All Posts by

Cheryl Donely

Showing 236 Result(s)
parenting tweens and teens

Raising tweens and teens – this is what it looks like…

(Inside: Parenting tweens and teens carries so many unique emotions, moments, and experiences. This is what raising tweens and teens looks like…)

Raising tweens and teens looks like your stomach flip-flopping all day at work because your child has her absolute-whole-being set on getting The Part, and in the next 8 hours, she finds out.

It looks like catching a glimpse of your tween curled up under blankets on the couch and your heart melting because he reminds you of a decade ago. When he was a baby, you thought it wasn’t possible to love him more – but it turns out that you absolutely do.
 
And discovering that the creak of the garage door signaling your young driver safely pulled in is one of the best sounds ever.

Raising tweens and teens looks like sometimes finding it hard to relax in your own home because your teen is pushing all of your buttons.

It looks like daydreaming about tossing your kids’ devices (phone, iPad, video game consoles) out the window and driving over the tangled electronic heap multiple times.
 
And emotional exhaustion from the normal adult responsibilities plus trying to figure out what’s going on with your moody tween and discerning if you should help with a solution or let them figure it out.

Raising tweens and teens looks like spending crazy amounts of time in the community from church to school events to Target.

It looks like not realizing that it meant so much to you that your kid’s team gets that last basket in – your tense body clasps its hands together as you hope big for a buzzer-beater.
 
And gathering bonus kids and other parents into your circle, enriching your life more than you could’ve ever imagined.

Raising tweens and teens looks like finding a wrinkled English paper in the depths of your teen’s backpack. You flatten it with a stroke of your hand and read the words your tween wove together to be stunned by the amazing person that she is becoming.

It also looks like being frustrated by your child’s choices, setting boundaries, and holding the line. It’s knowing that if your big kids sometimes don’t like you, you’re probably doing a great job as a parent.
 
And finally understanding what grace means and how to wholeheartedly give it to your family and, most importantly, yourself.
parenting tweens and teens
Do you want to better connect with your teens? Download these 400+ conversations here.

Raising tweens and teens looks like a jammed packet schedule with the magician parent(s) getting everyone to and from where they have to be (mostly) on time with (hopefully) what they need to bring/wear.

It looks like trying to squeeze in conversations (because you so want to get to know your child) in the car, around the dinner table, while waiting for password reset emails.
 
And watching family movies, going on road trips, checking grades, ordering pizza, sifting through laundry, collecting dishes from the bedrooms, tripping over shoes piled in front of the door, and hoping someone will carry the piles on the stairs up.
 
Parenting tweens and teens is busy – it’s 8 pm feeling like midnight.
 
Parenting tweens and teens takes brain power – it’s saying a lot of prayers.
 
But it’s also –
 
Stopping.
 
And peering out the window to see your teen shoveling piles of snow off the driveway while wearing shorts and a hoodie.
 
And laughing out loud.

Because the most random of moments slow your whole world down and help you see – really see – your beautiful humans.

Their faces. Their smiles.
 
Hearing their laugher. And the sound of their voices.
 
And then feeling with every bone in your body how rich and full your ordinary life is.
 
Parenting tweens and teens.
 
It’s a gift.

Read the full Parenting Tweens and Teens Series

My two oldest sons are in high school now, and I’m still in a coma because of it. Even though I’ve taught high school for over two decades, I’m confused as to how I’m actually old enough to be a parent of a high schooler. 

Teaching high schoolers has always been a passion of mine, but not parenting them is as well. I could research, write, and talk about this topic until eternity. I hope you are encouraged by some of my articles.

TEACHING GRIT
The Pandemic is Shaping Kids in These 6 Powerful Ways

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR TEENS
A Simple and Effective Way to Encourage Your Teen

COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR TWEEN/TEEN
How to Get Your Teen/Teen to Their “Aha Moment”
How to Get Your Tween/Teenage Son to Open Up to You
*400+ Conversation Starters for Families of Teens

PARENTING
Parenting is Hard: This One Thought Can Help You Better Thrive
Dear Kids – Know the Difference Between “Chores” and “Maintenance”
To the Mom of a High School Freshman
Your Teen’s Maddening Behavior is Age-Appropriate and Here’s Hope

HEARTWARMING STORIES IN RAISING OLDER KIDS
I Will Miss These Years of Raising Tweens and Teens
7 Reasons Why Raising Tweens & Teens is the Best

Do you want to better connect with your teens? Download these 400+ conversations here.

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens…

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life-phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life-chapter. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community here or below. 

gifts for moms
kids grow too fast

To the Mom Who Mourns that Kids Grow Too Fast…

(Inside: Kids grow too fast and that can make moms who love raising their babies incredibly sad, but here’s something you need to remember…)

To the momma of big kids who feels like it’s all going too fast.

To the momma who experiences tinges of sadness to full-on-tidal-waves of emotions on birthdays, holidays, and first school days because another year is over.
 
To the momma who has so desperately wrapped her hands around time and tried to reign it in, and yet, the moments have slipped through her fingers leaving her wondering if she’s been present enough for this motherhood journey.

Let me remind you of something: you were there.

You were there when the nurse placed a sweet newborn in your arms or when those lovely adoption papers were signed. How you stared at your little one’s face convinced you’d never seen anything so beautiful. And you’ve had a million moments since looking at your child in wonder.
 
You were there the first time your baby pushed his lips together to form the word “ma-ma.” And for the first shaky steps. The first bite of jalapeño chips your 3-year-old demanded to take – his reaction made you laugh and hug him. And the first toothless grin. The first bike ride. Or drive. Or dance. A million times you’ve witnessed your kid’s firsts.

You were there to lift your toddler into her car seat and high chair and crib. You pressed your hand against her forehead and decided to call the doctor.

You flipped the grilled cheese sandwich and halved the grapes. You researched best toddler beds and read about napping routines. Over the years, from a million different angles you’ve watched, prayed, planned, and met your child’s needs.
 
You were there to see your kindergartener play soccer; tiny cleats clustered around a ball. Your child’s hand nestled safely in yours to find his classroom, meet the teacher, and choose the “I get home on the bus” card. You’ve packed lunches, made Valentine’s Day boxes, taxied to practices, photographed games and concerts, attended conferences, bought poster board at 9:00 pm – each passing year, in a million ways you’ve supported your kid in school and activities.
 
You were there to take your 2nd grader to the beach. You watched her leap the rolling waves, the scene catching your breath. And a million more times you’ve packed the suitcases and driven to the mountains, the lake, the theme park, the grandparents’ house for togetherness and memories.

You were there when your 4th grader turned ten. Double digits, a big deal.

Repeatedly, you’ve lit the candles, sung the song, and seen your child make closed-eyed wishes. In a million instances – birthdays to holidays to baptisms to family gatherings – you’ve attended milestone events; you’ve given the gift of traditions.
 
You were there for 6th grade, the start of middle school. You bought the new shoes, clothes, and school supplies. You helped your tween try to find the activities and friendships that made him feel connected. You set up routines, checked grades, reflected on what’s working and isn’t, and then tried new parenting approaches to best help your child. From a million directions you’ve cheered your kid on during life’s transitions.
 
You were there when your 8th grader’s emotions tore through the house like a tornado, the debris impacting the whole family. You inhaled patience and exhaled guidance for everyone to take a break. You then helped unpack big feelings, spoke God’s love and truths, gave perspective, and invited apologies. A million times you’ve been the rock, the safe place to land, the home that nourishes and teaches and encourages faith.

You were there when the garage door creaked open and your 10th grader filled the door frame.

Confetti of life-with-teens peppered the house: laundry next to the hamper, piles of dishes in bedrooms, friends crashing around, pantry raids, bowls of cereal. Then, repeatedly, exquisite emerged: good conversations, an unexpected head against your shoulder during a family movie, inside jokes, “I love you” said in words and actions. You’ve been there for the million everyday moments.
 
You were there for your 12th grader’s final year of high school. You had no idea watching your child gain independence dished out equal measures of sadness and pride. The trek hasn’t always been easy and there’s still much to learn, but you’ve relished seeing your child grow. Your lovely, wonderful kid – you’ve had a front row seat to the million instances that’ve shaped who she is today.

I don’t know exactly where you’re standing in this journey, but when the mom-ache starts, the kind that sends bolts through your body making you acutely aware that the parenting years are just a blink, remind yourself…

You’ve experienced the full journey of motherhood: everyday moments to big events, the challenges to the joys, and all the love – so, so much love.
 
You didn’t miss out.
 
Through it all, momma, you were there.

Kids grow too fast, this community is with you on that. There are more great resources for parenting raising tweens and teens on this page. Read the full parenting older kids series…

My two oldest sons are in high school now, and I’m still in a coma because of it. Even though I’ve taught high school for over two decades, I’m confused as to how I’m actually old enough to be a parent of a high schooler. 

Teaching high schoolers has always been a passion of mine, but not parenting them is as well. I could research, write, and talk about this topic until eternity. I hope you are encouraged by some of my articles.

TEACHING GRIT
The Pandemic is Shaping Kids in These 6 Powerful Ways

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR TEENS
A Simple and Effective Way to Encourage Your Teen

COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR TWEEN/TEEN
How to Get Your Teen/Teen to Their “Aha Moment”
How to Get Your Tween/Teenage Son to Open Up to You
400+ Conversation Starters for Families of Teens

PARENTING
Parenting is Hard: This One Thought Can Help You Better Thrive
Dear Kids – Know the Difference Between “Chores” and “Maintenance”
To the Mom of a High School Freshman
Your Teen’s Maddening Behavior is Age-Appropriate and Here’s Hope
Raising Tweens and Teens – THIS is what it looks like…

HEARTWARMING STORIES IN RAISING OLDER KIDS
I Will Miss These Years of Raising Tweens and Teens
7 Reasons Why Raising Tweens & Teens is the Best

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens here.

Join this Community of Moms Raising Tweens and Teens

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life chapter. It’s totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community here or below. 

gifts for moms
family christmas activities

30 Favorite Christmas Activities That Your Family Will Love

(Inside: Fun family Christmas activities that will bring your loved ones closer together over the holidays. Enjoy the season with these great ideas.)

1. Decorate the house, inside and/or outside.

2. Donate your time, food, money, and/or gifts.

3. Take a winter wonderland hike.

4. Drive around and look at holiday lights.

5. Grab fancy, warm drinks from the coffee shop.

6. Make gingerbread houses.

7. Christmas shop together at the mall or local stores.

8. Get dressed up and go out to eat.

9. Open an advent calendar.

10. Bake holiday cookies and treats

11. Exchange names and give Secret Santa gifts.

12. Spend a day skiing or sledding.

13. Attend a holiday concert.

14. Enjoy a Christmas service at church.

15. Read the Christmas story around the tree.

16. Get a group together to Christmas carol. (In person or over screens.)

17. Snap holiday pictures.

18. Watch Christmas movies.

19. Look through family photo albums together.

20. Go ice skating.

21. As a family, do something extra nice for someone you know.

22. Write handwritten cards.

23. Go out for pastries or dessert.

24. Make Christmas crafts as a family..

25. Light candles and use your “good dishes” for dinner.

26. Play holiday music and enjoy a family game night.

27. Build a snowman, create a snow fort, or make snow angels.

28. Put together a Christmas puzzle.

29. Share your favorite holiday memories with each other.

30. Each family member picks out an ornament that represents their year.

Entertaining Tweens/Teens and Connecting with Your Family Series

The other day, I saw of picture of when my kids were little (like when I wrote this post), and I thought I so deeply want to go back to this season of life. I miss it.

But just as quickly as that thought came, another thought followed Someday, I will see pictures of my current parenting phase (raising tweens and teens) and wish to come back to today. 

So, I want to do my best to enjoy this season of life. These ideas on how to connect with and entertain tweens and teens can help…

ENTERTAINING TWEENS & TEENS SERIES

INSPIRATION
How a Messy House is Good for Your Kids

IDEAS
85+ Kids Activities That Promote Creativity

READING
146+ Best Chapter Books for Tweens that will Also Build Character
Compelling Books That High Schoolers Will Want to Read

EXERCISE
Home Exercises for Your Teens & the Whole Family (Feel Healthy & Happy)

HOLIDAYS
*30+ Ways to Connect With Your Family Over the Holiday Season

family christmas activities

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life-phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life-chapter. It’s totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community here or below. 

gifts for moms
teen mature

Your Teen’s Maddening Behavior is Age-Appropriate and Here’s Hope

(Inside: Frustrated mom, your teen will mature. When you’re raising teens, it can feel like they will never mature. But teens do grow up. This is how I know.)

Can I remind all of us parents in the thick of raising teens that their maddening behavior is often age-appropriate?
 
After school, I sat working in my classroom when a big personality filled my doorframe. I smiled at my former student – I always love when graduates make the rounds, checking in with previous teachers.

He told me how he was working super hard at his job, which was weird because he didn’t like to be on time or exhibit a ton of effort in high school.

He told me how he’d found a passion, which was weird because he didn’t really seem to have any goals in high school.
 
He told me how he ran and lifted weights every morning, which was weird because he didn’t display that kind of self-discipline in high school.
 
He told me how he was taking some college courses and loving them, which was weird because he never really liked academic work in high school.
 
Except none of it is weird.
conversation starters teens
Do you want to better connect with your teen? Good conversations help teens grow and mature. Download these 400+ conversations starters.

When he was one of my students he was incredibly likable (of course!), but while some high schoolers displayed one or two symptoms of being a teen – he displayed all of them…

Apathy.
 
Lack of follow-through.
 
Big emotions.
 
Grumpiness.
 
Preference of playing video games and being on his cell phone over all other things.
 
Aversion to responsibility.

When you’re in the thick of parenting (or working with) teens, it feels like they’ll never “get it.” But here’s the thing: they will mature. Much of what we see is age-appropriate.

I remembered how this family stayed the course with their son. They had routines, talked-though expectations, and boundaries. There were consequences that modeled real life as much as possible. (If you didn’t get your homework done during the week, you spent your Saturday catching up on work…just like in a career.) They created a home that listened, encouraged, guided, and nourished. They chose their battles, held the line on what was important, and gave grace when needed. And through all the ups and downs of messy life, they loved him in abundance.
 
As I said goodbye to the mature young man walking away, I thought about how many times in my 20+ years of teaching I’d see this exact same situation play out. Many of the teen-symptoms that drive moms crazy truly, truly, truly are temporary.

So mommas, when we’re in the weeds…

We take a deep breath.
 
We remind ourselves raising teens is an imperfect, twisty journey.
 
We put things into perspective.
 
We give everyone grace, especially ourselves.
 
We know our kids need us and keep on parenting.
 
And we operate from a place of hope, believing that our efforts will pay off.

Your teen will mature and more encouragement. Read the full raising tweens and teens series…

My oldest two sons are now in high school, and I’m still in a coma because of it. Even though I’ve taught high school for over two decades, I’m confused as to how I’m actually old enough to be a parent of a high schooler. 

Teaching high schoolers has always been a passion of mine, but not parenting them is as well. I could research, write, and talk about this topic until eternity. I hope you are encouraged by some of my articles.

TEACHING GRIT
The Pandemic is Shaping Kids in These 6 Powerful Ways

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR TEENS
A Simple and Effective Way to Encourage Your Teen

COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR TWEEN/TEEN
How to Get Your Teen/Teen to Their “Aha Moment”
How to Get Your Tween/Teenage Son to Open Up to You

PARENTING
Parenting is Hard: This One Thought Can Help You Better Thrive
7 Reasons Why Raising Tweens & Teens is the Best
*Dear Kids – Know the Difference Between “Chores” and “Maintenance”
*I Will Miss These Years of Raising Tweens and Teens
To the Mom of a High School Freshman

teen mature
Your teen will mature and more encouragement… Join this community of moms of tweens and teens here.

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life-phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life-chapter. It’s totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community here or below. 

teen mature
teen mature
Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens here.
teen mature
Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens here.
conversation starters

400+ Great Conversation Starters for Families of Teens

(Inside: Do you want good conversation starters for your teens? Or great questions to ask your teens to help them open up to the family? Read on…)

Conversation Starters For Teens

Moms want to connect with their teens. We want to know what our teens love and don’t, what’s going well and isn’t, how they best feel heard and loved, and about their friendships, school, and life.

We want to know how they think.

We want to know what makes them happy.

And I could keep listing because the truth is we want to know everything about our teens – we want to know who those sweet babies that we carried and nurtured and rocked are growing up to be.

Teens Want To Be Known

Similarly, teens want to be heard. They want to be seen, loved, and wanted by their parents. Even when they are at their worst, they still want their parents to pursue them, over and over telling (and showing) them they are worthy and loved.

Connecting With Our Teens Can Be Hard

However, life isn’t flawless. Teens can hold it together all day and fall apart when they come home, their moodiness tearing through the house with unbridled force. Or they find themselves lost in stress, or emotions or impulsiveness or self-sabotaging or apathy. But, as moms, we don’t buy any I-don’t-need-you signs. Not even one pennyworth – our teens long to connect with their families.

A Simple Way To Connect That Your Teen Will Like


As my sons grew older, I wanted to add tools to my box of ways to connect with them. In my high school classroom (I’ve taught for 20+ years), I’ve noticed that when I put students in small groups and had them answer anywhere from dumb to ridiculous to basic to thought-provoking questions, kids came alive. They loved sharing their thoughts and flourished in the framework of the presented questions. So, I took this idea home and found my quiet sons opening up with these conversation starters – be still, my heart.

Asking The Right Questions Is Key To Teens Opening-Up: Conversation Starters for Families of Teens

But not everyone feels like opening up at all times. Some teens love to jump into all the talking, while others need to warm up. So, these conversation starters include a variety of questions like…

  • Expected get-to-know-you questions: If you could interview someone who is famous, who would that be?
  • Yes-or-no-quick questions: Is chili a type of soup – yes or no?
  • Get-to-know-their-world questions: What’s the best YouTube or TikTok video you’ve watched lately?
  • Get-to-to-know-their-friends questions: If you were planning a cross-country road trip from Florida to Washington State, which three people would you hope would go with you? Tell me why you chose each person.
  • Reflective questions: You come home super stressed, go into your room and lie down on your bed. You flip on a song – which song is it?
  • Insightful questions: If you were told you had to switch friend groups, which peers at school would you like to get to know more?
  • Faith questions: What do you understand about the trinity?
  • Plus, questions about quotes,  scripture verses, deep topics, tricky subjects and more…

400+ Conversation Starters for Teens Are Broken Into Three Categories

Then these questions are broken into three categories, depending on how deep you want to go with the people involved in the discussion:

  • 200+ Fun Get-to-Know-You Questions: Great for enjoyable conversations between friends, among extended family, or for low-stress evenings.
  • 100+ Dive-Deeper Questions: Designed for close family who wants to really get to know each other. There are hard subjects and personal topics covered in these conversations starters.
  • 100+ Faith-Filled Questions: These questions were created to help everyone reflect on their faith journeys and connect over deep discussions.

How To Use The Conversation Starters For Families Of Teens Resource

I’ve found the most success with these questions when I’ve made “a thing” of it. Meaning, just like when we’ve declared family movie night, we plan a family discussion time where everyone is prepared to talk. Here are some ideas of what this could look like:

  • Dinner discussion: We’ve cut up the questions and put them in a gallon-size ziplock bag. Then maybe every Tuesday is “talk night.” Each family member draws one question to ask the group and discuss.
  • Evening Activity: Instead of playing cards or watching a movie, grab some snacks and get comfortable and everyone picks a number. Those are the questions that you ask each other.
  • Car rides: When you’re riding to church or the store or a game together, maybe you pass the time with a question.
  • And more: There is no right or wrong way to implement the question asking – the purpose is to get to know each other. If teens are asked, they usually have good ideas of how to roll out fun and some would like to lead when/how the questions are asked.

The Goal Is To Connect Over These Conversations For Families Of Teens

Remember, the goal of the conversations is for those involved in the discussion to connect. So even if it’s not all going perfectly, if everyone is talking and laughing and getting to know each other – we’ve nailed it.

Here are 12 Conversation Starters For Families Of Teens for your family to try…

1. What’s that one funny thing that pops into your head when you’re supposed to be serious (at church, in class, at a funeral) that will make you laugh every time?

2. Is chili considered a soup? Yes or No. Is lasagna a casserole? Yes or No.

3. Would you rather be someone who makes a ton of money but isn’t sure if you made a positive
impact on the world or someone who made very little financially but touched many people’s lives?

4. When you’re having a terrible day, what do you do to calm yourself down and shake the stress?

5. If you just got elected governor of your state and you could make one rule that the whole state had to follow, what rule would it be?

6. If you were taking a road trip from Florida to Washington state, which three non-family members would your take with you?

7. What’s a bad habit you wish you could break? Or which bad habit do you have, but you don’t care one bit about giving it up?

8. What’s the best gift you’ve ever gotten? What’s the best gift you’ve ever given?

9. What’s the class at school that has the best environment? What’s the subject you find the most interesting? Which class do you have the most friends in?

10. What age do you think is the best to be? Why?

11. What is your favorite app on your phone? What’s one app that you really should give up?

12. Would you rather own your own business with some risk but more earning potential or would you rather work for someone else and have a stable income that covers your expenses but not much more?

If you liked those questions, grab the full list of 400+ The Conversation Starters For Families Of Teens…

Click the below link to grab the conversation starters for families of teens. As a bonus, I’ll add you to my monthly(ish) parenting tweens and teens inspirational email list. The monthly emails are free, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life-phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life-chapter. It’s totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community here or below. 

gifts for moms

Read the Full Raising Tweens and Teens Series

My oldest son started high school last week and I’m still in a coma because of it. Even though I’ve taught high school for over two decades, I’m confused as to how I’m actually old enough to be a parent of a high schooler. 

Teaching high schoolers has always been a passion of mine, but not parenting them is as well. I could research, write, and talk about this topic until eternity. I hope you are encouraged by some of my articles.

TEACHING GRIT
The Pandemic is Shaping Kids in These 6 Powerful Ways

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR TEENS
A Simple and Effective Way to Encourage Your Teen

COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR TWEEN/TEEN
How to Get Your Teen/Teen to Their “Aha Moment”
How to Get Your Tween/Teenage Son to Open Up to You

PARENTING
Parenting is Hard: This One Thought Can Help You Better Thrive
7 Reasons Why Raising Tweens & Teens is the Best
Dear Kids – Know the Difference Between “Chores” and “Maintenance”
I Will Miss These Years of Raising Tweens and Teens
To the Mom of a High School Freshman

gifts for moms

Gifts for Moms: Presents that Moms Raising Tweens and Teens Will Love

(Inside: Gifts for moms that they will love. Here are fantastic gift ideas that say “I love you” to the mom raising tweens and teens.)

Are you looking for a gift for a mom raising tweens and teens?

You’re about to make her day.

Because between work and community and family, moms of older kids have been juggling and giving and giving some more for well over a decade. We’re busy. And the causality of that is this common theme: we take care of everyone else before we take care of ourselves. A gift to a mom disrupts that pattern – it reminds moms that we are seen and loved and appreciated.

A nice present means so much. 

Since I am currently in the thick of raising two teens and a tween, I thought it’d be fun to think about the needs (and wishes) of a mom specific to this season and make a list of what gifts she might like. Here are some things that moms parenting tweens and teens love…

 

 

**This blog post contains affiliate links.**

Moms love our coffee and warm drinks – best gifts for moms

We look forward to our steamy, warm drink every single morning. The just-right mug and lovely frother add to the joy. Moms love coffee gifts. 

Moms wanted that last piece of cake – best gifts for moms

That last piece of dessert…we wanted to see the smile on your face as you ate it, so we didn’t actually tell you we wanted it to. So, gift the mom in your life her own treats – every bite, first and last.

Moms love their comfy clothes – best gifts for moms

We just spent our money on soccer camp or new reeds for the saxophone, so there’s no way we’re going to buy ourselves the new pair of yoga pants that we really wanted. So if you notice and buy them for us, you’re our hero.

Moms love their fancy clothes, as well – best gifts for moms

As much as we love our comfy clothes, we still want to feel young(ish) and pretty, so we love our nice clothes too. But, before you buy any of these gifts, find out your loved one’s size. Don’t worry about the surprise factor; the fact that you are planning a gift and us knowing that is just as fun as the gift itself. Also to be noted, we hate returning things. So if it doesn’t fit, have a plan to get it exchanged without help from the mom in your life. 

Moms love their jewelry – best gifts for moms

Jewelry just never goes out of style. Moms love a new pair of earrings or necklace or bracelet or ring. This is a fantastic go-to gift idea for moms. 

Moms love their family to help clean the house – best gifts for moms

Do you really want to make us happy? I mean over-the-top fill your mom (or spouse) with joy? Embrace cleaning. Here’s a lovely way to present this gift: (1) clean the whole house, (2) grab the printable below and tuck it into a sweet card with kind words, (3) tell mom that you will be organizing the family to clean once a week for the next month. Mom will swoon. The end.

clean house

Moms love sentimental jewelry – best gifts for moms

Moms of tweens and teens become a little (a lot) over-sappy. We see how fast time is moving and realize that the parenting days with kids in our home are fleeting. Sentimental gifts that mark this season of life are so appreciated. Here are some ideas. 

Moms love photo gifts – best gifts for moms

Again, time is moving way too fast for moms of older kids. Photo gifts showcasing sweet moments that we can look at forever – total win.

Moms love memories – best gifts for moms

Of course, moms love when their family members print out some photos and put them together in a photo album. We mean to do it, but the days are so busy – so if it is done for us? Just heaven.

best gifts for moms
Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens here.

Moms love family time – best gifts for moms

If I had to nail down “what moms want” to just a few things, at the top of the list would be this: time with our families. Plan a family night: a game or puzzle, some snacks and a movie. That’s pure gold.

Moms love our gadgets – best gifts for moms

I’ve wanted the iRobot and Shark vacuum/mop for years, but haven’t spent the money because school supplies and sports camps, and new shoes for my teens… Moms love our gadgets so to have someone pay a little more for the expensive thing that makes our lives easier and gift it to us is just lovely.

Moms love a nice family dinner – best gifts for moms

Again, a top item moms love: a nice family meal that they did not have to plan, cook or clean up after. Going out to eat is always a hit.

Moms love gift cards – best gifts for moms

Moms still love that gift card that says, “but whatever you want!” It’s such a treat.

Moms love pretty nails – best gifts for moms

I was just introduced to Color Street (see below) and absolutely love how easy it is to do my own nails. I love looking down at my hands and seeing beautiful colors. Does the mom in your life love to have pretty nails too? These might be good ideas for her…

Moms love self-care – best gifts for moms

Moms continually give (and are happy to do it!), but we also so desperately need to also take care of ourselves. If you put together some self-care items then pick an evening/day that the family handles everything so that mom can enjoy rest and relaxation, what a gift that is to her.  

Moms love inspiration and journals – best gifts for moms

By the time moms get to the chapter of parenting tweens and teens – a thing or two in life has happened. Good stuff, but also hard stuff – and moms need time to process and be encouraged. The Lysa Terkurest books have helped me unpack my thoughts, grow from, and move past some hard stuff (including a later-in-life miscarriage), so I highly recommend her work. Here’s also a list of 60+ of my favorite inspirational books

Your turn!

What did I miss? Have you gotten a gift for mom that she has loved? Leave a comment and let me know. And also, before you go, don’t forget to join our community of moms of bigs here. 

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens here.

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are.

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life chapter. It’s totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library.

Join our community here or below.

gifts for moms
parenting regrets

Parenting Regrets: 3 truths about “I wish I’d parented better.”

(Inside: Do you have parenting regrets? Things you wish you’d done “better?” Here are 3 truths to give you perspective.)

Can we talk about parenting regrets?

Because I’m convinced it’s one way Satan comes after moms raising tweens and teens.
 
Why we don’t always see it, I don’t know…the thief isn’t creative, he spams the same vulnerable buttons. Regret sneaks in disguised as reflection, yet can quickly turn into negative self-talk.

You observe your middle schooler/high schoolers’ actions or character qualities that aren’t working and find yourself thinking maybe life would be smoother for them now if I’d done “this” better when they were younger.

Regrets like…
 
School might be more manageable if I’d made them read more in elementary school. Or had a stricter routine around schoolwork earlier. Or gotten them a tutor. Or taken away video games. Or better shown them how fun learning is.
 
My teen struggles with friendships. But, what if… What if I had critiqued less and encouraged more? What if we’d specifically worked on being a better friend sooner? What if I’d built a more supportive community around my kid? Or signed them up for different activities?
 
My middle schooler is moody and disagreeable, maybe I should’ve focused more on relationship and less on rules. Or perhaps been tighter with respect expectations. Or taken them to a counselor. Or talked more about emotions. Or practiced healthy ways of communicating. Or parented them in a different way.
parenting regrets
Talk about parenting regrets and more…join this community of moms raising tweens and teens and get inspirational emails right here.

The years are speeding by, I wish I’d been home more. Or encouraged our family to be less busy. Or spent the money on vacations. Or taken more pictures. Or hit that record button.

My kid doesn’t seem interested in faith. I wish we would’ve spent more time with our church family. Or sent him to Sunday School. Or camp. Or emphasized family devotionals.
 
My teen didn’t make the team, I wish I would’ve started him in a sport younger. Or I should’ve encouraged something different – music, robotics, chess. We put our eggs in the wrong basket.
 
I don’t like what I’m seeing in parenting right now, so I should have…
 
And the list can go on…

Lately, uninvited regrets have kept messing with my mind.

Mainly, I think if I would’ve approached parenting differently when they were little, my kids wouldn’t struggle so much now in two specific areas.
 
But, stop.
 
Just full-on hit the brakes of that thought train.
 
Those are not the thoughts of loving a God who nurtures and encourages. Deep breath in. Exhale with length. I needed to hear The Holy One’s voice, so I used a technique that helped me gain perspective, and it started with truth.
 
I surrounded the regrets with truth…

Truth #1:

Tweens and teens aren’t supposed to have everything laid out perfectly for them. They need to learn how to struggle through life’s flaws. Mistakes and failures are an essential part of the growth and maturity of teens.

Truth #2:

God intentionally created all of us (Psalm 139:13-18), calls us his children (Galatians 3:26), takes great delight in us (Zephaniah 3:17), is with us (Isaiah 41:10), and has plans for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11). So, we can safely operate from a place of hope – God is for all of us and is working in and around our lives.

Get to know your family more through keeping a family prayer journal…

parenting regrets

Truth #3:

If a regret is really bugging me, then I can let that point to some next right steps. Take the vacation. Encourage my kid to try something new. Have that conversation. Tweak the way I parent. Moms have a lifetime to work on their relationships with their kids, mom life doesn’t end when the 18th birthday candles are blown out.

So, take 5 steps back, Satan.

Do you know who you’re dealing with? A mom in the trenches of raising teens and moms of bigs know a thing or two…including truth. The pain of our regrets can point us to purpose in our future. Yes, we can’t redo, but you forget – we can always renew.

Join this community of moms raising older kids

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are.

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life chapter. It’s totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library.  (Including the  school checklist I created for my son – it’s editable, so you can tweak it to fit your kid.) 

Join our community here or below.

Let’s talk about parenting regrets and more… Be encouraged through the full “imperfectly thrive in parenting series.”

Parenting is one of my biggest joys. I’ve always wanted to be a mom. From a young age, I prayed to have a family, and sometimes I pinch myself that my dream came true.

However, because this phase of life means so much to me, I can put too much pressure on myself to make the most of every moment, to handle every situation flawlessly, and to be the best mom ever. The truth is, I won’t do it all well and it’s not supposed to be that way. 

One of God’s goals for me is to lean on him – to turn to him, to trust in him, to seek his guidance and favor in this motherhood experience. The dips and turns and messy in mom-life help me do that. 

What a gift the imperfect can be. I do my best to try and articulate this idea in my imperfectly thrive in motherhood series. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing. 

Do You Need to Simplify Parenting? Collect Moments, Instead
Being a Parent is Hard for This One Reason: Here’s What Helps
Healthy Helicopter Parenting: A Story to Life You Up
Why Mom Mistakes Can Be Good

parenting regrets
Talk about parenting regrets and more…join this community of moms raising tweens and teens and get inspirational emails right here.
teen school

Teen, these big reasons are why you’ll like trying hard in school

Inside: Is your teen struggling in school? This heartfelt explanation could help you explain why school is so important for teens. (And, no, it’s not about the grades.) 

To my teen about school, 

I could see that you felt loved. 

A Chipotle beef burrito bowl does that. Between ‘hurry up the bus is coming’ and ‘did you finish your schoolwork’ and ‘I’m working late tonight,’ it’d been a long week for the entire family. It felt good to share salty chips and queso, then settle in for a family movie. 

As your mom, I love loving you through creating a relaxing Friday evening. I also enjoy showing care through hugs and road trips and birthday cakes and Christmas gifts. It makes me feel good to love you in those ways. 

However, there’s something else that is love that’s not fun.

Lately, we’ve had fewer sweet family moments and more situations where I’m checking your grades and quality of work and making you finish missing homework and redo poorly executed assignments. It hasn’t been a savory Chipotle burrito bowl.  


But, hear my heart… 

I want you to do well in school, not because I don’t think you’re “good enough” and school will validate your worth. No way. I promise – you were good enough the minute you were born. 

Instead, it’s more that I don’t think you see yourself with the same wide-eyed marvel that I do.

You, lovely, you – you’re just what the world needs…your thoughts, your talents, your light. School helps you see your own beauty and gives you tools to walk into adulthood with confidence. 


Let me explain… 

School unlocks your mind.

As you discuss poetry, learn history, ponder literature and graph parabolas, your brain expands and your thoughts deepen and light bulbs turn on. You’ll experience contributing to classroom conversations in meaningful ways, and you’ll continue to discover how bright and clever are. 

School unearths your gifts.

As you join clubs, try out for teams, volunteer for activities and engage in class, you’ll learn what you like, don’t enjoy, and naturally have a knack for. The journey uncovers your strengths and interests, and you’ll start to see arrows pointing to how you might want to use your talents in your big, bright future. It’s exciting. 

Is your teen struggling in school? Here is a tangible way to help. Read more in the description.

School is where you’ll learn to be part of a community.

You’ll meet lots of people, many like you and many not – school is a place to learn about others and share who you are. Your social-skills will sharpen, and you’ll find yourself making friends and feeling connected. I know this area can be tough – but, I promise there are students who need a friend just like you. Your school is so happy to have you.

School is a place to grow believing in yourself.

When you take something hard (a school task) and figure out how to use your resources to conquer it, wow, just wow – it builds your confidence and self-pride in powerful ways. Then one day when a dream swirls in your gut that you have to follow (Start a business! Try a venture!), the confidence you built in school will, often without you even realizing it, accelerate you into taking the first needed step.  

School sharpens your life-skills.

The world needs your talents and your dreams. But a part of effectively sharing those gifts is knowing how to get organized, get stuff done well, be timely and communicate with others. School is a safe place to grow those skills, surrounded by teachers to cheer you on. 

School teaches you to reach for help.

Education isn’t easy: the social scene, curriculum, organization, and deadlines can all be tricky. But, my son, I am here for you. Your whole family is. As so are your teachers and counselors and coaches – they all choose to work with students as a career because they want to support you. In school, the challenges teach you to reach out – we’re all happily waiting. 

And, I could go on and on, because in my 20+ years teaching high school over and over I’ve watched students grow in confidence, skill, wisdom, maturity, joy, and purpose. It makes me proud; students are amazing human beings.  

Is your teen struggling in school? Here is a tangible way to help. Read more in the description.

But education is like a bank, you have to put something into it, to get something out.  

So, we’re going to make some deposits by continually making school a priority. You’ll keep concentrating on completing all of your assignments, turning in quality work, and studying before tests. We’ll focus on effort over grades. And yes, I can imagine – based on past experiences they’ll be some conflict over this, including screen time being taken away – but it won’t be because I don’t love you. 

Quite the opposite. 

It’s because I love you more than anyone else; I will always look at you with star-eyed wonder for the gift that you are. And I will always believe in you – forever. 

Love, Your Mom 

Is your teen struggling in school? Do you need a tangible way to help?

My 13yo struggled 1st quarter, so I figured it was a chance to put my (slightly over-sappy) thoughts together on why I think education is so important, and how it’s not about getting perfect grades.

Thankfully, 2nd quarter was much better because of one simple trick we tried that clicked.

You can read more about that and the sources of the books that helped me the most in the description here. 

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life-phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life-chapter. It’s totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community here or below. 

gifts for moms

Read the full motivate your teen to thrive in school series…

As a high school teacher for over two decades, I love, love, love watching kids learn. It’s okay if there are struggles in their educational journey. Not just okay – normal, even. We just keep stressing the importance of education and giving them the tools for success. And then we encourage our kids and love them well.

I hope you enjoy these articles.

Help Your Teen to Thrive in School Series

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR PARENTS
Parents, Help Your Kids Thrive in School By Asking These 4 Questions
Why I’m Not Freaking Out that My Struggling Reader Has Low Reading Scores
A Mom’s 1st Day of School Wishes
Moms, You’ll Better Enjoy the End of the School Year Remembering THIS
*My Teen Was Struggling In School (With Distance/Hybrid Learning), So This Is What I Did

GETTING ORGANIZED
Kid’s Morning Routine Checklist: Get Your Kids Out the Door Happy and On-Time
A Simple Way to Motivate Teens to Be More Responsible

BOOKLISTS
146+ Best Chapter Books for Tweens that Will Also Build Character
Compelling Books that High Schoolers Will Want to Read

motivate teens

A simple way to motivate teens to be more responsible

(Inside: Motivate teens to thrive even when they are tangled in the normal struggles of being a teen. Here’s a simple way to encourage and motivate your teen.)

Are you struggling to daily motivate your tween or teen? 

The milk sits out – again. The clothes are scattered across the bathroom floor – again. The online grade book displays a zero – again.  

It’s frustrating because you know the things your tween/teen is choosing to neglect will always be a normal part of a human being’s daily responsibilities: your kids will forever have to pick up after themselves, complete work for their career, and file their taxes. It’s important they learn to complete responsibilities even when they don’t feel like it now. Grit is a valuable life skill. 

Yet, in trying to teach this, you hate how much it feels like you’re fussing at your tween/teen. And you see your child not responding – the approach isn’t working.   

I hear you. I’ve been there too.  

I had such a discouraging parenting season with my middle schooler, I checked out a stack of parenting books and plowed through. My solution ended up being super simple. I’ll save you the reading… 

 

motivate teens
Grab the checklist here.

Motivate teens: recognize the root of the conflict

It wasn’t that my 13yo didn’t know what to do, but rather, that we were like passing ships when it came to me sharing daily expectations and my teen expressing what best sets him up for success. We needed to figure out a better way to communicate.

Motivate teens: operate from a place of hope

Also, I needed to adjust my attitude. Before I even approached my teen, I reflected on what I know from 20+ years of teaching high school: teens want to thrive. They do. 100%. They just can get lost in peer pressure and hormones and impulsive decisions and procrastination and shutting down. I knew my son wanted to succeed, so I shifted my temperament and chose to operate from a place of hope. 

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens: get monthly inspiration here.

Motivate teens: try a new approach to communication

My son and I agreed that things needed to change, already a hopeful start. So, I asked him to list his daily responsibilities. We examined his agenda and made some adjustments.

We then decided our communication would be through the list: he checks off the tasks as he completes them and that’s how I see his progress. We’d discuss any issues at the end of the day. One time. That’s it.  We’d set up a routine, boundaries, and a new form of communication – things were already looking up.

Motivate teens: honor the boundaries you just set up by sticking to them

And because I really needed this checklist to work, I listened to what the parenting books1 said about the importance of setting up routines and boundaries, then honoring them by sticking to them. You hold those boundaries using what Dr. Henry Could and Dr. John Townsend call “reality consequences.” (Boundaries with Kids, page 58) 

This means, that I needed to use the logical consequences that result from my child’s actions to help him learn about the realities of life. In “real life,” choices we make don’t come without some sort of outcome, whether the result serves us well or does not serve us well. For example, if I’m kind to the people in my life, I end up with some really great friendships – a choice with an outcome that serves me well.  If I don’t switch my laundry, I end up with moldy clothes – a choice with an outcome that doesn’t serve me well.
 

It’s not about trying to turn my teen into a robot, but rather help him understand the realities of life and control he has over many of his choices and outcomes. If my son peers out his window before school, he can see the line of cars driving past filled with people on their way to work. If those employees consistently choose to do their jobs well, they get a paycheck in the bank – an outcome that serves them well. Of course, the reality of continually choosing to skip work would be losing that job and paycheck – an outcome that does not serve them well.   

So, we decided (him unenthusiastically) that just like all those workers he daily watched drive by, he needed to finish his checklist before he got to play his video games, something that highly motivates him. If the checklist wasn’t done, I wasn’t going to get mad about it – I’d simply hang onto his gaming devices, and we’d try again tomorrow. Then, we did our best to stick like glue to that routine allowing him to be in control of if his choices and their outcomes served him well or not.  

(Side note:  I’m not a fan of taking away activities that surround him with positive peers like co-curricular activities or youth group.) 

The checklist gives your teen control

By the end of week one of the checklist, I could already see a noteworthy improvement. I had stepped back and tried hard to hold my tongue, while he stepped up and got through the list his way. I could see that with this new strategy, he felt more in control. 

Was it perfect? No part of raising kids is flawless, and yes, I had to let some things go, but we both liked this framework of routine and communication.

Be consistent

We know how hard consistency can be in parenting; however, I found checking in once at the end of the day much more manageable (and enjoyable) than asking 1.1 million times if that flip grid for band got turned in.

Grab the checklist here.

Do we use this checklist forever?

Please, no – just to get over the hump. The goal is always to raise independent teens.

Praise your teen’s effort big-time

And then this is the best part: we praise our teens a ton. We notice all the effort they are putting in and tell them so, as much as possible. Ignore the eye roll, they are letting it soak in. They crave words of affirmation like we all crave chocolate cake.

Save time – grab the checklist here!

Mom-friend, because I know how valuable your time is, I made a downloadable checklist for you. The checklist covers the basics in: 

  • Morning routine, including making sure everything is ready for the day 
  • School routine, including verifying assignments are done 
  • Other healthy habits, like exercise, reading, and being creative 
  • Picking up and helping around the house 


It’s a one-page, printable is with realistic, healthy, and manageable expectations for tweens/teens. It’s also in word document form so you can tweak it to fit your child exactly. Grab the checklist and as a bonus, you’ll get monthly(ish) encouraging raising tweens and teen emails. They’re free and you can unsubscribe at any time.

 

Momma, you’re doing a great job raising your tweens and teens

We all know there’s no magic formula to raising tweens and teens, and sometimes kids just make poor choices despite our best parenting efforts. But we also know that hearing each other’s stories of tangible ways we found a parenting win can be a great starting place when we’re trying to nail down our own solution.  

Maybe this checklist-solution will land your family at the end of the rainbow. Or perhaps it won’t…yet an introduction to the idea might spark a conversation where your teen eventually says, “Mom, I have an idea that I think will motivate me better than the checklist…”  

And that’s a win for everyone.  

Motivate Teens Sources:

[1] The parenting books that impacted me the most with their research, experience, and stories of when you’re trying to overcome a parenting challenge, connecting expectations with rewards and consequences that you see in real life were (affiliate links):

Have a New Kid by Friday: How To Change Your Child’s Attitude Behavior & Character In 5 Days (Dr. Kevin Leman)

Parenting Your Delinquent, Defiant, or Out-of-Control Teen: How to Help Your Kid Stay in School (Patrick M. Duffy, Jr., PsyD)

Boundaries with Kids (Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend)

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life-phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life-chapter. It’s totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community here or below. 

gifts for moms

Read the full motivate your teen to thrive in school series…

As a high school teacher for over two decades, I love, love, love watching kids learn. It’s okay if there are struggles in their educational journey. Not just okay – normal, even. We just keep stressing the importance of education and giving them the tools for success. And then we encourage our kids and love them well.

I hope you enjoy these articles.

Help Your Kid to Thrive in School Series

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR PARENTS
Parents, Help Your Kids Thrive in School By Asking These 4 Questions
Why I’m Not Freaking Out that My Struggling Reader Has Low Reading Scores
A Mom’s 1st Day of School Wishes
Moms, You’ll Better Enjoy the End of the School Year Remembering THIS
*My Teen Was Struggling In School (With Distance/Hybrid Learning), So This Is What I Did
Teen, These Big Reasons are Why You’ll Like Trying Hard in School

GETTING ORGANIZED
Kid’s Morning Routine Checklist: Get Your Kids Out the Door Happy and On-Time

BOOKLISTS
146+ Best Chapter Books for Tweens that Will Also Build Character
Compelling Books that High Schoolers Will Want to Read