Your Parenting Style Impacts Your Teen’s Autonomy

One of the many goals of parenting is to raise children who become successful adults. Ideally, teens should develop the skills they need in order to become adults who can function in the “real world”. A study shows that your parenting style impacts your teen’s autonomy and the quality of his or her romantic relationships as an adult. Developmentally speaking, teenagers are at a stage when they are beginning to separate from their family and seek out their own, individual, identity. Little kids typically have a strong desire to seek approval from their parents. Teens, however, are much more interested … Continue reading

Does Your Teen Want to Attend Public School?

The Washington Post has an interesting article that focuses on the homeschooling experience of a young man named Josh Powell. His education wasn’t ideal. It is important to note that there are certain factors in his situation that are not necessarily a part of everyone’s homeschooling experience. Josh Powell lives in Virginia. He, and his siblings, were homeschooled by their parents. When Josh was 16 years old, he asked to be allowed to attend public school. His parents said no. The reasons Josh wanted to start going to public school weren’t the ones that many teenagers might focus on. Some … Continue reading

To Preschool or Not to Preschool That is the Question

Did you know that many preschools begin accepting students when they are two and a half years old? It may seem like just yesterday that your little one said his first words and took his first steps. Could it really be time for preschool already? Maybe, but then again, maybe not. Deciding when a child is ready for preschool is not a simple task. There are some questions that you can ask yourself to assess whether now is a good time to send your child to preschool. For example, ask yourself whether your child is fairly independent, meaning that she … Continue reading

Teen Challenges: Boundaries and Freedoms

Today I am wrapping up my teen challenges series.  I have addressed lying, attitudes, bad choices, and peer pressure. Now we tackle boundaries and freedoms.  Although these sound like opposites, they really do intertwine. First, boundaries have to be established.  You can do this through rules, contracts or whatever creative ideas you may come up with. Boundaries are in place to protect your teen, which is something you need to explain.  Don’t expect them to get it…they think they are invincible.  But it still needs to be said. Freedoms come into play when those boundaries start to move.  It doesn’t … Continue reading

Teen Challenges: Peer Pressure

Lying, attitudes, bad choices.  All of these challenges that most parents have to deal with at one time or another when raising teenagers.  But there is another challenge that can sometimes make you feel as if you are climbing Mount Everest.  It is the impossible feat of dealing with peer pressure. For many teens, peer pressure is the most difficult thing to resist.  They want to be liked, they want to fit in. I don’t know how I have managed to mostly overcome this issue.  But my two oldest children have never really struggled with this. They are both who … Continue reading

Teens Can’t Be Our Entire World

When my children were younger, it felt like they made up my entire world.  And in many ways that is true.  Yet in the midst of raising small children, I still tried to find things that I was interested in, outside of parenting. This can still be a problem when our children become teens.  If our lives revolve solely around them, it’s going to create certain challenges for them and us. The first is that we won’t be prepared for the season when we eventually become empty nesters.  This can be a difficult period for many parents, but it can … Continue reading

How to Talk to Your Kids about the Economic Crisis

“How can I talk to my kids about the economic crisis?” It is a common question that most parents face today. As prices on consumable goods rise, from food and gas to the cable bill, and families feel themselves pinched, even the youngest children are starting to notice that things around them are changing. Neighbors and friends may be moving away, favorite stores and restaurants may be closing, and everyone seems to have to sacrifice something they enjoy just to get through this time. Parents should see this time in our history as a teaching moment, but the lessons should … Continue reading

8 Things Kids Need to Know about Money

It is never too early to start teaching your children about money. While many parents shy away from discussing financial issues with their kids, this can be one of the biggest mistakes that they make. Instilling good habits and a basic understanding about how finances work can give your child an edge that will stay with him or her for a lifetime. 1. There is a difference between the things that you want and the things that you need. Wants versus needs can be a tough concept for kids to understand, but teaching them that real necessities must be met … Continue reading

Toddlers and Teenagers

Oh, the strong will that a toddler can possess! I clearly remember those days of my two and three year olds wanting to do their own thing. Who would have ever thought I would revisit those years when they became teenagers? I have never told my teens that they act like toddlers. But in my mind I am often brought back to that time of the word, “No!” They stand their ground, ready to do battle. And the same can happen during these sometimes tumultuous years. Here is the big difference. It may have sometimes been with some kicking and … Continue reading

I’m Not You

“I’m not you!” Why did those words sting a bit? It felt like my teen daughter was trying to let me know that she had no desire to be me…as if maybe there was something wrong with that? The reality is that my daughter wanted me to stop judging her. And she was right. She isn’t me. This was part of a painful conversation that we had several months ago, in the midst of what I can only call a tsunami of problems. Suddenly that close relationship we had was being rocked. And part of the problem was the fact … Continue reading