Category Archives: Reaching the Heart of Your Tweens & Teens

52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids: When You Just Need To Listen

52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids When You Just Need to Listen

The scene was familiar….a teen sprawled across the foot of our bed. Hubby has to get up. The clock indicating it was after midnight. The aforementioned teen in tears.

Hurt. Disappointment. Rejection.

And the “all nighter” was in progress.

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52 Weeks of Talking To Our Kids: Calendar Meetings

52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids Calendar Meetings

The scene was the same for our three girls and Mom and Dad—time to gather in the living room with calendars in hand, ready to go over the upcoming weeks and months to be sure we have everything down on the schedule—and to be sure that we have plenty of time set aside for each other and our family. What wasn’t the same was the addition of our future son-in-law—a sweet, amazing young man who has no need for meetings, sitting for long periods of time listening to three teenage/young adult girls and their parents gab. His response to our “calendar meeting” was hilarious as he put a pillow over his head and kept coming up periodically to ask if it was almost over!

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[Video] Should You Continue Homeschooling?

[Video] Should You Continue Homeschooling?

Welcome to one of our May Wondering Wednesday posts! This is the time of year that I get questions about putting kids in school next year! 🙁

Sorry for the frowny face, but you have to know that a woman who is wrapping up her final (and her thirty-second!) year of homeschooling would have a frowny face about not homeschooling! 😉

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52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids: Half Birthdays and Other “Dates”

52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids Half Birthdays and Other Dates

When our older kids turned twelve (girls) or thirteen (boys), they began to have a special privilege known as “half birthday dates.” At the 12 ½ (or 13 ½) year old mark, that child got taken out to dinner with Mom and Dad for a unique dinner date.

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52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids: Table Talk

52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids Table Talk

One of the places in our home in which lively discussions were usually held (and continue to be so, especially when all thirteen of us are home together!) is the dinner table. There is a lot of talk online and other places about the importance of the family dinner table. I am so grateful that we took the time to be sure that we ate four or five meals a week together in the evening—around the table.

Here are some tips to get your family dinner time back—and get your table talk on:

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52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids: Non-Conflict Times

52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids: Non-Conflict Times

When is the best time to solve problems? Before they start!

The same thing is true in parenting. If we can talk through issues and problems before they arise, we will be ahead of the game in parenting.

My husband always used the mantra that we should “talk about this during non-conflict times.”

That is, we shouldn’t try to solve a bunch of problems, make new rules, talk through too many things, etc., when we were in the middle of a conflict.

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52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids: “My Day”

52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids: "My Day"

When I had several young children, I assigned each child “a day” each week. I first got this idea when I was in teacher’s college, and it was suggested that we teachers pick a different student each day to focus on. It was recommended that we write that child’s name on the calendar for that day (to keep record of who got which day and to ensure that each child got a day) and that we try to praise, help, make more contact with, etc. that particular student on that day. This approach would keep the “non-sqeaky wheels” from getting overlooked.

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52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids: A Penny for Your Thoughts, a Nickle for a Hug, and a Dime if You Tell Me That You Love Me

52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids:: A Penny for Your Thoughts, a Nickle for a Hug, and a Dime if You Tell Me That You Love Me

“A penny for your thoughts; a nickel for a hug; and a dime if you tell me that you love me.”

We have talked at length on this blog about communicating with our kids. And how communication is a strong form of “teaching when…”

The ditty above is a little chant that we used to say to our kids to remind them that we want to talk to them, that they are valuable to us, that we love them “ten million times infinity and beyond.” From this saying, a valuable “object lesson” developed and tied my son’s and my heartstrings in a special way nearly twenty years ago.

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52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids: Terrific Tuesday or Wonderful Wednesday

52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids: Terrific Tuesday or Wonderful Wednesday

With the addition of another child every other year or so, we knew it was important to spend time with the older children. (We were taught by our early mentors to put as much time and energy into our first two kids as we possibly could, knowing that the “trickle down effect” of teaching would come into play.)

 

Note: This is another reason we have felt so strongly about not letting an eight month old, eighteen month old, or twenty-eight month old determine the entire family’s schedule [i.e. have a “toddler run home”]—it never felt right to let a toddler’s “wants” override a teen’s needs. Anyway, because of the advice we received to invest significantly in our older kids for the “trickle down effect” (which majorly works, I might add), we always looked for ways to spend more time with Joshua (now 29) and Kayla (now 26). One of the ways I did this was to implement “Terrific Tuesday” or “Wonderful Wednesday.”

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52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids: Kitchen Talks

52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids: Kitchen Talks

Not long ago my twenty-one year old son was helping me clean and cut fruits and veggies. This is a rare sight nowadays. The boys are either in college all the time or working very full time jobs (well, actually, they both do both at the same time!). I miss those times of cooking and cleaning in the kitchen with my kids.

However, I didn’t expect the boys to miss it! Josiah, the twenty-one year old pediatric nurse I just referred to, said, “You know what I miss? I miss those times that we used to gather around the table with tons of potatoes, carrots, apples, and other fruits and vegetables and peel, cut, clean, and prep them while you read aloud to us for hours!”

So do I, baby, so do I!

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