Oct 182014
 

sad photo

Most of us learned about punishment from our own parents or guardians. Some of us employ the same methods while others learned to do differently. So, when your small child or teen does something wrong are you convinced that the punishment you administer fits their crime? Are you too tough? Are you too lenient? How do you feel about the punishments that you give to your kids?

I learned a lot from my mom; she was the one in charge of punishment in my house growing up. It was never “wait until your father gets home” it was “wait until your mother gets home” for me. I grew up in a blended family so-to-speak, with stepdad. So, I assume that is why.

My mom was tough. She was tough on me when I did wrong and especially if I lied. Now that I am a mom I look back on that. Sometimes I think she was too tough and sometimes I think she was just right. But one thing I can say is that I definitely learned from it all and remember it now as I have found at times I need to punish my own daughter.

What I have definitely learned not only from my own mother, but from friends with kids is that the punishment should fit the crime if we are to teach them the lessons they need to learn.

If the punishments are consistently harsh it will not necessarily have the same effect as if they differ according to the wrongful act. After all, the goal is to teach a lesson so that they do not perform the wrongful act again, right?

My opinion is this…a really bad grade or poor performance in school not warranted by history should not invoke a 3-month grounding. At the same time, getting in trouble with the law should invoke a punishment stronger than one night without a cell phone.

Who decides what is too much, not enough, or just right when it comes to punishing our kids? We already know there is no rule book or manual (unfortunately). So then, we are the ones to decide – as parents.

All I can say is that the punishment must fit the crime. Everyone’s view of what is “bad”, “wrong”, or “over the line” is different. But, as parents we must remember that if every punishment is fierce that does not necessarily mean our children will grow up to be “perfect” when making even the smallest of errors.

Everyone needs to make mistakes in order to learn. We all need to learn right from wrong, accountability, responsibility, and how to be an adult.

Standard punishments where every time our kids do something wrong they get the same punishment will definitely not teach them severity of their actions. At the same time doing nothing at all to let our kids know that they have done something wrong and need to “suffer” in some way will certainly never teach them consequences.

What are your thoughts on punishments? Do you have standard punishments and levels of those that you use? Do you come up with your punishments on the fly according to the wrongful act?

Share your thoughts below!

 

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Oct 042014
 
Flowers

As we raise our children we think about what to teach them, how to teach them, and how to reinforce what we have taught them. But, how often do we stop and think about what we have learned as parents as we are guiding our children?

I conducted an interview on MyBlogU where I asked a few questions to get people to think beyond what we might concentrate on as parents…to take a look inside their selves. I received a great response with several honest and sincere answers. I had thought about only publishing a few of those answers per question, but then I thought better of it. I believe that these parents who took the time to ponder the questions and open their thoughts up to others all deserved to have their answers shared.

Here are the three questions I asked followed by everyone’s responses:

 

Q. What is one thing you have learned by being a parent? Not something that you learned from your kids, but something that being a parent has taught you.

A. Chilly_Bang (Never act like own parents were acting, never forget how i was acting as i was a child)

I’ve learned, by god

  1. not to become so as my parents are,
  2. not to act with my children, as my parents were acting with me.
  3. never forget, how it was for me, to be a child,
  4. always to remember, how i was acting by my own in same situations, as i was a child.

A. Philtrate ( The Teaching Escape Guy)

Being a parent taught me patienevery situation from someonce, and how to look at every situation from someone else’s viewpoint. A child’s viewpoint is a great way to look at anything because children are so impressionable that you are automatically careful, you make fewer assumptions and are more tolerant of others

A. Ann Smarty (Founder)

Multi-tasking…. I don’t think I had been able to do SO MANY things at one time before I became mom… I mean my productivity has always been good but being a mom and working on your career and business – these two things at the same time bring your multi-tasking ability to tops. I remember I was writing an article while holding my daughter’s leg for her not to fall from the couch (she was under one year old then)…. Whoever is saying multitasking is bad has never been a working-from-home mom!

A. Anna Fox (Blogger)

I learned to value time! It was a very surprising discovery: How little did I value my time! Those 10 minutes with a cup of coffee thinking of nothing… They used to be taken for granted! And now, being a mom, I don’t miss them (I LOVE being a busy mom) but I’ve learned to really appreciate those 10 minutes of doing nothing!

A. Don Sturgill (Writer)

I was the youngest. My father, brother, and other male members of my extended family teased and badgered me unmercifully. By today’s standards, I was bullied and abused — both physically and mentally. The culture (Appalachian) and era saw it as “toughening me up.”

Malarkey.

Owing to that example, I often catch myself saying something flippant to my boys:

“Zeb, go whine to your Mama.”

“Zach, you are the laziest child I have ever seen.”

I hate it when I do that. My desire is to encourgage them, but it doesn’t always come out that way. I have learned to watch my tongue and strive to speak with love, rather than derision.

A. lifestyleultimatum (A lifestyle Blogger)

Well, this is quite interesting as question, because there are so many things that being a parent teach you that is quite impossible to cover everything, but I think that the first thing I learned is that we are all humans.

One of the things I have always expect from my father and mother, was to see them act always like the perfect parents, but this is not human.

We are the same person since we are kids and we still try to do our best every day, no matter what is the result.

A. Dangerous Lee (Author, Writer, Essayist)

I’ve learned that I do not want more children. I am the single mother of one and my daughter was not planned. Parenting is hard, stressful, sometimes (not literally) shitty work; especially when you’re doing it alone. One has to have all their marbles to be a parent without guilt and I for one am missing a few marbles from the bag.

Q. What is one thing that you learned from your own parents, guardians, grandparents that you now use as a successful parenting tool?

A. Chilly_Bang (Never act like own parents were acting, never forget how i was acting as i was a child)

I learned from my parents, that for succeful parenting i will always try to act on diametrically opposite art, as they were acting with me. And to become successful like parent i will always compare my parental doing with it of my own parents. i must say: it works like a charm;)

A. Philtrate ( The Teaching Escape Guy)

The most important thing I learned from my own parents was to have rules and to enforce those rules. Children want to know what the rules are in every situation, they want to know where the boundaries are so they can try to push them. My own rules are much more elastic than my parents’ ones, but they are only flexible up to a point.

A. Ann Smarty (Founder)

“My kid is always right”… Don’t get me wrong: It’s not that she is always right AT home (she is spoilt enough but not THAT much)… but she has any conflict outside of it, I want her to know whe will always come home and see no opposition: I want to always be on HER side. I think knowing that is important. That’s how I was brought up!

A. Anna Fox (Blogger)

My mom used to say “You’ll understand when you have kids of your own” and I tried to listen to her and really understand. I think that worked really well to saving us from the generation gap. That’s what’s now helping me as well: Sometimes we need to accept the fact that we are different but that doesn’t mean we cannot TRY to understand each other!

A. Don Sturgill (Writer)

My heritage comes from hard working, honest-day’s-work-for-an-honest-day’s-pay folks. My father was the first to leave the homeplace (in the mountains of rural Virginia) to work a day job (as a coalminer). Here is a link to a recent interview about my Appalachian heritage. It was conducted by host, Sarah Campbell, on her Newfoundland radio show: Heritage.

From my family, I learned the value and dignity of manual labor. I hope to pass that knowledge on to my children — but, it is difficult today. We seek to be entertained. We are easily bored. We want soft, comfortable lives and feel cheated if we aren’t being spoonfed. (Or so it seems.)

A. lifestyleultimatum (A lifestyle Blogger)

Patience. I must thank my father for this, because he has been patient with me lots times. Also he teach me to be patient with other people, because you can never know what is the experience of someone else, and what they are living in the very moment, so before to fight try to understand.

Before to judge someone, step into his shoes and walk as much as he does, if you reach such a distance, then you will understand really who he is.

Q. How has becoming a parent changed you as a person? Are you more sensitive? Are you a better problem-solver? Is there something else that you have learned about yourself by being a parent?

A. Philtrate ( The Teaching Escape Guy)

I no longer see things in black & white. As a parent (or is it just getting older?) you have to deal with all kinds of situations where there is no universally recognised right or wrong: You just have to learn to live with shades of grey, even if children do see things in black and white.

A. David Leonhardt (President, THGM )

I think, as a parent, I am now much more patient and accepting of other people and their quirks.  I see so many of my own strengths and weaknesses reflected in my daughters, that it has made me realize how important it is to just accept.  I can see the thread that weaves from my parents, through me, to my daughters.  I understand that much of me was passed down not from my parents, but through my parents from theirs.  And much of what I have passed down to my daughters, will likely be passed through them to my grandchildren (OK, that is assuming a bit at this stage).

A. Ann Smarty (Founder)

Now I know my opinion is not the only one that counts. I am a tougher person than I seem: I have my own opinion that is hard to change but being a parent I understand that being that stubborn is not good for my kid. Sometimes my husband and I don’t agree as to what’s good and what’s bad for her and often I realize I need to listen to others. I mean I still think mom knows best but now I am listening to others  as well :)

A. Anna Fox (Blogger)

I have definitely become more patient! I used to be a classic choleric (in it’s better meaning). I hated being bored. I was hardly ever tired. Now it’s all different. I became patient and I find myself enjoying quiet evenings. I prefer spending time with my family at home to going out. I think being a parent has made me a completely different person!

A. Don Sturgill (Writer)

I didn’t figure Appalachia would play such a prominent part in my answers during this interview … but it sure has. In my poem, Notes From Appalachia, I talk about how I hated my father when I was young … but saw his wisdom reflected in the landscape of our ancestral mountain home.

Now that I AM the parent, I wonder how my children will see me … down the road a ways. We are close now. They KNOW I love them. I hope they can see that my shortcomings are but shadows that will someday be gone.

Parenting — and the great love it engenders — has prompted me to develop a personal desire to change, to be better than myself, better than my father, better than his father … and the hope that my children will be better than me.

A. lifestyleultimatum (A lifestyle Blogger)

Not a better problem solver, maybe more sensitive. But of course be a parent improve my sense of the life. Everything is more difficult, but at the same time everything is easier.

I am father of two and it costs some efforts sometimes, but this make me feel better and complete.

I think that us humans, we are creative animals. All the animal have an instinct, our goal is to create something and the most of the creativity is to give birth to a new life.

———————

If you would like to connect with those who participated in the interview, they have kindly shared their information below. Thanks to all who were gracious enough to participate in my interview!

Chilly_Bang

Philtrate

Philtrate



I am a teacher and have been writing for the past 4 years. I am a life-long reader

Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty



I have 7 years of experience in Internet Marketing and blogging. You can find my personal blog at seosmarty.com

Anna Fox

Anna Fox


Don Sturgill

Don Sturgill



Writer, Dreamer, and Believer. Author the most powerful time/life management system on the planet.

lifestyleultimatum

lifestyleultimatum



I am an Blogger on the Italian and English market. On the italian market I built a stable income and now I live in Costa Rica since two years, where I decide to start my new adventure on the English market with my italian experience.
Dangerous Lee

David Leonhardt

David Leonhardt


If you would like to conduct an interview of your own, head over to MyBlogU to find out how!

Do you have thoughts of your own on these questions that you would like to share? Please feel free to leave a comment below.

 

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Sep 212014
 

As our children grow, teaching them the basics of the kitchen and meals that they can cook are both essential. They will eventually move out and have to fend for themselves, so sending them out with a few great, inexpensive meal ideas outside of Ramen Noodles or frozen dinners is necessary.

Rather than just showing them how to make something, having them pitch in with dinners is a terrific way for them to get the hang of making the meals as well as helping out the family!

Meals for Teens

Meals for Teens

In our house, we take turns making dinner. That way, no one person is always responsible since everyone works and deserves a break. Here are a few easy dinners that your teen can prepare:

Healthy Chef’s Salad – this is a great meal idea for any family. Not only is it healthy, but easy to create without any cooking or baking. Simply cut up some lettuce, tomato, and onion, if desired. Layer these ingredients in a large bowl with your favorite salad meat (we use both turkey and diced ham) and shredded cheese. Everyone can then take as much as they like, add their own salad dressing, and top with hard-boiled egg, bacon pieces, or croutons. Healthy and filling!

Simple Spaghetti – instead of cooking a sauce from scratch, let your teen know they can make a very easy spaghetti in a few short steps. Brown a pound of ground beef and drain. Poor in any canned or jarred spaghetti sauce. Add mushrooms, diced onions, or diced green pepper if desired and simmer for an hour. Next comes your family’s favorite type of pasta – simply follow the instructions on the packaging. Easy peasy!

Manwich Sandwich – it is a pretty easy main dish to make and some may prefer homemade, but a can of Hunt’s Manwich can always come in handy! Brown a pound of ground beef and drain. Poor in a can of Manwich, simmer for 20 – 30 minutes, and serve on hamburger buns. Done!

Even different packaged meals can be great for your teen to prepare such as Hamburger Helper, Kraft or Velveeta Macaroni and Cheese, or Zataran’s.

As much as I would love for my daughter to go to culinary school and practice her creations on the family, that is just not going to happen. So, I try to teach her how to make really simple things, that will not cost her a lot after she moves out, but will provide her with something outside of fast food drive-thru-s.

Do you have any easy meals that your kids help create for dinner? If so, please leave a comment to share with others!

 

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Aug 232014
 

Senior picture day is an important day in your teen’s life. It is the first of many fun, new, and exciting adventures your teen will experience as they begin their last year of high school.

Photo by: mooncat, http://www.freeimages.com/photo/836078

Photo by: mooncat, www.freeimages.com/photo/836078

If this is your first time taking a teenage girl to a senior picture photo shoot, here are some tips that will help!

  1. Choose outfits to compliment the backgrounds. There are normally several backgrounds to choose from and most photo shoots will include more than one. Try to choose outfits with colors that accentuate your teen’s features as well as the background. Simpler patterns work well for outdoor scenes where there are normally a lot of colors. Patterned or multi-color clothing works better for minimal or single-color backgrounds.
  1. Choose outfits to compliment your teen’s features. Look at colors that bring out the color of your teen’s eyes and hair color. Try to avoid tops that are too low cut or skirts that are too short because the photographer will pose your teen in a variety of positions. The more flattering the outfit, the better your teen will feel, and the better the pictures will turn out!
  1. Bring an extra outfit. Once you see a background in person instead of in a catalog or online, you and your teen may decide that the chosen outfit does not work as well as you thought it would. Having an extra outfit or two just in case is a safe bet.
  1. Remember the accessories. After choosing the outfits, pick out accessories to accentuate each one. From necklaces and earrings to shoes and belts to handbags and hats, make sure that each outfit has the decorations it needs without overdoing it.
  1. Bring make-up and hair accessories. Whether your teen will do her own make-up and hair or the studio staff will do it for her, bring along some extras. Necessary make-up touch-ups for outdoor scenes or changing up the hairstyle at the last minute are always possible. Be prepared.
  1. Preparing for the day. Be sure that your teen gets plenty of sleep the night before the photo shoot so that her eyes are bright, not puffy. Make sure that you have both eaten before you go and bring along some bottled water.

Finally, have fun! This should be a fun activity for you and your teen. After all, how often does someone (who is not a professional model) get to have a photo shoot? If you are both in good spirits and having a good time, then it will show through in the pictures and be a great day to remember as well!

 

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Jul 272013
 

We try so hard to teach our children to have confidence in themselves and to believe that they can do anything they choose when they grow up. So, to have the tables turned can feel very unusual. But, that is what happened to me.

I have always enjoyed writing and aside from technical documents for my job, I only wrote in a journal, some poetry, and jotted down little things here and there. I did not talk about it or ever show anyone anything I had written. (Well, aside from the documents at work, but that does not really count.)

I told my daughter one day how great it would be if I could write for a living. I told her how much I would enjoy it and wish that I could switch careers. She said, “Well do it Mom”. It sounds odd, but she said it so matter-of-fact like that it made me think, “Yea, why not”.

Believe

Well I gave it a shot, but stalled for quite some time before taking the plunge by actually submitting an article online. But, I finally did submit that article to a website and waited so anxiously to see if it would be published. I had such little confidence that it would be, that I did not write anything else while I waited. I guess my thought was that if it was not published, that I should pretty much forget the whole writing thing. But, as I waited my daughter was my biggest supporter. She kept reassuring me that it would be published and that I should keep writing. My daughter was also my only supporter at the time because I did not tell another single person what I had done. I was just too nervous, especially if I failed.

As it turned out, my article was published. I was shocked, to say the least. It, along with my daughter, gave me the boost I needed. My daughter told me she was not surprised at all – she had confidence in me the whole time. I just did not have the confidence in myself, nor the belief that I could actually become a writer.

Things seemed to explode for me since then. I now write for several websites, continue to work on a book I have started, have made many friends and connections, and have taken a hold of a freelance writing career part-time. I have to say that the more I write, the more I love it.

The moral of this story is that my daughter really did teach me to believe in myself. I think the fact that she believed in me so strongly was a huge push for me – it was the push I needed. Our kids do believe in us and our abilities – sometimes they think we are Superheroes, I think! If it was not for my daughter, my writing career would not be where it is now. I may not be doing it full-time yet, but that is my goal and now I really do believe that I can do it!

Thank you to Abby for her faith in me.

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Jul 212013
 

Whether for business or pleasure, you may find yourself in a situation where you will be gone overnight. You feel that your teen may be ready to stay alone overnight, rather than going to a friend or family member’s home. But, how do you know for sure if they are ready? Is there a certain age that your teen must be in your mind? What do you consider when making the decision to leave them alone?

Let’s take a look at factors that you should consider and questions that you should ask yourself.

  1. Mature.  Is your teen as mature as they should be for their age or are do their actions remind you more of a child? Do their thoughts about situations sound right for their age or do they make you think they have a lot more growing up to do? Your teen should display an appropriate amount of maturity for their age before considering a night alone.
  2. Responsible. Does your teen do the right thing when it comes to safety, choices, and tasks? Can you rely on them to do the right thing in a situation?  Can you rely on your teen to do what is asked and do it correctly? If a situation were to arise where they had to make a decision, you want to feel confident that they will make the right one.
  3. Trustworthy. Trust is a key element to consider. When you leave them alone during the day, do you feel comfortable? Can you trust your teen when they are away from your home – at school, friend’s house, shopping mall, or with the car? How much do you trust your teen to be okay alone for the night? If you think they may throw a party while you are away, then maybe it is not the right time.
  4. History. Does your teen have a history of getting into trouble? Have you had issues leaving them alone during the day? Have you had problems with them that include drugs or alcohol? Have they been in trouble in school or even with the law? Your teen’s history should also come into play and should help you decide whether or not you feel comfortable leaving them alone.

HouseI think as you read this you can agree that age is not as important as the four items listed here. A 15-year old can be more responsible and trustworthy than a 17-year old. A 16-year old can be more mature and have a better history than an 18-year old…and so on. So, take age out of the equation and consider the above traits instead.

When you leave for an overnight trip, you must feel comfortable to leave your teen alone for the night. You need to trust that they will make the right choices, take care of what needs to be taken care of while you are away, and not worry the entire time you are gone that something bad will happen.

If you cannot answer positively to the questions answered above, then it is probably not the right time to leave your teen alone overnight. Wait a while – let them grow and mature, correct their mistakes, prove to you that they can be trusted. If you are unsure, then it is probably too soon.

What are your thoughts? Have you already been through this with your teen and can share some wisdom? Or, are you a parent contemplating this decision right now? Comment below to share your story!

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Jul 132013
 

As lives get busy and children grow up, it can be hard to find the quality time to spend with our children.  Jobs, school, sports practices, recitals, friends…all take up our time.  One thing that I would suggest, especially as our kids turn to teens, is a “date night”.

It does not have to be every week and could even just be once a month, but setting aside one night, few hours, or whatever works for you is a great idea.  Be sure that you plan that time together so that you choose something that both enjoy.

Abby and Sandy Summer 2013

Abby and Sandy Summer 2013

My daughter and I love Mexican cuisine.  So, for our date night we go out to dinner to our favorite Mexican restaurant.  We really take our time and enjoy the dinner.  It has become such a “thing” for us that my daughter does not like anyone else to ever go to that restaurant with us!

Other suggestions for your time together could include a movie, shopping, mini golf, picnic, archade, spa day, or even the beach.

We receive a community paper that lists local classes being offered.  I thought it would be really fun for me and my daughter to take a class together.  Whether it is artistic like pottery or painting or something valuable like self-defense, this is also a great idea.  My daughter has not warmed to this option yet, unfortunately, but I am still trying!

The point is that if you plan a regular date night with your teen then you can both look forward to that special time together, however often it may be.  It is time for just the two of you to reconnect and I know that it really works for my daughter and I.  It is one of those times we use to talk about serious things, girl things, or just laugh with each other.

Do you do something like this with your son or daughter?  Please share your comments and suggestions!

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May 182013
 

We all have some sort of routine in our lives.  We may have routines that take us through the morning, the whole day or even longer.  We all get set in those particular routines and it can be hard to veer off that path.  However, I learned from my daughter that it’s okay to steer a different direction once in a while.  It can actually be a good, healthy, fun thing to do.

I have a pretty set routine during the week.  I work 8am – 5pm, Monday through Friday.  After work I come home, relax for just a bit by doing a little writing.  I then make dinner, watch some TV, and then head off to bed by 10pm so I can rise early and do it all again.  Quite a routine, isn’t it?  Sound familiar?

Alarm Clock Photo By Sandy Stachowiak

Alarm Clock Photo By Sandy Stachowiak

My teenage daughter likes to keep busy and do things.  She likes it best when we are constantly moving rather than sitting around.  I tell her it is because she has a lot more energy than me and because she does not know what it is like to work 40+ hours per week.  I do not like to go out anywhere after I get home from work.  But lately she has been trying more and more to get me out of this routine.

Although I do enjoy relaxing and trying to recoup after a day’s work; I have to admit I am now veering off my routine a bit to do things with my daughter.  Going out to dinner during the work week, doing some shopping after work, or just being out after dark on a Tuesday are all breaks from the routine.  And you know what?  It’s not so tough, it’s not so bad – it’s actually nice and it’s actually relaxing too!

She tries the same thing with me on the weekends and I cannot blame her for trying.  Spending weekends doing chores or yard work is not exactly fun.  So, I now try to use one day to work around the house or yard and the other day to get out and do something fun.  I feel it is a good compromise and it works for us.

So, the moral of my story is that my daughter has taught me it is okay to break from the routine.  It’s actually better than okay – it’s fun!

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May 052013
 

I never realized until I dealt with a stressful situation in my current job just how much my mood affects our household.  Have you ever thought about it?  I didn’t until recently. I was sucked into letting my job affect me so much that my stress level was through the roof.  I came home angry because I was stressed out completely at 5pm every day.  My boyfriend who has lived with my daughter and I for 6 years works at the same company that I do.  So, when the pressure came down on him as well – well, I don’t have to tell you what it was like at 5pm at our house.  We were both in such horrible moods that it would take hours to just relax and be able to settle into a nice evening – and by that time, it was bed time! Neither my boyfriend nor I realized the affect that this was having on my daughter, our dog, ourselves, or our quality of life.

Image by: sxc.hu, stock.xchng, vivekchugh, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1156006

Image by: sxc.hu, stock.xchng, vivekchugh, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1156006

Upon realizing this, it was like a revelation to me.  I could not believe how miserable our household was becoming or how miserable that I was becoming, as a person.  I was letting it all get to me WAY too much!  It was to the point that when we came home from work, my daughter along with our dog, would retreat to my daughter’s room until dinner. Then most times after dinner, they or she, would go right back there!  I was spending NO time with my daughter in the evenings.

In between all of this, when we would happen across each other in the kitchen or living room at the same time, it was always just so tense.  I could not figure out why at the time.

Well, I’m sure you can imagine after telling you all of this just how bad I felt.  We had definitely fallen into not only a pattern but a trap of misery!  I just really, really had no idea how badly our moods were affecting our household.

One day, and I’m honest about this, it just hit me.  It really, really hit me…like a brick wall on wheels!  The dynamic in our home was so affected by the moods we were in that it was pulling us apart, making us all cranky and causing undo stress on everyone – including the dog! Once I realized this, things changed immediately and have not been the same since.  I do not ever, ever again want my daughter to run to her room or our dog to run to her bed every time we walk in the door!  Not ever again! I have taken steps to make sure it does not happen again.  I have:

Image by: sxc.hu, stock.xchng, marafet, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1322185

Image by: sxc.hu, stock.xchng, marafet, www.sxc.hu/photo/1322185

  1. Made sure that I leave my job where it belongs – in the office
  2. Made an effort to put on a happy face when I get home – afterall, seeing my daughter is usually the brightest part of my day, so why not act like it!
  3. Made my own life better by leaving the stress behind AND not letting the stress get to me like it did!
  4. Made sure that I only check my work email when there is a big event happening, not every time the phone beeps.  I actually turned off email notifications for my work email account on my phone.

I made these changes about 6 months ago and have noticed a huge improvement in our home.  We are all much happier and enjoy our time together – and actually spend time together!  We do not grump and mope, we are not cranky and angry.  We treat each other better and we show it.

Life is better – life is good!

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Apr 202013
 

Turning 16 brings along thoughts of wanting a job and a driver’s license for our teens.  This is where my daughter is right now.  These are brand new, huge, responsible points in my teen’s life.  They bring about so much thought of independence and teaching from us that I wrote articles on each one separately:

Photo by: sxc.hu, stock.xchng, 04evil, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/204375

Photo by: sxc.hu, stock.xchng, 04evil, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/204375

I feel a little overwhelmed with all of this at the moment, but my daughter does not seem fazed at all.  I guess I have to take a page from her book for a change!  She seems to take everything in stride, but then again that might be because these are exciting moments for her while they are terrifying moments for me.  At the same time I have to learn from what I know, as a former teenager and now as a mother.  These are just additional moments that a parent must face at some point.  The moments grow harder as our children grow older.  That is because with each memorable moment, especially when they are teens, seems to be another time to let go…just a little more each time.

Allowing our children to grown up into adults is difficult for most of us.  Letting go is even worse.  The older they get, the more responsibility they can handle, the more they venture out into the world without us is all a sign of the day to come where they leave the nest and begin their own life…without us.

Ahhh…growing up.  It seems whether it is with our children or for some of us with ourselves, we just do not want it to happen.

Unfortunately, growing up will always happen, no matter who it is.  So, the best that we can do is nurture it.  We need to help our children grow because they will all always leave the nest eventually.  So, preparing them the best we can is the best thing that we can do.  Like it or not.

I have learned that my daughter needs me to help teach her to grow up – to be an adult.  It IS my job to teach her about what will happen with her first job.  It IS my job to teach her to drive and be responsible behind the wheel.  It IS my job to teach her to be the most responsible adult that she can be.  I am her mother and all of this IS my job.

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