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pray as a family

7 Powerful Reasons to Pray as a Family

(Inside: Should you pray as a family? Does prayer actually work? Will praying bring your family closer together? Yes! Read on to learn how…)

Evening family prayer time is one of my favorite teen-years memories.

Our evenings weren’t perfect. But they were us – our family.

Before bed, we’d gather in the living room. We’d discuss the frustrations of school, friendships, our big emotions, family conflict, joys of life, stresses at work, happenings in our sports and activities, latest successes, disappointing failures, and how come we could never find matching socks.

Some nights a spark ignited, and we lingered over words and gratitude and requests. Other times, we rushed through the prayer anxious to go our separate ways. (Or didn’t have time to sit down together at all.)

We never read long devotionals or hovered over eloquent prayers. And one of my siblings and I usually laughed inappropriately. I don’t know what happened but when we all bowed in solemnness, my sister and I could not get our giggles under control. My parents gave up on fussing at us; it became part of the routine.

As an adult, I look back and cherish those evenings of all us sitting on our blue couch and lazy boy chairs.

I felt heard.

I felt part of a family.

I felt like God cared about my life and wanted to be near.

Prayer is powerful.

Praying as a family is even more powerful. Here are seven reasons why…

pray as a family
Pray as a family, bring your family closer together through the Family Prayer Journal – Get it HERE.

1. Prayer Nourishes Us

It’s no secret that both sides of the teen-years-coin (being a teen and parenting a teen) can be over busy and full of pressure. There are plays to audition for, teams to make, schoolwork to complete, the social scene to navigate, work to do, places to be on time, and anxiety to wade through. Just say “ACT test” in a room full of juniors (and their parents), and you’ll feel the tension rise.

But, in it all – God has us.

Specifically, one way that God soothes us, comforts us, ministers to us, and brings us peace in the crazy-town-hustle is through prayer.

Science supports the benefits of prayer. Richard Shiffman discusses reasons in his article Why People Who Pray Are Healthier Than Those Who Don’t.

He says, “Dr. Herbert Benson, a cardiovascular specialist at Harvard Medical School and a pioneer in the field of mind/ body medicine discovered what he calls ‘the relaxation response,’ which occurs during periods of prayer and meditation. At such times, the body’s metabolism decreases, the heart rate slows, blood pressure goes down, and our breath becomes calmer and more regular.”

Shiffman outlines additional benefits of prayer including increased levels of dopamine (associated with happiness), reduced headaches, stronger immune system, reduced stress, and slower cell death. 

In the busy, we can surrender to the One who knows in the unknown. We breathe out our praise to Him, confess how we messed up, and share what’s worrying us. We breathe in knowing that He is on the Throne and loves us dearly. We ask for wisdom, direction, a peace that transcends all understanding, and in it all – we let ourselves feel God’s nourishment.

pray as a family
Pray as a family, bring your family closer together through the Family Prayer Journal – Get it HERE.

2. Prayer Builds Our Relationship with God

One thing that’s always puzzled me about scripture is why Jesus prayed so much. I mean, there were so many other important things to do. But, despite the rush, Jesus continually talked to God…

Jesus constantly wanted God’s input and thoughts and presence. God was Jesus’ buddy, his friend, his father.

Think about how we build a connection with our loved ones: we text, interact on social media, grab dinner together…we consistently check in with our people. When we put it in that context, it makes sense that Jesus was in constant conversation with his Abba. God invites us to talk to him all of the time too (I Thessalonians 5:16-18).

He wants to weigh in on the decisions that we are making. He wants to cheer us on when things are hard. He wants to refocus us on what’s important. God wants to be in our years, our days, our moments – let’s build that friendship with Him through prayer.

3. Prayer Changes Circumstances

Does prayer actually change circumstances?

The short answer is yes; however, the answer is as complex as the question.

Besides witnessing prayers being answered in our own lives, there are examples in scripture when prayer transformed a situation; like when the Old Testament prophet, Elijah, prayed for the drought to end, and in 1 Kings 18:41-46, the sky broke open with rain.

But we also know that God doesn’t grant our every wish, so why prayer changes some circumstances and not others is a mystery I will never completely understand. This puzzling aspect of faith leads me to this big question: If God doesn’t say yes to all of our prayer requests, yet is in control and knows what’s going to happen, why even bother to pray?

I don’t know that I will ever have my question fully answered, but in my research, I found Dr. Stephen E. Witmer gave me fresh insight.

In his article What’s the Point of Praying?, he explains that “God ordains ends and God ordains means.” He uses the example of Elijah from James 5:16-18.

Dr. Witmer says, “God ordains the ends (that the rain will stop) and He ordains the means (Elijah’s fervent prayer for the rain to stop). Elijah’s prayer really was effective to stop the rain! God really answered his prayer.

Both the prayer and the answer to the prayer were ordained by God. This explains how prayer can have real results and God can be sovereign at the same time. God ordains the end result and God ordains your prayer as the means of getting to that end result. Why does God choose to work this way? Why not just do everything Himself? Why include us? I believe the answer is so that His people can be involved in His work and thus be drawn closer to Him.”

Dr. Whitmer went on to likened why God includes us in his work through prayer as to why parents expect their children to participate in family chores. Parents could clean the house themselves – and often that’s easier – but instead, they want their kids to contribute to and take ownership of their family as they learn to journey through life as part of a team.

Prayer is one way we can all be a part of God’s great work on this earth by helping change circumstances. So, we pray with hope, knowing that God is working in our lives and that he can provide, heal, and make all things new.

4. Prayer Transforms Us

As we just talked about, so often, we go into prayer because we want the One Who Knows to change what’s going on. And yes, that’s one reason to pray – there are needs to be met, healing to take place…we should pray for situations to be altered.

However, through prayer, God does something that some would argue is even bigger than changing circumstances.

He gives us peace in excruciating situations.

He provides hope when it doesn’t feel like there should be any.

Despite the pain, he grows in our core strength and courage and fierceness.

In troubling times, he opens our vocal cords and helps us find our voice.

When our surroundings seem muddled, he points our hearts to what’s most important.

He gives us a fresh perspective.

He renews our minds.

His gentle whispers shine just enough light that we can find our next right step.

Through our prayer journey, our wisdom grows, our relationship with Him strengthens, and our faith is built.

As Oswald Chambers says: “Prayer is less of a matter of changing things externally, but instead of working miracles in a person’s inner nature.” 

A powerful reason to pray is this: it transforms us in the very best of ways.

pray as a family
Pray as a family, bring your family closer together through the Family Prayer Journal – Get it HERE.

5. It’s a Place to Share Your Heart

When you’re a teen it can be hard to sort through your big feelings and share what you’re thinking. When you’re parenting a teen, you love your family so much that over-sized emotions around situations swirl and communicating can also be hard.

And the sit-down-look-me-in-the-eyes-share-your-feelings moments can sometimes feel like a bit much. It’s easier to talk in the car or as you walk the dog – shoulder-to-shoulder communication seems more inviting. Similarly, it can be easier to say what you’re thinking to God and let your family listen in.

Prayer is a safe place to lift the curtain of your heart so others can learn more about you. Also, by listening to your family’s words, you get to better understand their inner workings. Prayer connects – and that’s powerful.

6. When We Pray as a Family, It Gives Us a Chance to Bless Each Other

A friend told me that when she was a teen living with her grandparents, her grandpa would old-fashioned-style kneel in his study and pray out loud for his family. She teared up as she described his words: he’d tell God how much he cherished his granddaughter; he’d list off everything he loved about her; he’d ask for the Holy Spirit to protect her. Then, he would conclude by asking God to walk with my friend and guide her, give her hope, and fill her life with joy. (Now, I’m tearing up writing this.)

Family members should let each other hear their prayers.

Let’s let our family members hear us say how much we love them.

Let’s ask God to be the defender of our family members.

Let’s let our loved ones hear us ask the Holy One to shower peace and joy and blessings on them.

Let’s cry out to God to give our family members guidance and hope.

A family’s love for each member of their crew is unique and powerful. To love each other through supplications to God on behalf of each other is lifegiving and something everyone remember forever.

7. Pray as a Family to Teach Healthy Routines that Will Get Us Through Hard Times

I’ve already talked about Elijah, but I want to continue – he is my favorite. He was such a complex character in the Bible. In one moment, he had such faith, and in the next second, he was in despair with dwindling trust.

Elijah’s known for the big story in 1 Kings 18-19 when he challenges Baal worships to a whose-God-is-real-dual? The short version is that both sides built two altars. The Baal worshipers cried out to their god to light their altar on fire and nothing happened. Then Elijah cried out to the One True God and poof – flames. This made the ruler of the Baal-people angry, and she set out to have Elijah killed.

And that Elijah, the one who just witnessed the miracle and power of a God who supernaturally lit his altar on fire, well – he ran. He ran like Forrest Gump. When he finally paused, he was depressed and anxious and told God that he wanted to die.

What does God do? Tell him to pick himself up by his bootstraps and keep going? Scold him for not having enough faith?

Nope.

God tenderly cared for Elijah. He told him to eat and sleep. Next, God instructed Elijah to travel to the mountain, Horeb. However, it took 40 long days, so during that time, Elijah was to eat, drink, keep walking, and listen to God.

Do you see?

God gave Elijah the gift of mindless purpose through routine, so his brain had time to process his feelings and his heart could start to heal. Healthy routines help ease our anxiety as we hang on during a tough season and wait to find our next right steps.

Life is going to throw us zingers, no doubt. We can be doing “everything right,” being responsible, trying our hardest and at some point, the other shoe will drop. Hard times are a part of life.

But if in the good times, we establish healthy routines like eating well, exercising, carrying on the day’s responsibilities, and praying, then we’re giving ourselves a gift. Because when the difficult hits, we go back to the security those routines provide as we sift through our thoughts, sit in the pain, look for direction, and let ourselves begin the healing journey.

Prayer is a powerful part of our healthy routines and benefits us and our families in huge ways.

The Lasting Effect of When We Pray as a Family

I’m way past those teen years and our family prayer time with my parents. Instead, I’m in the years of raising tweens and teens.

My husband, our three boys (ages 15, 13, and 10), and I had just spent a lovely week visiting my folks. The morning we left, my mom did her familiar grab our hands and circle our family. My dad prayed over us with such love and care as he thanked God for our visit and asked for safety during our long drive home.

I didn’t laugh as I used to when I was a teen. Rather, I felt grateful. For the gift of family. For the gift of prayer, and how it binds us all together.

Pray as a Family using the Prayer Journal: Bring Your Family Closer Together in 30 Days

In raising tweens and teens, parents are acutely aware of the years speeding by and how much we still need to teach our kids about faith and family and loving well. However, between our kids’ schoolwork and places to be on time and ortho appointments to forget (then feel bad about later), it feels like there’s never time.

In the busy, how do we teach our kids (in a tangible way) to daily see God around them and daily walk with Him? How do we create moments that help us really get to know who our kids are and how they think? 

This Family Prayer Journal has been life-giving for my family, so I wanted to share it with your family too.

It’s a simple tool for your family to come together before bed, share what’s on your heart, and pray together. Bring your family closer together in 30 days through the pages of this Family Prayer Journal. Learn more 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.  (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.

gifts for moms

Read the Full “Raise Kids of Faith” Series. Pray as a family and more…

Over the years, as my kids have grown and their seasons have changed, I find myself going back to this one prayer, “Dear Jesus, please let my kids desire to have a relationship with you and follow you.” If as they journey through life, they consistently go back to their Creator for comfort and guidance, it’s all going to be okay.
So, as a mom, I strive to (in my imperfect way), teach my boys faith.

HOLIDAYS
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A Busy Mom’s Christmas Prayer

TEACHING FAITH
Free eBook: Devotions for Kids and Families
5 Fantastic Devotionals that Help Create Forever Family Connections

TEACHING GRATITUDE
A Free Gratitude Journal Your Teen Will Love (Raise Grateful Kids)
The Science Behind Why a Gratitude Journal Works (Raise Happy, Faith-Filled Tweens and Teens)

Pray as a family using the Family Prayer Journal – Get it HERE.

My teen was struggling in school, so I did this…

(Inside: Teens in school can be a challenge, especially when we’re in a pandemic and the hybrid/distance-learning is not clicking for them. My teen was struggling in school, so this is what I did…)

There’s nothing like sending messages to my high school students’ parents to let them know their kids need to turn in missing work, then looking at my own teen’s grades and my eyes bugging out like a 1980’s cartoon character.

Motherhood is humbling like that.
 
“What happened?” I asked my middle schooler about his poor grades, “This just isn’t like you.” (School doesn’t necessarily come easy to him, but he works at it and usually does well.)
 
My 13yo shrugged.
 
I waited
.
And waited some more.
 
What finally tumbled out is that 5 weeks into hybrid-school, it’s sinking in that this is the new norm. And he’s over it – he wants to be in school full-time. He likes learning the lesson and being able to start the homework in class, so if he has questions, he can ask his teacher or classmates. He’s finding it increasingly harder to self-motivate to sit in front of a screen on his distance learning days and crank out assignments – for hours. The novelty of education from home (like in the spring when he did well) has worn off.

He’s not alone.

In my high school grade book, I’ve noticed a dip in students turning in assignments on their at-home learning days. Some students are acing homework completion (as always), but some are – well, having a moment. Or two.
 
Even though, as a professional, I know my son isn’t alone, still in mom-life, my kids’ grade plummet pushes a sensitive button. Education is crazy-important to me, so if my child isn’t doing well my brain instantly entertains the worst-case scenarios: What if this means he’ll never do well again? Will he get into college? Or get hired? How am I failing as a mom in this area? (I am never dramatic or hard to be around at all.)
 
Then, I want to fix it all. All of his struggles, all of his disappointments, and for-the-love…all of his grades.
 
But, I can’t. School is on him.
Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens. We’re all guiding our teens to find success in school. Join here.

And he is capable – all of our kids are.

Our kids are capable of getting organized and figuring out what class to do when.
 
Our kids are capable of navigating this updated technology.
 
Our kids are capable of reading the directions closely and following them.
 
Our kids are capable of producing quality work.
 
When they get stuck, they are capable of using their resources (notes, videos, materials, classmates, teachers, tech staff, The Google) to figure out how to understand the course content and complete their assignments well. Their schoolwork is age-appropriate, and they can do it. Even if they don’t feel like it or are struggling with distance learning.
 
(Side note: I’m painting with a broad stroke here. Teens struggling with mental illness or other serious challenges during this pandemic might need to pay attention to their personal lives first. The schools have many resources to help with this!)

However, even though I know my child is capable, my inner compass told me that my kid needs additional support right now. So, here’s what I did…

Together, my son and I went upstairs to examine his workplace. Talk about the aftermath of a category 5 hurricane – who can work in this chaos? Together, we straightened his room and desk.
 
Then, we looked through Campus (grades) and Schoology (calendars and assignments) and made his to-do list for the next day. Also, we agreed (him unenthusiastically) that I would need to check in more to make sure he’s both doing quality work and turning it in. We decided our method of communication would be through this checklist. (Read more in the description here.)  Of course, all with the goal of him reclaiming his independence.
 
 
I know my teen and I will probably clash over homework as he labors towards getting back on track; I don’t expect life to be flawless. However, I refuse to say that a struggle in school is telling the story of my kid. Or that I’m failing as a mom because he’s not producing top scores right now. This is just a normal part of mom life.

And then, as moms of teens so often do, I said a prayer and took a step back, leaving the responsibility of the next day’s schoolwork on him.

We had a plan and that felt good.
 
But if it doesn’t work (or only works for a short time), then we’ll next try something different. After all, problem-solving, resourcefulness, and loving our kids through it all is a mom-raising-tweens-and-teen’s superpower.

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

Teens in school can be a challenge, especially when we’re in a pandemic and the hybrid/distance-learning is not clicking for them, as I talked about in this article. But school can be hard even in the best of times. Be encouraged by reading the full “Help Your Teens 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 Teens 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 (Hybrid/Distance-Learning), So I Did This 

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

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens. We’re all guiding our teens to find success in school. Join here.
freshman year of high school

To the Mom of a High School Freshman

(Inside: Freshman year of high school is a milestone transition for both the moms and the kids. Moms, this is how you mentally prepare for freshman year of high school.)

I watched from the driver’s seat as my oldest son shut the passenger door and walk towards the high school entrance for freshman orientation.

My eyes shut and opened, and the scene changed.

Instead, I saw a small blond-headed kindergartner proudly sporting his Captain America backpack turn to make sure he caught my eye. He lingered, smiled, and waved.

Then I blinked again and was back to watching a 6’1’’ freshman’s back getting smaller.

It felt strange.

freshman year of high school
Freshman year of high school can be challenging for both the mom and the kid. Join our community of moms raising older kids and be encouraged. Join here.

I’d never not gone with him to see him meet his teachers, find his classroom(s), and unpack his school supplies in his locker.

From kindergarten to 8th grade, bustling around the school with other parents and their students is the only norm I knew.

As I observed my son gather with his peers outside the main door, unexpected big emotions swirled. But how exactly did I feel? It was hard to pinpoint: Disappointment that I can’t go with him? Pride that he’s getting independent? Disbelief that I’m old enough to have a high school kid?

My muddled feelings, though, pointed me to this truth: my role as a parent just changed.

I just took a new place in his journey – a few steps back.

I know these next four years will be important years with big life lessons. To grow and mature he needs to learn to navigate his path with independence. But still, I catch my breath at this change.

Because I know people are going to hold his heart who don’t deserve it.

Yes, he will make solid life-long friends, but these years are when his peers are figuring themselves out too. So, sometimes he’ll be overlooked or mistreated or not cherished the way I’d like to see, and it’s all a part of growing up. He’ll learn the value of true friendships and how to navigate the social scene.

However, as he maneuvers through peer relationships, even though my role has changed, he’ll still need me. And I’ll be waiting – simply a few steps back.

I also know expectations are higher.

Grades count. ACT scores stick. Teams start cutting. Clubs do adult things like build robots and give speeches. In it all, he’ll start figuring out his skill-set and interests and direction. Then, everyone will be asking where he wants to go to college and what are his post-graduation plans – he’s going to experience a new kind of pressure.

However, as he maneuvers through learning about himself and finding direction, even though my role has changed, he’ll still need me. And I’ll be waiting – simply a few steps back.

Responsibilities grow.

From getting a job to learning to drive, he learns to manage more. His schedule becomes his charge as the school staff and coaches and bosses communicate with him and not me. In these years, he’ll get a glimpse of adulting.

However, as he learns to get organized and manage heavier responsibilities, even though my role has changed, he’ll still need me. And I’ll be waiting – simply a few steps back.

There will be joy and struggle.

He’ll find success in unexpected ways, and his confidence will grow. But also, he’ll mess up and be disappointed. And sometimes, I will draw the line on important things and say “no” to remind him who he is – a good kid growing into a good man. I will also get to cheer him on and tell him how he makes me so proud.

As he goes through the highs and lows of the teen years, even though my role has changed, he’ll still need me. And I’ll be waiting – simply a few steps back.

Just like in elementary school and in middle school, the homework assignments and practices and homecomings and evenings-with-friends-over will all tick by so fast.

I’ll blink, and he’ll be in a cap and gown receiving his diploma.

But, I’m not there yet, I’m sitting here in the car at the start of this journey. My hands maneuvered the steering wheel out of the drop-off zone. Even though I began inching away, a piece of my heart stayed. And a mourning for that little boy and his Captain America backpack flashed through me.

Yet, I also felt something else: gratitude I get to be with him during these next four impactful years – what a gift!

And it’s okay that I’m a few steps back.

conversation starters teens
Connect with your teen over these 400+ conversation starters.

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 Help Your Kid 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 of success. And then we encourage our kids and love them well.

I hope you enjoy these articles.

Help Your Kid 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

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

freshman year of high school
Freshman year of high school can be challenging for both the mom and the kid. Join our community of moms raising older kids and be encouraged. Join here.
funny parenting stories

Parenting Humor: When You Just Gotta Laugh

(Inside: Parenting humor and stories you’ll love. Parenting is hard and amazing and crazy and funny. Sometimes, you gotta love laugh.)

parenting humor

 

You might be parenting teens and/or tweens if you can relate to these stories…

 

When you cannot nail the cool parent role

“Sure,” you tell your teenage son you can pick up his friend and take him to lacrosse practice. 

You haven’t met this friend yet, but it’ll be fun to get to know a new friend of your teenage son.  This car ride’s going to be great, after all, you’re good with people. Daily, you’re awesome at connecting with coworkers, even the quirky ones. You’ve always had pizazz and people skills – the center of attention, you can pull off. Everyone likes you, and you like everyone.

So, you pick up your friend’s kid. He lives in the cutest old home out in the country. You admire his home and chat about the chicken coup you spied. You asked him about what his parents do. One is a pilot but rebuilds a car on the side. That’s what’s in the old shed, he nods at. “Wow!,” you exclaim, “Tell me more about that…”

He gives short teenage responses. But, it’s all good because you are on top of this conversation. After all, you’re great with people. You ask great questions. And when there’s a lull you tell great jokes.

Joke.

Joke.

Joke.

You are Chandelier Bing.

 

Except…

You are Chandelier Bing…

You drop your son and his friend off at the high school feeling good about yourself. Man, momma, you nailed that car ride. You asked great questions, you were funny, you engaged this new friend of your son – I bet your son and his friend think you are the coolest. (Because you are.)

Later that night, you bring up the car ride. You don’t need a pat on the back, but every now and again people could recognize your gift of gab.

“Wasn’t that fun?” you say to your son.

“Your friend was interesting. Wasn’t that conversation great?”

Your sweet son who adores you times a million. This kid loves you to the moon and back shakes his head at your assessment of the car ride conversation and says, “Mom, you embarrassed me.”

 

Turns out your kid doesn’t want you to be the “cool parent,” he just wants you to be a parent.

Next time you drop this kid off at practice, you don’t say a word. And you let the teens lead the conversation. Which turns out to be way more interesting anyway. I mean, that happened during lunch. Omgosh – good info.

The pressure’s off mommas, our kids don’t want us to be cool. They just want us to be their mom. 

parenting humor
Connect with your family over THESE 400+ Conversation Starters.

The moment you officially become a mom (It’s not what you think.)

You’re not driving a mom van. No way. Even if you have two kids in car seats, you just can’t. The mom van image – it’s not you.

You are more of a…

car #1 girl.

parenting humor
Photo by Anastase Maragos on Unsplash

Or a car #2 girl…

Photo by Peter Fogden on Unsplash

You can imagine yourself cruising to your high-powered penthouse office job in a convertible. Your skirt suit and heels look good coming out of that kinda car.

Okay, your office isn’t in a penthouse suite overlooking NYC (Hello, midwest), but you could get that kind of fancy-important-amazing job if you wanted. Totally, could – but not if you’re driving a mom-van.

Now, you realize every other parent has a van. People with vans are nice. People with vans have college degrees.

You even know a lawyer-working-mom who drives a minivan and is successful. (Life is weird.) But still, you have a mental block regarding van-life, so you will not budge. That image is not you. You are sleek and cool and do not ever wear spit-up as perfume. You know you might have weird-mini-van issues, but everyone has their quirks, so people just need to love you as you are. 

But, there is a practical side to you, so you spend the parenting babies years, not in fancy cars, but in a solid Ford Fusion. It’s tight, but your two-car seats fit. The diaper bags, strollers, groceries, and two kids all work in your family-friendly sedan. 

Time passes and you’ve gotten through the baby, toddler, preschool, early elementary years in your beloved Ford. Okay, maybe not beloved. Beloved would be car #1 (dreams!), but you are a positive person and know to appreciate your non-van car.

Now your kids are tweens.

Everywhere you go, they want to bring friends. Like, multiple friends. But you don’t hate this idea because you learn so much from the car-ride chatter.

Your kids now also have hockey bags, lacrosse sticks, and dance uniforms. (How does all the dance gear dominate?)

You want to join the carpools. You need to fit at least seven and if possible eight total living, breathing humans in your car.

Your check engine light has gone on one too many times, so it’s time for a new car.

Your identity is still strong – you shop car #1 and car #2. (Still dreaming!) You consider the new version of your Fusion.

You hem and haw. You think a lot. You google how many other attorney-moms drive vans. (Again – not you, but it could be.)

The decision point arrives and you complete your vehicle purchase. You exit the dealership driving……a van. 

Congratulations, you’ve officially become a parent. 

PS – if you never get a van, then the day you shop July Amazon prime days for your Broomba, which you purchase, throw in a closet, and give yourself for Christmas. That works for your official parenting inauguration day too. 

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Your turn: tell your stories full of parenting humor

My life is surrounded by tweens and teens. I’m raising three, my friends are collectively raising a billion and I teach high school. From my life (and antics my fellow moms and high school students share with me), these are my stories. (As always – because I love my people, I’m careful with what and how I share their stories.)

What are the funny things your tweens/teens have done? Leave your stories in the comments.

Momma who just got her first van – congrats, you officially are a parent now. Read on for more #parentinghumor and #funnymomstories Click To Tweet

Join our community of moms raising tweens and teens

Your brain bounces between your day at work, what time(s) your kids need to be at practice, your teen’s missing school assignments, that you haven’t called your mom lately, the load of the laundry to be switched, “What’s for dinner?” and “Why are 3 of my brain-tabs frozen?”  

You are raising tweens and teens – the unique parenting phase where everything gets easier…and harder.

We’re finally believing all those “they grow so fast” comments. This is your last hurray with kids in your home and you want to love every minute.  

You’re taking a second look at your career, your hobbies, how to share your gifts and talents. 

Parenting grows your faith and then makes you wonder where your faith is. 

You long for friendships and deep relationships, but you’re just so busy. 

You’d love a quick place to connect and feel encouraged.  

Join the hundreds of other women who’ve signed up for Empowered Moms and Kid’s inspirational monthly emails. You’ll look forward to opening them. (Plus, it’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time.)  

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Read the complete parenting humor series

Laugh through motherhood with me by reading the complete parenting humor series:

Funny Mom Story: Disastrous Day Turned Parenting Win (Part 1)
Funny Parenting Stories: Raising Tweens and Tweens is the Best (Part 2)
Funny Stories about Parenting: Laugh Your Way Through Raising Tweens & Teens (Part 3)
Parenting Humor: When You Just Gotta Laugh (Part 4)

parenting humor
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funny mom story

Funny Mom Story: Disastrous Day Turned Parenting Win

(Inside: Funny mom story ahead. Moms, why do we stress about being perfect? The imperfections make life fun and often turn out to be the best parenting wins.)

funny mom story
Connect with your family over THESE 400+ Conversation Starters.

My husband, three sons, and I stood army-stance, hands-on-hips, staring at our van.

All of the doors were flung open and the insides of the car split out onto the ground. Three sets of ice skates, fishing rods, a tackle box, reusable grocery bags, four soccer chairs, a basketball, crumbled middle school papers, and squished cups.

Let me back up.

A few minutes ago, we’d been backing out of our driveway. 

One happy family and a dog ready to spend an epic day fishing at a new lake. Our youngest son called from the back, “There’s a tick on my window.” In my kids-must-learn-to-be-independent-current-parenting-quest I answered, “You’re smart. Figure out what to do.” I’m not really sure what exactly his next steps were, but a living, breathing, blood-sucking tick went flying across our car towards our dog then, apparated Harry-Potter-style somewhere in the car.

Hit breaks. Return to our driveway. Unload car. We vacuumed it out like a 1980’s Ghostbusters movie reenactment.

However, let me rewind some more.

Earlier that morning, a different son sat in a living room chair. 

“Mom, I found a tick on my leg!” he called out to me. “Okay, what’d you do with it?” He shrugged, “Threw it across the room.”

Hit breaks. Grab vacuum. And with crazy-mom eyes, suck all possible tick life out of every corner.

Virus pandemic. Murder hornets coming our way. A house and car full of ticks. The first week of May, in the year 2020. Yup, that seems about right.

Back to the car… 

We finally felt certain the tick was gone, so piled back in and drove to our fishing spot. Breeze shifted by, the sun glistened against the water, and our Goldendoodle fell in the lake. She came back to dry ground with mud up to her chest and an air of pure joy. Of course, this would happen. We’d just cleaned our car – polishing and shining align the stars for events such as these.

The fish must’ve sensed our lack-of-luck and refused to bite. The deeply intertwined mud in our puppy-girl’s hair taunted us as it dried and threatened to become permanent. It just wasn’t fun. So, we cut our fishing trip short, maneuvered our messy dog into our pristine car and highway-ed home. We led our Goldendoodle around the back of the house, straight to the basement shower where we scrubbed and combed and repeated forever.

Our Saturday was meant to be full of family fun.

We were supposed to spend leisurely time at the lake, then take a walk, and finish our afternoon lingering over a meal. Chores were to be ignored – we’d planned accordingly. Instead, we cleaned the living room, detailed the car, and bathed our dog – for hours.

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Yet, later that night, as we munched popcorn in front of a movie, one kid declared with enthusiasm that cut through my exhaustion, “Today was fun.”

Today. Was. Fun.

Ticks. More ticks. And a muddy dog. No sandy beach. No roller coasters. No expensive gifts. No perfect moments.

Just our ordinary life and that was good enough. Even deemed fun.

Do you know what our kids really want from us?

They just want us. Our time. Our attention. Our imperfect selves making them help us with cleaning the house, car, and dog.

Plain. Normal. Boring, even.

One of our tweens and teens’ deepest longings is simply this: to be part of a family. Even one with ticks.

And I’m grateful for my imperfect day – just to be reminded of that. 

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens

Your brain bounces between your day at work, what time(s) your kids need to be at practice, your teen’s missing school assignments, that you haven’t called your mom lately, the load of the laundry to be switched, “What’s for dinner?” and “Why are 3 of my brain-tabs frozen?”  

You are raising tweens and teens – the unique parenting phase where everything gets easier…and harder.

We’re finally believing all those “they grow so fast” comments. This is your last hurray with kids in your home and you want to love every minute.  

You’re taking a second look at your career, your hobbies, how to share your gifts and talents. 

Parenting grows your faith and then makes you wonder where your faith is. 

You long for friendships and deep relationships, but you’re just so busy. 

You’d love a quick place to connect and feel encouraged.  

Join the hundreds of other women who’ve signed up for Empowered Moms and Kid’s inspirational monthly emails. You’ll look forward to opening them. (Plus, it’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time.)  

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Connect with your family over THESE 400+ Conversation Starters.

Read the complete “funny mom story” series

 

Laugh through motherhood with me by reading the complete “funny mom story” series:

Funny Mom Story: Disastrous Day Turned Parenting Win (Part 1)
Funny Parenting Stories: Raising Tweens and Tweens is the Best (Part 2)
Funny Stories about Parenting: Laugh Your Way Through Raising Tweens & Teens (Part 3)
Parenting Humor: When You Just Gotta Laugh (Part 4)



graduation sentiments

Graduation Sentiments: Class of 2020, Your Graduation was Extra Beautiful

(Inside: Graduation sentiments for the class of 2020. Why the class of 2020’s graduation celebration was extra amazing.)

I wondered if the socially distanced graduation would be special enough for our cherished class of 2020.

As a teacher, I love working high school graduation. The walking across the stage, the mid-shake-pause-and-smile for the camera, the speeches, the music, the sea of family members, the energy of pride and hope – graduation always feels sacred.

Of all the things the class of 2020 lost in the end-of-the year-pandemic-let-down (spring activities and prom and moments together), I mourned their loss of graduation the most.

When I heard that the high school where I teach was going to host a graduation processional, all I thought was is that special enough for these remarkable young people?

Cars and signs and balloons and seniors – the parade happened.

A week later, I find myself thinking back to this event, trying to engrave memories permanently in my brain. It was so special – way more than I could have ever imagined. This is what I always want to remember…

Graduation sentiments
Connect with your family over these 400+ conversation starters. Grab them here.

I want to remember what the entrance to the path the seniors followed through the school grounds looked like.

Hundreds of professionally-made signs, one for each senior, boasted the school emblem and a congratulations message with the senior’s name. In neat rows, the sheer number looked impressive and beautifully greeted our seniors.

I want to remember the hundred-plus school staff lined up. 

Our clothes flashed the school colors, we waved pom-poms, we held clever signs (math department: Good luck and “calc – u – later”), balloons shimmered, a dry-ice concoction created fog (thank you, science department), and we clapped noise-makers. There were smiles, laughter, cheering, and so much love.

 

Related Article: A Mom’s Prayer – Transform Your Anxious Thoughts

I want to remember the look of our seniors’ faces.

Big eyes became liquid eyes as the staff cheered “Congratulations,” “We’re so proud of you!”, “We’ll miss you!”, “Come back and visit us!”

I want to remember how many cars were transformed into float-like creations.

The doors boasted senior pictures and words like “University of Minnesota bound” and “I’m 2020% done!” There were streamers and balloons and a giant paper-mache graduation cap riding on the top of one vehicle.

I want to remember our seniors in all of their glory.

Some sitting on the passenger windows, perching on the back of convertibles, championing bucket seats behind open van doors, standing through sunroofs (one playing her sax), commanding armchairs in the back of trucks, or towering in a sky-high semi cab. (Yes, everyone, lift those seniors up!)

I want to remember the long line of family cars behind the one showcasing the seniors

Smiley grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. (“Congrats, families! We’ll miss you too!”)

 

Related article: Importance of Motherhood – The One Things Moms Do That Forever Sticks

I want to remember all of the recording phones.

Multiple phones in one car capturing it all, it felt like no one wanted to miss a moment.

I want to remember the students who went through the line three, four or more times

to wave again and again because we all wanted to linger

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I want to remember the moms who got out of their cars 

and from a coronavirus-safe distance videoed the parade from a new angle, snapped pictures of the teachers, and offered kind words to the staff.

I want to remember how beautiful our seniors looked

 beaming in their cap and gowns.

I want to remember how good it felt for all of us to see each other.

Students, parents, families, teachers, administrators – our faces lit up, our hearts celebrated just by being in the same place.

Every graduation is special. But there was something extra beautiful about a community that came together after being apart for so long.

I worried the class of 2020 wouldn’t get enough; instead, I felt like they got more –

More hype.

More gratitude.

More connection.

More celebration.

More pride.

More joy.

Of all the graduations I’ve worked, the graduation celebration for the class of 2020 has been my favorite.

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens

Your brain bounces between your day at work, what time(s) your kids need to be at practice, your teen’s missing school assignments, that you haven’t called your mom lately, the load of the laundry to be switched, “What’s for dinner?” and “Why are 3 of my brain-tabs frozen?”  

You are raising tweens and teens – the unique parenting phase where everything gets easier…and harder.

We’re finally believing all those “they grow so fast” comments. This is your last hurray with kids in your home and you want to love every minute.  

You’re taking a second look at your career, your hobbies, how to share your gifts and talents. 

Parenting grows your faith and then makes you wonder where your faith is. 

You long for friendships and deep relationships, but you’re just so busy. 

You’d love a quick place to connect and feel encouraged.  

Join the hundreds of other women who’ve signed up for Empowered Moms and Kid’s inspirational monthly emails. You’ll look forward to opening them. (Plus, it’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time.)  

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Graduation sentiments for the class of 2020

"Every #highschool graduation is special. But there was something extra beautiful about a community that came together after being apart for so long. I worried the #Classof2020 wouldn’t get enough; instead, I felt like they got more." Read on… Click To Tweet
Graduation sentiments
Connect with your family over these 400+ conversation starters. Grab them here.
importance of motherhood

Importance of Motherhood: The One Thing Moms Do That Forever Sticks

(Inside: The importance of motherhood, the importance of a mother in a family, the importance of mother-child relationship, the importance of a mother’s love – here’s the one thing moms do that forever sticks.)

The news of a pandemic flickered across my television screen. States opening back up. Doctors advising. Commentators weighing in. 

With hands laced around my coffee mug, I half-listened while enjoying one kid nonchalantly leaning his head against my shoulder. Next to the couch, another kid snapped together a complicated Lego set. Still asleep, my oldest hadn’t emerged. I had about 10 more minutes to be in this moment until I needed to get after working from home. 

My mind wandered over the past few heart-wrenching, unsettling months. Images. Moments. Reflection. However, one thought cut through the noise: I’m glad this happened when my kids were still in my home. 

The initial drumbeat conversations about COVID-19 approaching,

and my three kids feeling apprehensive about going still to school – I’m glad it was me who got to walk through that uneasiness with them. 

The calling off school, the uncertainty of what’s next – I‘m glad I got to be in those moments with my kids. 

The trip to the grocery store with my teen. We weren’t prepared for the empty shelves and frantic people. Are we missing something? Should be hoarding toilet paper and water too? The surreal experience – I’m glad that it was me pushing the grocery cart next to my son. 

The state basketball tournament canceled, spring basketball called off, and March Madness viewing not happening – one son trains year-round for those moments and the disappointment hit hard. He Eeyore-ed his way around the house for a full 48 hours – I’m glad I got to be there for him.  

The uncharted waters of online school,

figuring out the technology, organization, what time works best, where in the house they prefer to learn…watching my kids unravel how to set themselves up for success – I’m glad I was there to help them sort it all out. 

The greater understanding of our civic duty. As the safer-at-home days ticked past, we said no to friends, were sad when activities stayed closed, and stayed home when we wanted to go out. In it all, the understanding that their actions matter to the greater good of society grew – I’m glad I got to be with them as they learned those life lessons. 

Related Article: Momma, Is God in More Control of Your Life Than You Think?

New words in our evening prayers –

praying for our community, loved ones, healthcare employees, and essential workers. Praying for protection and healing and a vaccine/cure for COVID-19. A renewed reliance on the One who knows in the unknown – I’m glad I got to say those prayers with my kids.  

The struggles, the conflict over missing schoolwork, the parenting while working from home, the two-much-together-time bickering, the continual low-grade anxiety that accompanies a pandemic – I’m glad it was me there to help navigate this new normal.  

Our family rediscovering what to do with all this time, a renewed love of fishing, family walks, the epic monopoly game, quarantine birthdays, and so many family movies – I’m glad I got to collect those sacred minutes with my kids. 

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Now, with the states opening back up,

we’re trying to figure out what’s best for our family. We’re analyzing how to be informed and stay safe, but not live in fear; how to contribute to our local economy and help our community heal; how best to see loved ones and tiptoe back into our beloved activities – I’m glad it’s me leading those conversations with my kids.

As moms, we can so easily pick apart our roles and the importance of motherhood

feeling like we should do more of this, or we must lead our family more in that way… Yet, most of the importance of motherhood lies in one simple action: walking through life with our kids.  

Just being there to help them navigate it all. 

And as my kids’ mom – I’m glad it gets to me. 

 

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens

Your brain bounces between your day at work, what time(s) your kids need to be at practice, your teen’s missing school assignments, that you haven’t called your mom lately, the load of the laundry to be switched, “What’s for dinner?” and “Why are 3 of my brain-tabs frozen?”  

You are raising tweens and teens – the unique parenting phase where everything gets easier…and harder.

We’re finally believing all those “they grow so fast” comments. This is your last hurray with kids in your home and you want to love every minute.  

You’re taking a second look at your career, your hobbies, how to share your gifts and talents. 

Parenting grows your faith and then makes you wonder where your faith is. 

You long for friendships and deep relationships, but you’re just so busy. 

You’d love a quick place to connect and feel encouraged.  

Join the hundreds of other women who’ve signed up for Empowered Moms and Kid’s inspirational monthly emails. You’ll look forward to opening them. (Plus, it’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time.)  

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Read more in the raising big 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 now 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.

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR TEENS
You Can’t Fix Your Struggling Teens’ Problems, But You Can Do This One Powerful Thing

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

PARENTING
Dear Kids – Know the Difference Between “Chores” and “Maintenance”
Your Teen’s Maddening Behavior is Age-Appropriate and Here’s Hope
Raising Tweens and Teens – THIS is what it looks like…

RESOURCES
Book Ideas for High School Teenagers
Book Ideas for Middle School Tweens
Gift Ideas for Teenage Boys
Gift Ideas for Teenage Girls

 

importance of motherhood
importance of motherhood
distance learning

Distance Learning Students – you nailed it and we are so proud

(Inside: Distance learning can be hard. But, students who moved to online school during this pandemic, you nailed distance learning, and here’s why.)

To Our Kids, 

We want to talk to you about eLearning. Not to criticize, but instead, to tell you – we see you. 

We know this eLearning thing has taken some getting used to. This “break” from school isn’t what you’re familiar with – spring break, winter break, Memorial Day weekend. 

In it all, we see you. 

We see you getting up when you’d rather sleep in to go after your eLearning. We see you clicking all over the Schoology, Google Classroom, and Seesaw sites trying to find where all the information is. We see you adjusting to all of your teachers organizing their classes in different ways. 

We see you watching videos and taking notes and googling “hyperbole in poetry” so that you can put your assignment together and submit it. We see you learning to teach yourself. 

We see you figuring out how to organize your day to best set yourself up for success. We see you bounce from the couch to the kitchen table to your bedroom, figuring out WHERE you learn best. We see you trying out different times of day, figuring out WHEN you learn best. We see you cranking through all of the material; then at a different time, taking lots of breaks, figuring out HOW you learn best. 

And when you get behind and there are conflicts between us about it, know we still see you – we know this has all been unsettling and motivation sometimes is hard to find. But we see you go back to eLearning and catching up despite your big feelings. 

Also, we feel your disappointment.

Spring musicals, sports, clubs, end-of-the-school-year celebrations, prom, awards nights, graduation – we know you’ve forever anticipated those activities and milestones. We also know you miss your friends, your teachers, and the energy of the school building.  Even though people tell you there’s so much to be grateful for (there is!), it’s okay to be disappointed and grieve the loss of important things in your lives. We feel the letdown.

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In watching you navigate distance learning and this experience; we want you to know – we’re proud of you. 

Oh, my all-the-stars…We. Are. Proud. Of. You. 

You’re figuring it out. 

You’re learning to find your voice as you reach out to your teachers for help and direction. 

You’re learning so much about yourself, about self-discipline, and about how to steer your own ship. 

You’re learning to handle technology like a boss and that will serve you well in your future careers. 

You’re figuring out how to keep going through loss and how to focus on the silver linings. 

You’re spamming the perseverance button, and we are so proud. 

Good job, eLearners. Good job to our beloved warrior kids. 

We’re proud of you. 

Love, All Moms Everywhere 

Want more parenting stories and resources?

AWESOME BOOKLISTS
Book Ideas for High School Teenagers

Book Ideas for Middle School Tweens

Inspirational Books Ideas for Moms

GIFT IDEAS
Gift ideas for Moms of Tweens and Teens (Great for Mother’s Day!)

Gift Ideas for Teenage Boys

Gift Ideas for Teenage Girls

SCHOOL
Teen, These Big Reasons are Why You’ll Like Trying Hard in School (And, no, it’s not about grades.)

FAMILY CONNECTION IDEAS
Connect as a Family Over These Conversation Starters

GROW TOGETHER IN FAITH
7 Powerful Reasons to Pray as a Family

 

 

Connect with your family over these 400+ conversation starters. Grab them 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. 

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family movies tweens teens

Best Family Movies for Tweens and Teens

(Inside: Best family movies for tweens and teens. Get the ultimate list of movies for tweens and teens that your family will love.)

A big bowl of popcorn, the family piled on the couch, and a great movie – those are some of my best childhood memories.

Now as a mom, after a busy week, it feels so good to crash on the couch with my favorite people and watch something great. 

So I made an ultimate go-to list of best family movies. Of course, all movies aren’t best for every family, it depends on the ages of your kids, their interests, and how good you are with the fast-forward button. But, all the below movies are PG-13 (except one) or lower and have solid storylines.

I hope you find something your family will like. 

best family movies tweens teens

Best Family Movies
for Tweens and Teens

**This blog post contains affiliate links, which mean if you purchase through the link, I get a small commission at no extra charge to you.**

Musicals Series

See 100 more best musical movies here, but listed below are my favorites. 

Adventure/Drama Series

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Comedy Movies

For more comedy movies go here and here.

best family movies tweens and teens
Get-to-know-you questions, diver-deeper questions, and faith-filled questions. Read more about the conversation starters here.

Adventure/Action Movies

Related article: 146+ Best Chapter Books for Tweens that Will Also Build Character

Drama Movies

best family movies tweens teens
Get-to-know-you questions, diver-deeper questions, and faith-filled questions. Read more about the conversation starters here.

Sports Movies

Science Fiction/Fantasy Movies

Related Article: One Thing Every Middle School Parent Should Know

best family movies tweens teens
Get-to-know-you questions, diver-deeper questions, and faith-filled questions. Read more about the conversation starters here.

Marvel Movies

We’re huge Marvel fans and have watched all of these movies, except Guardians of the Galaxy Volumes 1 & 2 aren’t our favorite for family movies. If you’d like to know the chronological order in which to watch the Marvel movies, check out this website. 

Animated Disney Movies

Click here to see a list of all Disney Movies. I listed my recommendations below.

Classic Disney Movies (Not animated)

Click here to see a list of all Disney Movies. I listed my recommendations below.

Other animated Movies

Click here to see a list of all Disney Movies. I listed my recommendations below.

Related article: Best Family Devotions That  Create Family Connection

Watching family movies is great, but there are more ways to connect. Read more in the description here.

DC Movies

DC movies are a bit dark for our family; we don’t watch all of them. I listed the movies we like; however, if you want to see a full list of DC movies go here. 

Star Wars Movies

best family movies tweens teens

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens

Your brain bounces between your day at work, what time(s) your kids need to be at practice, your teen’s missing school assignments, that you haven’t called your mom lately, the load of the laundry to be switched, “What’s for dinner?” and “Why are 3 of my brain-tabs frozen?”  

You are raising tweens and teens – the unique parenting phase where everything gets easier…and harder.

We’re finally believing all those “they grow so fast” comments. This is your last hurray with kids in your home and you want to love every minute.  

You’re taking a second look at your career, your hobbies, how to share your gifts and talents. 

Parenting grows your faith and then makes you wonder where your faith is. 

You long for friendships and deep relationships, but you’re just so busy. 

You’d love a quick place to connect and feel encouraged.  

Join the hundreds of other women who’ve signed up for Empowered Moms and Kid’s inspirational monthly emails. You’ll look forward to opening them. (Plus, it’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time.)  

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Momma, is God in more control of your life than you think?

(Inside: God is still in control and reflection helps us see that. Here’s a powerful story from a woman who says, “Yes. God is still in control of your life.”)

“I think God is more in control of our lives than we let ourselves believe.”

I paused mid-coffee sip not because of what was said, but who said it. This woman sitting in front of me…this. woman. How do I string words together that accurately describe her? Clever, courageous, kind – she’s a go-getter. She’s experienced picket fences crumbling and putting pieces back together. She’s gone to the school of hard knocks, but also – she’s been to seminary, where she dove deep into God’s word, prayer, and theology. With her collective experience and knowledge, she’s the one I ask the hard theological and life questions.

So, the goosebumps are already queued up, I know this is going to be good, and I encourage her to go on.

Seeing God in control

Me: “What do you mean?”

Hero friend: So, in continuing our conversation on parenting – we had two kids, then our third child was special needs, as you know.

Me: Yes, I know…

Hero friend: My husband only wanted two kids. I pushed for the third and then he was special needs. Our lives were flipped upside down with properly caring for our baby.

(Pause)

Hero friend: A momma always loves her babies…always. And in those early years, I had some really good days caring for my special needs youngest. But there were days when I was stretched so thin, my heart would cry out: Why does my son have to be special needs? Why are simple daily tasks so hard? Why all the challenges?

Me: I think anyone would ask those questions…we all know how much you love your baby.

Hero friend: But, then, years later, when all three of our kids graduated high school, my husband decided he was done being married. He left. I was shocked – we were supposed to grow old together.

(Pause)

Hero friend: Here I am single and in my sixties with my adult special-needs son living with me.

She shrugged her shoulders and continued…

Hero friend: And, do you know what? I’m so grateful for how it all came together… I’m never lonely. My son is funny, kind, and tells me how much he loves me… He helps clean the house and gets dinner going – I mean, I know not all differently-abled adults can do that, but my son can and I’m blessed. Every day, I love coming home to him.

Me (goosebumps full-on emerged): I can see that…

Related article: 60+ Faith-Building Best Books for Moms

Is God in control of my life? Yes – more than you think…

Hero friend: It’s like God knew… God. Knew. He knew my husband would disappoint me. So, he gifted me with this beautiful, kind special-needs boy who I GET to have live with me. I mean – of course, we have challenges, I don’t mean to paint life as perfect…

(Pause)

Hero friend: But life is rich and full… I think God is more in control of our lives than we let ourselves believe.

This conversation happened two years ago, and I’ve thought about her story repeatedly.

(Pause)

Broken friendship – I wonder how God is going to spin this so good things come out of it?

Parenting disappointments – I wonder how God is going to shape my child in a beautiful way through this?

Career challenges – I wonder how God is going to sharpen my professional skills through this?

Sometimes people tell you the words of Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

And other times, people take their lives – and show you.

God is still in control

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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. 

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gifts for moms

More parenting resources…

AWESOME BOOKLISTS
Book Ideas for High School Teenagers

Book Ideas for Middle School Tweens

Inspirational Books Ideas for Moms

GIFT IDEAS
Gift ideas for Moms of Tweens and Teens (Great for Mother’s Day!)

Gift Ideas for Teenage Boys

Gift Ideas for Teenage Girls

SCHOOL
Teen, These Big Reasons are Why You’ll Like Trying Hard in School (And, no, it’s not about grades.)

FAMILY CONNECTION IDEAS
Connect as a Family Over These Conversation Starters

GROW TOGETHER IN FAITH
7 Powerful Reasons to Pray as a Family

 

God is still in control