Tagged with "tween"
21 Jun
2017
Posted in: parenting
By    Comments Off on Adjusting to a Different Summer

Adjusting to a Different Summer

I miss preschoolers.

Maybe I don’t miss everything about having young children, but parenting a teen and a tween this summer has me nostalgic for truly lazy days of summer.

boy swimming laps during swim lessons

I was prepared for life to change when our oldest entered high school. He’s active and involved. I knew certain things, like sports, would require more time. He hit the ground running this summer and his commitment motivated our 7th grader to start his own training program. By 9:45 a.m. this morning, our oldest had been dropped off and picked up from football speed and strength training. Our 12-year-old and I had run through his middle distance training for the day, and I was sitting at swim lessons with our youngest two. Our schedule isn’t nearly as bad as some other families. It seems we’re attempting to one-up each other with our level of busyness. I most definitely want to lose that game.

teenager crossng a river on a log bridge

Long gone are the days of sleeping in with my young children who actually enjoyed sleep. There’s no more nap time, except when mom sets the timer for 20 minutes of self-imposed mom rest time. I miss the repetitiveness of wooden puzzles, block towers, finger paint and racing Hot Wheels. I remember thinking the monotony of those days would do me in and now I long for that slower pace.

My current state is our fault. We wanted the children to find things they enjoyed and participate. Be involved we told them. That’s at least one thing they listened to me say. There are things we do say no to, and the kids would gladly list the requests that have been nixed. We’re choosy. They still need to have family time and time not dictated by a schedule. There’s time during the day for us to do as we please, but even that is exhausting with big kids. They want to hike, swim and explore. Their legs can carry them miles and miles over rough terrain. A hike on the local parkway path is no longer sufficient for their adventuresome spirits. I love it, but I’m tired. It seemed not too long ago it was me dragging them to places to get out of the house and now it’s them prodding me along.

brothers playing at a Wyoming state park

I don’t remember summer holding many extracurricular activities as a child. The list of camps is extensive in our area. There is, quite literally, a camp for everything. This summer is an adjustment period for us as we settle into the realm of high school. Fall sports begin early in August. Next year will maybe bring a summer job into the mix.

I’ve been warned by more-seasoned parents that if I think the junior high years went quickly, high school will take my breath away. I’m glad we chose years ago to have experiences instead of continually waiting for the kids to be older. Older came fast, and now that we have older kids, our time seems in short supply. I remember when the kids were much younger wondering if the day would ever be over. Now I check the clock and wish there was a way to add more time.


 
By     |    May 18, 2017
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How to Not Take a Compliment

It seems I have at least one child who hasn’t a clue on how to take a compliment. I was surrounded by 6th graders at a presentation and heard eight different children qualify compliments they were given. A simple, “You’re painting was lovely,” was met with “Thanks, but it’s trash.” Or “I didn’t work hard enough.” Or “There are better ones.” Not one of the eight children replied with a simple thank you. Even my son replied back to a... [Read More]

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Tailoring Parenting to My Audience
By     |    Aug 28, 2016
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Tailoring Parenting to My Audience

Our second oldest son and I were driving to his 6th grade orientation last week. His brothers and sister weren’t with us. This was the perfect time to talk one-on-one about heading to middle school. I over-think and prepare for situations. I was going to begin with talking about responsibility before moving into the importance of kindness and bravery before wrapping up with a shortened version of previous talks on drugs, alcohol and sex. I’d given this talk to his... [Read More]

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Taking a Chance with School Involvement
By     |    Oct 5, 2015
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Taking a Chance with School Involvement

We’ve had children at the same elementary school for eight years. I’m comfortable with the staff. I have a good understanding of how things work, how I can be involved as a parent, and the best avenue to take when issues arise. We’re in year two of middle school. I was more nervous for that first day of middle school last year than our son. I was clueless on what to expect from parking to volunteering to knowing teachers. I... [Read More]

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The Great Bedroom Swap
By     |    Aug 7, 2015
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The Great Bedroom Swap

I stood in Menards looking down a long aisle of shelving possibilities wondering why I was even at a home improvement store. The day started with the sole intention of moving one bed from the spare bedroom to the tween’s room. I was looking for shelving while the basement at home was filled with multiple dismantled bed frames and a dresser stood smack-dab in the middle of the upstairs hallway waiting to make the journey downstairs. This is exactly why... [Read More]

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There’s a What Today?
By     |    May 3, 2015
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There’s a What Today?

I know better than to be cocky about this parenting thing. Yesterday I rocked motherhood. Today I managed to avoid a motherhood disaster. Our oldest had a track meet 90 minutes from home yesterday. Friday night he and I engaged in a passive/aggressive argument about whether or not the family should make the trek to the meet for the morning and come back to town for other obligations that afternoon.  I knew he wanted us to come. I also knew... [Read More]

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Caught Off Guard by Adulthood
By     |    Apr 8, 2015
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Caught Off Guard by Adulthood

I spent spring break last week being easily distracted by my children. They wanted to go to a park multiple times. We went. They wanted to paint. We did. They wanted a movie marathon. We sat for hours watching movies, which is a true indulgence at this house. I soaked in the best part of being able to work from home: being with my children. It wasn’t all roses and butterflies. There were thorns during the week. I have a... [Read More]

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Learning More than Teaching
By     |    Mar 6, 2015
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Learning More than Teaching

I’m certain when our last child moves out of the house, years from now, that I will have learned more from them than what they learned from me. Over the last 12 years, I’ve learned more about myself from mothering than any self-reflection exercises I ever attempted. I have a better handle on my strengths and weaknesses. The parts of my attitudes and habits I don’t necessarily enjoy about myself have been magnified with parenting. I’m quick to anger and... [Read More]

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Meet an Author: Jay Asher
By     |    Feb 9, 2015
Posted in: parenting, reading     |    2 Comments

Meet an Author: Jay Asher

Books are important and talking with authors about their books is a privilege. Authors are like rock stars for me. I had the chance to talk with and listen to author Jay Asher last week. He stopped in my town as part of his 50 States Against Bullying author tour. I was Christmas-morning excited to hear what he had to say. I read his book, 13 Reasons Why, almost three years ago, and still think about the topics he wrote... [Read More]

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Making Peace With Exhaustion in 2015
By     |    Dec 30, 2014
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Making Peace With Exhaustion in 2015

I’m exhausted, always. It really never matters how much sleep I’ve managed to enjoy. During a recent doctor’s appointment for me, the doctor asked if I thought I was more tired than normal. The thing is, I can’t actually remember not being a little tired. After chatting about my level of tiredness, I realized I’m not physically tired (well, sometimes), I’m emotionally and mentally exhausted, which rolls over to every other part of life. The thing about parenting that wears... [Read More]

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Being Reassured in Parenting
By     |    Nov 7, 2014
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Being Reassured in Parenting

This parenting business is tricky. I have entire days that just seem difficult from sunrise to sunset. No one is listening or has apparently never listened to any advice or direction I’ve ever offered. Parenting issues seem to spiral and compound until I’m deflated and exhausted. On any given day, I can fluctuate from completely capable parent to inept 100 times. Then there are days like yesterday. I was gifted with a strong reminder that all the effort required to... [Read More]

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DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids
By     |    Oct 26, 2014
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DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids

I watch our 12-year-old straddle the line between childhood and being a teenager on a daily basis. He struggles with wanting to spend hours in the basement building LEGOs with his younger brothers and crawling onto the couch with headphones and listening to music. I wasn’t surprised when he said he was too old to don a costume for Halloween. I was disappointed to see that door close, but had a feeling it was coming. I reminded him he could... [Read More]

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