Tagged with "talking"
18 Sep
2017
Posted in: parenting
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Teenagers Deserve More From Adults

Cildren hiking a trail in Idaho

Twice last week I listened to adults rant about teenagers. I heard all about how lazy teens are, how disrespectful, how they lack work ethic, how they dress like slobs and how our future is surely doomed when that lot reaches adulthood and takes over. I listened and silently seethed until the ranting was over. Both times I shared only one thought,” You, obviously, don’t know the right teenagers.”

Right around the time I thought I had a decent grasp of parenting, my oldest became a teenager and all thoughts of parenting competency flew out the window. I’m at the front-line of all things teenager. I live with a freshman in high school and another a few months shy of 13. There are days I feel I know more about what’s happening in the lives of the teenagers I know than about friends my own age. Teenagers can be disrespectful, lazy, and dress poorly. But at the age of 40, I can also be all those things.

I know active teens who keep much busier schedules than most adults I know. They go to school, followed by athletic practice and find time to finish schoolwork. I know some who attend school during the day and work several hours in the evening. There are those who take classes at local high schools and a community college. Then there are those teens who manage a life like one of the above and rely only on their two feet for transportation.

I’m the first to say teens can be annoying with their knowledge of everything. I’ve been on the receiving end of eye rolling, although I’m sure he learned that from me. Not everything I ask is done as quickly as I would like. My definition of organization and that of a freshman in high school are not the same. Communication lines are sometimes a tangled mess, or monosyllabic in nature. Teenagers seem to run on a slightly less-exact form of time than adults. Most days I’m sure I talk only to hear myself speak and must remind certain people that I’m the adult, not the other way around.

Teens can also be inquisitive, funny, caring, hard working, go-getters and more intelligent than they sometimes let on. They are complicated, hormonal-charged adult-like children struggling to keep up with the endless physical changes and social changes that come with growing up. Adults tend to forget all of that when faced with the talking back, attitude and rule breaking. I’m guilty 100 times over for being too hard on our teen. I know I forget when dealing with him how amazing he can be when he’s not busy annoying me. Much of the issues I have with my own teenager is him as much as it is me. I’m tired, hormonal, over-worked, under-appreciated and grouchy at times. I have no idea how to raise a teen or guide his path while still giving him ample room to both falter and soar. It’s a constant struggle of me treating him like he’s younger than he is while also expecting him to act older than his age. No wonder teenagers push back.

I know there is greatness in those moody world-changers we’re raising. There’s no time for the ranting and bashing on our teenagers who are quickly morphing into young adults. We need to support their goals and dreams, give them ways to channel their ideas and foster their gifts and talents. Finding your way, at whatever age, is not an easy task. Let’s show less judgement and offer more guidance.


 
School Survey Says….
By     |    Sep 5, 2017
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School Survey Says….

The former journalist in me comes out full-force on the first day of school every year. I pepper our kids with countless questions about their day when they arrive home. I’m one step away from a spotlight for my interrogations like my beloved crime books and movies. I’ll take every nugget of information, no matter how small, the kids are willing to throw my way. I really should hand each of the kids a survey to complete. Those who need... [Read More]

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Genius Hour and Growing Lifelong Learners
By     |    Mar 6, 2017
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Genius Hour and Growing Lifelong Learners

I want my kids to love learning for the sake of learning and to hunger for knowledge. School projects that actively enforce those principles  are my favorite. Genius Hour is a prime example. The idea behind Genius Hour has been utilized in corporations to increase productivity. Employees are given a set amount of time each week to work on pet projects in their field. Google has seen success with this route. Gmail anyone? I’m more motivated to apply myself to... [Read More]

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Keeping Children Out of Politics
By     |    Oct 5, 2016
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Keeping Children Out of Politics

I’m not overtly political in nature. I have my opinions, but I don’t enjoy debating politics. The last few weeks I’ve had conversations with my elementary-age children regarding issues they’re hearing at school from children that have me questioning what, exactly, adults are thinking. It started with comments about Benghazi and deleted emails. Then there were walls and taco trucks. My daughter has been told by a fellow 1st grader that she’s “what’s wrong with the country” because of who... [Read More]

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For Our Teenage Son
By     |    Nov 10, 2015
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For Our Teenage Son

I quietly listened to an acquaintance lament about life with a teenage son. I knew she expected me to jump in with my own complaints, but I wasn’t taking the bait. I spent years listening to people tell me to just wait until I had a teenager. It always sounded ominous. Our man/child first born is, at the worst, annoying, loud, selfish and stinky. I know the teenage waters have potential to become choppy and murky over the years, but... [Read More]

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Shaking the Worry Over the Middle Child
By     |    Oct 20, 2015
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Shaking the Worry Over the Middle Child

Our middle son came into the world quietly. He spent the first few hours of his life wide-eyed staring at us, but the quiet didn’t last long. He struggled to gain weight those first few months and refused to sleep most of his first year of life. He cried a lot, and I shed my share of tears. Those first 13 months were riddled with worry for that boy, and I never really shook the extra concern for him. Fast... [Read More]

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Our Girl Turns 6
By     |    Sep 15, 2015
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Our Girl Turns 6

When we found out I was pregnant with our fourth child, I knew it was a boy. I thought I was destined to be a mother of men and liked the idea of a house full of boys.  At my 20-week ultrasound appointment, my doctor told us our baby had a hamburger, not a hot dog. We were adding a girl to the family. I left in disbelief. Not because I didn’t want a daughter, I thought we only made... [Read More]

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On Being a Person
By     |    Feb 26, 2015
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On Being a Person

Most of my daily conversations are held with our 5-year-old daughter. It’s not really conversing. It’s more her talking and me listening. Children can be both silly and insightful in their observations. We were reading from a book while we waited for our oldest son’s school day to finish up. After certain passages there were discussion questions. The question was: “What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?” I assumed her answer would have something to do with sharing... [Read More]

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Calming Fear in Children
By     |    Feb 2, 2015
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Calming Fear in Children

Our oldest son is not a fan of needles. He’s done more than his fair share of begging and pleading to avoid vaccines, to no avail. There’s always weeping. He was anxious leading up to last Friday for a medical procedure that required both needle and scalpel. His anxiety made me anxious, and both of us weirdly awkward and nervous in the waiting room trying to avoid the elephant sitting between us. We talked earlier in the day about his... [Read More]

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Peace Within the Chaos
By     |    Jan 25, 2015
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Peace Within the Chaos

I am a bottler of emotions and an over-thinker of thoughts. Many nights I lay awake mentally wrangling with a burden, problem or project. Sometimes all three in one night. I stuff emotion on top of emotion deep inside until I explode on some poor, unsuspecting member of my family. They take the brunt of it all, tears and tantrums along with the joy. I can feel the build-up of feelings and thoughts that haven’t been shared. I know I’m... [Read More]

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Power in Connecting
By     |    Jan 7, 2015
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Power in Connecting

Over 10 years ago when I was pregnant with my second son, I started taking my toddler to a play group in the hopes of connecting with people and ridding myself of nagging loneliness. I made a passing comment about missing the act of reading. I wasn’t making me a priority. A new friend invited me to her book club and my decision to step outside my comfort zone and attend caused lasting ripple effects. The first Tuesday of every... [Read More]

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Learning Minecraft as a Second Language
By     |    Jul 11, 2014
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Learning Minecraft as a Second Language

Two days ago I would have said the days my children look forward to without fail are their birthdays and Christmas. Alas, I was wrong (again). I had not lived through the pandemonium surrounding the release of Minecraft Pocket Edition 0.9.0…better known as “the biggest update ever.” I was completely unaware of how life altering a game update could be for young people. Thursday may as well have had a red circle marking the importance of the date. I’ve listened... [Read More]

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