Parents Needed More Than Ever

I used to think the ideal years for being a stay-at-home mom was when the kids are very young, before they ventured off to school.  These are the years where so much forming and shaping of their lives takes place. Yet I have come to see another stage in life to be just as important.  It is during the teen years.  So often parents see this as their time…after all, teens are independent and don’t seem to need mom and dad as much as they used to. Whether the issue is staying home or just being available, too many parents … Continue reading

Plugged In Parent?

Are you a plugged in parent?  I’m talking about the kind of parent who is involved in your teenager’s life…in such a way that you would recognize signs of bad behavior.  Things like drinking, drugs, oh, even prostitution. Can you imagine not knowing that your teenager was not only sexually active but had been with married men?  Had prostituted herself out in order to get ecstasy? That was the situation in a recent Dr. Phil show I watched.  I would have to say this was probably the most clueless mother I have ever seen. The specifics of the show don’t … Continue reading

Mistake #5 Parents Make With Teenagers: Imbalanced Discipline

Today we are wrapping up the last blog for my “mistakes parents make” series. We’ve covered expecting the worse, looking for parenting answers in others, making mountains out of molehills, and making molehills out of mountains. Today is about imbalanced discipline.  And I will tell you, that I am the queen of this.  Yes, I fully admit that I don’t have this whole discipline thing down pat. You would think after raising one child to adulthood, one just over two years away from that and another well on his way, I would be an expert.  Okay, here’s the truth.  No … Continue reading

Mistake #4 Parents Make With Teenagers: Making Molehills Out of Mountains

In my last few blogs I’ve tackled three mistakes that parents make, expecting the worse, looking for parenting answers in others, and making mountains out of molehills.  Now I’m going to do a little bit of a reverse in parenting mistake #4, which is making molehills out of mountains. Just as parents can make a big deal out of something not so significant, the opposite is true.  However, this is probably one of the most dangerous mistakes that parents can make. Whenever parents suspect a serious issue is going on, it’s important to take action.  The problem is that we … Continue reading

Mistake #3 Parents Make With Teenagers: Making Mountains Out of Molehills

We have talked about two different mistakes parents of teenagers make:  expecting the worse and looking for parenting answers in others.  Today’s mistake is making mountains out of molehills.  Of which I am sometimes the queen. The best example I can give in my parenting experience is when my daughter first began to wear makeup.  She thought the raccoon look was the way to go.  I absolutely hated the thick, black lines that surrounded her eyes. It would cause constant arguments between us.  One time I even pulled her out of our church’s youth group to make her go into … Continue reading

Mistake #2 Parents Make With Teenagers: Looking for Parenting Answers in Others

So far I have covered mistake #1 that parents of teenagers make, expecting the worse out of this stage of life.  The second mistake I am going to talk about is trying to find parenting answers through others. I know that sounds pretty strange, considering I am technically giving advice.  But at the heart of my message is this…every family is different, so you have to learn what’s best for yours. This doesn’t mean that help from others—whether it comes through books, seminars or blogs—shouldn’t be sought.  It doesn’t mean that you can’t be encouraged or inspired by others. But … Continue reading

Mistake #1 Parents Make With Teenagers: Expecting the Worse

I am like any other parent…clearly imperfect.  I have made a lot of mistakes and am pretty sure there is more to come.  But I am also a mom who believes in learning from those mistakes, which is what brings me to this five part series on mistakes we parents make with teenagers. The first one we are going to look at is the mistake of expecting the worst out of your teen.  Sometimes this starts long before they’ve even reached this stage, so it might help parents whose children aren’t quite there yet. When my children were in elementary … Continue reading

When Other Moms Are the Enemy

You know how they say we can be our own worst enemy?  When it comes to parenting, I think we can have two enemies—not only ourselves but other moms. Ever notice how men don’t compare their fathering skills to one another.  But women do? Of course, get a group of men together and it’s highly unlikely they are going to be discussing their children anyway.  Their conversations tend to swirl around work, sports and the latest home project. But put a group of women together and their children tend to pop up in the conversation.  And unless it’s a group … Continue reading

No Longer in Control

Reality slapped me in the face a couple of weeks ago.  The reality of being a military family that is at the mercy of their timetable. My son’s first duty station to Turkey wasn’t supposed to happen until February or March.  So needless to say it came as quite a shock to our family when the day after he graduated training from Security Forces, he called to let me know that he was leaving the next day for Turkey. As the words came out of his mouth, I nearly stopped breathing.  This was my warning, just one day?  There went … Continue reading

When Valentine’s Day Is a Downer

Valentine’s Day can be a real downer for many teens.  It may be nothing more than a reminder that they don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend, fueling some of the negative beliefs they may already have about themselves. Sometimes schools add insult to injury by drawing greater attention to it.  Although last week was “Spirit Week” at my daughter’s high school, I found the theme for Friday to be a bit unsettling. You were supposed to wear a color to represent your relationship status.  The different colors showed if you were taken, single or in a relationship dubbed “it’s complicated.”  … Continue reading