is spent on relationships and behavior and things of that nature.

Sonya: Yes, please do.

Ginger: It’s so good.

Katy: Well, our first day, three of the four of us cried. It was only my daughter who didn’t. We’ve been doing this for awhile, so it just, it was a rough day. And I think it was just getting back into a routine after moving and all of that.

Sonya: Yes, you just moved into a new house.

Katy: Exactly. And from a different state, and it’s just a lot of settling. And then COVID, I think that’s going to be my excuse for a little while, but I can only use that for so long. But one of mine in particular came to the table with a terrible attitude. “I don’t like math” and “I just want to play Legos all day.” I understood, it’s hard to get back into a routine. So I wasn’t as frustrated as I was wanting to get to the bottom of the attitude. We had a discussion about homeschooling, and what we love about it and what’s challenging about it, and what we can maybe do to help. Well, at the end of the day, his attitude had completely changed. We have a feelings chart that we go over to, and I said, “I want you to identify how you feel right now about school, about our relationship, just everything.” We have a little magnet and he put it on, I think it was joyful that he put it on.

Sonya: That was at the end of the day?

Katy: At the end of the day. And I said, “I would like for you to identify now how you felt this morning, at the beginning of the day.” And it was frustrated. I pointed to the two and I said, “Nothing has changed in our situation. Nothing has changed between now and at the beginning of the day except for your approach, except for your attitude about this schooling.” I said, “That is going to make all the difference in our home and in your heart and in your success at homeschooling is your attitude and your approach to it.” It was fun to see him realize, “I was able to make that change myself in my behavior.”

Ginger: That it was all based on his attitude that made the change. But I also liked how you started out with questions, because he was saying, “I don’t want to do homeschool. I don’t want to go to school.” I love the questions you said. You said, “Okay, let’s look at this.”

Sonya: What kind of questions did you ask?

Katy: “Well, what don’t you love about it? What are we doing here that isn’t working for you?” There’s the quantity of work was a challenge. I said, “Well, okay, do you want to learn these things? Do you want to know how to do math?” “Well, yes, ma’am.” “Okay, well, what other approach would you take besides repetition and practice?” And he’s like, “Well, I guess.” I said, “Well, what if we do something a little more interesting and different, and you do that with Dad? “Well, yes, okay.” So we’re actually adding more work. I don’t think he really processed that. [laughs]

Ginger: But you also started telling him some of the things that he would not be able to do if he went to school.

Katy: Well, that’s it, yes. “So let’s talk about what it would benefit you if you didn’t learn these things. If you didn’t learn spelling and writing and math, what couldn’t you do?” It got him thinking through what he wants to do for a career and all these things he wouldn’t be able to do. He really loves independence; that’s a big deal to him. Really talking through some of that with him, it got him to see that, “Yes, all my negativity toward this is really unnecessary. It’s not helping.” It was only keeping him down and unable to focus.

Ginger: Yes, that was good.

Katy: The day ended well.

Sonya: That’s good. That’s a huge thing. It sounds like as we look at using the three-step approach with our kids in all these areas, it has to start with us. We’ve got to instill a new habit in ourselves: a new habit of how we look at these opportunities, a new habit of how we think about our kids, and a new habit, potentially, of how we handle these situations.

Ginger: Yes, and in as far as how we handle them, we’re all going to blow it sometimes, you know.

Sonya: Thank you for that reminder.

Ginger: We are all going to blow it sometimes. I wanted to be such a good mom, and so I read all the parenting books and then I wound up writing a couple of them, but I still blew it with my kids. Even after I had done all this studying and praying and all that, because we’re sinful and we’re going to blow it. But what we need to realize, and I’m one of those kinds of people, I don’t know if you guys are like this, but when I blow it, I have this tendency to really beat myself up about it. But instead, God can really use those moments that we blow it to model for our kids what to do when we behave badly.

I’ll just tell you a story about one time that I really blew it badly with my kids. I forgot how old they were, maybe eight and ten, but we have a creek behind our house, and we have this little bridge you can cross over. My kids loved to cross over the bridge and play in the woods. We had a tree house, we had a swing set, so lots of fun. But one day, they decided that the creek looked more intriguing than the woods, and so they play in the creek, and they get their clothes all wet and muddy. But they had had so much fun doing it that I’m like, “You know what, I’m not going to complain about the wet and muddy clothes, I’m going to be the cool mommy.” So I listened to all the adventures they had had in the creek that day, but of course their new-found play area lured them back the next day and the next day, until I’m like, “Okay, I’m over the wet and muddy clothes.” I was also starting to get a little concerned that it might be dangerous down there in the creek without me out there with them. So I brought the kids in the house, sat them down on the couch, and I laid down the law very clearly. I said, “Okay, the creek has been a lot of fun. You guys have had a blast, but it actually is probably not a good idea. It could be dangerous. There could be snakes even down there, and you need to stop getting your clothes wet and muddy every day. So, new rule, you may not play in the creek anymore. You can cross over the bridge, you can play in the tree house, there’re all kinds of fun stuff to do, you don’t have to be in the creek.” Very clear. They understood these instructions.

It wasn’t three days later, here they come traipsing up to the house, and Wesley’s clothes are soaking wet. I’m in the heat of the moment, I had something going on that day, and so instead of probing the heart and talking about these things, I just really blew it. I started rattling off how he had disobeyed me, “I told you not to get in the creek and you did it anyway. That’s direct disobedience, and you’re not going be allowed to play out in the creek for three days.” On and on and on I went, and when I finally shut my yap trap and look down, oh, it was just heartbreaking. There was this look of just total exasperation on both of their little faces. I can still picture their faces. Through tears and a quivering lip, Wesley began to explain. He said, “Mom, we were crossing over the bridge, and Alex” (that’s his little sister) “she had her teddy bear, and she was bouncing him along the rail, and she accidentally dropped him, and he went over the rail and he landed down in the creek.” He said, “And Alex was so upset, Mama. And she was saying, ‘He’s going to drown! Wesley, he’s going to drown!'” He said, “And Mama, I really, I didn’t mean to disobey. She was so upset, and I really thought that you would want me to get her teddy bear for her.”

When I blow it, I have this tendency to really beat myself up about it. But instead, God can really use those moments that we blow it to model for our kids what to do when we behave badly.

Sonya: Right there. Oh.

Ginger: I was wrong. And I could have just continued to beat myself up about that, but God prompted me to model the right thing to do there. So I sat both of them down again, and I said, “You know what, the angry way that I just spoke to you, it showed no respect for you and it dishonored God. Will you forgive me for jumping to conclusions before I even answered you?” I think it’s in Proverbs that says, “He who answers before listening, that is his folly and his shame” [Proverbs 18:13]. Shame on me. I said, “Will you forgive me? I shouldn’t have lashed out in anger. I should have listened to you before I spoke. Please forgive me.”

When we’re willing to humble ourselves and confess and ask our kids to forgive us when we blow it, God’s grace comes down. And it’s a opportunity. Instead of just throwing our hands up and saying, “Well, I just blew it,” it’s an opportunity to show them what the conviction of the Holy Spirit looks like and the right way to respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. When we blow it, that’s the best way to handle it. Our kids are so forgiving; they’re so full of grace. Sometimes when I would talk harshly to my kids, I would do that, I’d say, “You know what, wait a minute. I just was disrespectful the way I spoke to you. And I just dishonored God. Let me try that again in a way that does show respect, in a way that does honor God.” Because we were all about the What to put off and What to put on. If my kids spoke to me in a disrespectful way, I’m like, “Try that again in a way that does show respect.” So for us being willing to do that same thing, that shows them what humility and the right way to respond to the conviction of the Spirit looks like. Now, did I always do that? No. But the times that I did, God’s grace really came through. And it taught all of us a good lesson.

Katy: I think that teaches our kids more than if we were perfect in that situation. It shows them how to model repentance and shows them that we can humble ourselves and admit when we’re wrong as well.

Ginger: And they’re always so forgiving. When we do that, it makes them more willing to do it as well. When we demonstrate humility, it stirs their hearts to also.

Sonya: It’s not two sets of rules, you know? We’re all following God’s Word. We’re all learning and growing together. Wonderful, thanks so much. How can people get in touch with you and get in contact with you to learn more about parenting, or just get to know you guys more?

Ginger: Well, I have a website, gingerhubbard.com. All the resources that we talked about are available on my website. Sure, you can get them off Amazon, but I’d rather you get them from me. But that’s okay [laughs]. And Katy and I are both active on Instagram. I love to offer daily encouragement and advice for parents on Instagram. I am @ginger.hubbard, and then Katy, she is like, the most hilarious person. Katy is my favorite person to follow on Instagram because she is just so hilarious.

Katy: Don’t look for me for parenting tips, necessarily. More sarcasm on Instagram, I think.

Ginger: She’s awesome.

Sonya: For the lighthearted break during the day?

Katy: Yes, there we go.

Ginger: So go to me for the tips, go to her for the lighthearted. But Katy is @katyinacorner, and it’s K-A-T-Y in a corner. We love to connect with our folks on Instagram. The biggest thing we’re doing, though, that we are super excited about, and the biggest connection that we have with everyone is through our podcast. The podcast is, Parenting With Ginger Hubbard. Parenting With Ginger Hubbard, and technically, and Katy Morgan. You guys can listen everywhere. In the podcast, we are just super excited and passionate about really helping parents learn how to reach past that outward behavior, pull out what’s going on in the hearts of their kids, and then address it from a biblical perspective. We also are really excited about helping parents from a practical standpoint to move past those frustrations of not knowing how to handle issues like lying and whining and tattling and complaining and disrespecting, and into a more heart-oriented, confident, and biblical approach to raising their kids. So we cover all sorts of topics.

Katy: And answer a lot of listener questions, as well.

Ginger: Yes, we love for our listeners to go to my website and they can ask questions, and we answer questions on the podcast. So that way we know what specific struggles kids are having, and we’ll address that. We just had a huge influx of questions on biting and hitting for some reason. It was crazy, so many questions coming in on biting and hitting. And we’re like, “Well, we need to do an episode on biting and hitting.” So those are the ones that are actually airing right now. But those are great ways to connect with us. We love encouraging and connecting with folks about parenting.

Sonya: Wonderful, thanks so much for being on today.

Katy: Thank you so much.

Ginger: Thank you for having us.


  1. This was such a great episode and I have bought Ginger’s book! I’m reading it and it’s great but I don’t see where there is a chart that’s mentioned numerous times in the podcast and in the book. Does Ginger provide that somewhere or are we supposed to take what’s in the individual chapters and make our own chart? If that is answered somewhere in the podcast and I missed it, sorry!

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