The other day I was in a huge hurry so I thought I’d save time in one of those 15 or less check outs at the grocery store. But my impatience suddenly calmed down when I heard two moms in front of me sharing. One mom said her 12 year old wanted to know what she (her mom) would do if she got pregnant! The friend wasn’t shocked; she just came back with her own experience last week. She laughed and then got real serious- looking, then told her friend that her 11 year old daughter was sick and tired of us (her mom and dad) making her do her homework before she was allowed to talk to her friends on her cell phone.
Not sure about you, but cell phones in an 11 year olds hands – might be a recipe for a “disconnect” between daughter and mom (?) These days tweens are not what they were in “those days”- the mom’s days. If we can just remember “those days” when we were tween’s and what came out of our wild and crazy minds and mouths! But these days, tween’s know all about sex, drugs, pornography, alcohol, and all the rest because of the media of TV and all the techie stuff parents allow their kids to own which connects them to the internet! These two moms are about to lose control of parenting their sons and daughters unless they stay savvy and connected with them on a daily basis. Continue reading
OUR KIDS AND THEIR DECISIONS – THEY NEED HELP AND YET RESPONSIBILITY
Without thinking we make many a day, an hour, and minute by the minute. I was thinking this morning when I made the decision to get up and plant my feet on the floor, how many decisions I would make today that might be observed.
Our kids, our grand’s, our nieces and nephews, our students, neighbor kids, and perfect little strangers in the grocery isle will be watching us grown-ups as we speak and act! Wow- that is something to think about or at least it is for me. I’m not talking about huge decisions (in this particular blog) that are planned like where to put our money; 401K or savings elsewhere. It’s those everyday little ones that make a long range difference in the lives of those little eyes and ears watching me. The question I ask myself is how can I be a good model today?
Honestly I make it my priority daily (though I fail time and time again) to ask the Lord to help me make those wise and productive decisions in my own daily life at home first. My priority’s, the types of books, entertainment, hobbies, and even the way I move and act and be in my relationships need to be overshadowed with the Lord’s direction and perspective each of my days or I am a mess! I made it simple a few years back; when I choose to follow what God likes then I can’t go wrong in the eyes of my grand kids or any little eyes around my neighborhood that might meet up with me. My accountability partner I like to think is ………God. Continue reading
What our tweens wear to school tops their MOST IMPORTANT list of “how not be embarrassed”. Have you ever experienced the old “toilet-paper-getting –stuck-to-your- heel just after using the restroom in a board meeting? Or how about the time you gave your power-point presentation with your fly open or your blouse buttons popped off?
It all comes down to what is important at the time or the season or phase of life. Our preteen or tween has immense insecurities about fitting in or being a part of the pack. They would rather die than wear something that NO BODY ever wears to school!
Could the more pertinent issue be: how much do we spend on this tug-of-war with our tween’s or does it even need to be a war? Giving too much attention to what they can and can’t wear may bring less attention from what really matters in middle school- good grades. So the question haunts our brains as we stare at our daughter’s choice of skirts and too much skin showing or our son’s strange way to wear his pants:
At what point does a new law need to be written on their foreheads about their choice of clothes? Continue reading
“I don’t want to go back to the grocery store! I can do it, mom – I can stay home by myself!” How many times has your 11-12 year old pleaded with you to give him the OK to stay home? You know you have been wanting to give them more responsibility but how do you know if your child is ready?
Being sure of their readiness is what you want for your peace of mind. The only way to find out is to get serious about establishing rules while determining their maturity level of having them stay home alone.
1. Does your state have a minimum age? Call social services for your state. Some states do not have any age requirements while others do have a specific age requirement for leaving a child unsupervised.
2. Rules and Expectations need to be specific and written. Sitting down with (with already written list) your tween’s undivided attention is important. Continue reading
You just tucked your 11 year old into bed for the 3rd time. Its 10:30 pm. suddenly she is standing on the stairs (once again) – “Mom…Mom! ….please let’s go over that math pre-test again! And I just remembered I’m supposed to have my science project in tomorrow!) You hear frustration in her voice (again) and crying. You go to the staircase and look up to find your daughter sitting and sobbing with her face in her knees.
Help! This is almost a nightly occurrence – how can we get some normalcy around here?! Why did we not recognize these behaviors- they seemed to suddenly become a constant companion to our tween’s personality.
Most of us adults experience stresses that play out in a number of symptoms. Tween’s also experience this stress when loads of schoolwork, after-school activities bring, chores, friends, and homework, all come at them at once.
When our families go through mega life challenges like divorce, extreme illness and loss of a pet or even moving, our tween’s will many times shut down or become depressed. Even summer months that would seem to bring escape from it all can be stressful as our tween looks at their family holidays (leaving pets and friends behind) and meeting new friends at summer camps, from a suddenly new pre-teen mind.
Balancing these real-life add-ons in their lives and sorting them out in priority will bring anxiety down and a sense of control back into their minds.
Symptoms of Tween stress: Continue reading
What in the world was middle school? For many of us it was like walking amongst aliens hoping at any one minute the earthlings would come back to the crazy school, pick us up and take us as quickly as possible home! Perhaps your middle school years were full of good times with discovery, positive opportunities and no glimpses of bullies. Hopefully your soon-to-be middle schooler will have an experience somewhere in the middle these two extremes!
What can we do now to help our tweens prepare for middle school this fall? Make sure your child understand that middle school is quite different than elementary. The unknown is what scares us- discussions can help dissolve the anxieties a bit. Lockers, showers in PE, multiple teachers, all sorts of new cultures amongst the student body, are just a few new experiences they will come to understand.
Tour your child’s school. Many districts offer such tours. A bit like back to school night for parents in elementary, but it is designed to show tweens the physical lay of the school. New concerns arise for tweens as they go through the doors of their new middle school! Gym classes with open showers can scare even the most confident person, much less a 6th grader! Lockers are exciting but learning their codes or the combinations and where that locker is located on the campus can be an anxiety. The tour will set minds to ease and make for a more self-assured and motivated child 🙂 Continue reading
Some days seem to never end! From 5:30 am to bedtime can seem like an eternity for many of us as we raise our tween’s.
One tool to cut down on stress and tension amongst the many tools is: Attention!
Quality attention is truly a pearl or a valuable gift given to your tween daily. It is achievable. If quality attention isn’t achievable on a daily basis then our lifestyle needs an adjustment. Attention goes hand in hand with communication. Continue reading
Long ago we learned that bedtime routines for our young children were the keys against calamity and next-morning chaos. So why would we not stay with a bedtime routine for our ever-changing tweens?
Perhaps for a couple of reasons?: the loads of homework and the sudden after-school activities seem to pile up all afternoon long and suddenly it is evening and much still to do!. Without warning we hear ourselves shouting chaotic statements from upstairs to our tween who is downstairs: “It’s 9:30- get those teeth brushed and your bath- get yourself into bed!” Well- what is chaos but a loss of peaceable routine!
Help! What to do? Well- it is never too late to re-group and begin again with a structured –winding down time. But how? How do we keep their bedtime calm yet allow them to learn responsibility and consequences for the decisions they make?
Have a chat: Pick a time to sit down and discuss with our tween this bedtime plan. How can they keep from getting tired, grouchy and non-productive while at school and afterschool activities? We need to listen to their ideas and remind them that getting enough sleep requires enough hours to do so; winding down and taking time for bedtime routine is important.
What time is the best time for our tween? : Doctors say it takes a good 10 hour nights sleep to be effective at their age. What hour do they wake up with the alarm? They will immediately know that answer! So then they will also know the time they need to go to sleep! They have made the choice for themselves. A 6:30 am alarm means an 8:30 sleep time. (not bedtime) Continue reading