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Watching Kids Grow Up

We NEED the Pain from Watching Kids Grow Up

(Inside: Watching your kids grow up is painful, but maybe that pain serves you well. Maybe you need it. And this is why…)

I think I know why it can be so painful for parents to watch our kids grow.

Let me back up…
 
Once my second (of three) sons started high school, a panicked feeling of where-did-the-time-go hit me like a Mack truck. I’m not exaggerating when I say, I’d wake up in the middle of the night, heart pounding, thinking how is this period of time with kids in my home almost over? I love raising big kids; I don’t want this season to end. How am I actually here, and where did the time go?
 
(I am never dramatic or hard to be around at all.)
 
This happened night after night.
Want parenting resources? Check out EMandK’s Etsy shop.

Until a random thought hit me in the middle of an ordinary day and made me feel a smidge better: maybe moms-of-bigs NEED that sinking feeling that time is slipping through our fingers. Perhaps the pain in our hearts helps us “finish strong”?

Even though I’m closer to the end than the beginning, I still have years of big kids in my home in front of me. And we all know that that means…
 
Grocery shopping.
 
Games and activities.
 
Checking grades.
 
Maintaining household routines.
 
Appointments.
 
Carpooling.
 
Busyness.
 
And in the whirlwind…
 

When we’re exhausted from a long day at work and our teen wants to talk at 10 pm, we find the energy because we know how fast it all goes.

When we’re busy juggling activity drop-offs, signing field trip permission slips, flipping the laundry, and running to buy poster board, we still rinse and repeat daily. We find the time to volunteer to be on the booster club and live stream the game so the far-away grandparents can watch because we know how fast it all goes.
 
When we’re overwhelmed with our tween’s middle school behaviors or lack of school engagement or friendship struggles, we continue to stay present and look for solutions. We find the resources because we know how fast it all goes.
watching kids grow up
Connect with your kids over these conservation starters for families of teens.

When our teens need to learn to drive, we teach.

When they can’t seem to remember to hang up their wet towels, we explain. When their friends descend upon our home like locusts, eating our food and staying too long, we welcome. We find the patience because we know how fast it all goes.
 
When the mail holds the graduation announcement of our friend’s child, we just stop everything and soak in that we’re not quite there yet. Then we book the vacation or slow down dinner or linger at the park on the swings. We focus on just enjoying our people because we know how fast it all goes.
 

I hate the pain I feel over how fast our kids grow. But as I look back over the time with my kids in my home, how many times has that sad feeling helped me just stop all the things I think I should be doing and focus on what really matters to me?

My family.
 
My home.
 
Noticing, despite all the things that go wrong, how much goes right.
 
That pain becomes purpose. It gives me perspective, so I take the good from it and carry on feeling grateful for the exact season I am in.

Are you watching your kids grow up? 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 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”
How to Get Your Tween/Teenage Son to Open Up to You
*400+ Conversation Starters for Families of Teens

PARENTING
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
To the Mom Who Mourns That Kids Grow Too Fast
Moms of Big Kids, Did You See Your Sacred Moments Today?

Want parenting resources? Check out EMandK’s Etsy shop.

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens

You just dropped your 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 below. 

 

gifts for moms
school memory printable

School Memory Book Printable: a Simple, Beautiful Keepsake Parents will Cherish

(Inside: Grab a school memory book printable that as parents, you will cherish. This is a keepsake you will be glad that you have.)

I am a memory-junkie mom.

Specifically, photos and words.

I’ve always been the mom with a camera, snapping way too many photos of games, holidays, closed-eyed wishes in front of candles, kids with grandparents, and the dog playing fetch with the family. Then, I have plastic bins full of kids’ schoolwork, art projects, and planners. I love flipping through pictures of my growing kids and holding papers showcasing my boys’ handwriting, words, and drawings.

Time moves so fast, keepsakes are a kind of therapy for me.

They help me see where the moments went – to school, to sports, to concerts, to special occasions, to meals, to walks with the dog around the lake, to family movies watched in the living room.

However, I am not a things-memorabilia-junkie. Clutter makes me nervous, and I’ve donated an excessive amount of participation trophies, clothes, uniforms, toys…etc. I felt good about my mass exodus of outgrown goods until I went to a grad party and saw a mom who had saved all the “things” and displayed them so beautifully. I went home and cried buckets that I had donated the soccer jerseys and Awana vests.

Mom emotions are complicated like that.

But I digress…
 

Every year, I make an end-of-the-year photo album on Shutterfly that I order three copies of – one for us and one for each set of grandparents as their Christmas gifts.

 
I usually asked my kids questions about their year: what were their favorites, whom did they hang out with, what did they learn about themselves…and record that in the book.

This year I decided that instead of my typing their answers into my photo album, I wanted to see their handwriting.

So, I created two pdfs – one for the start of their school year and one for the end. I emailed the pdfs to them; they opened them on their school iPads and filled out the beginning-of-the-school-year page by hand using Notability. In June, I’ll remind them to fill out the end-of-the-school-year reflection. Then, I’ll upload the pages to Shutterfly, and it’ll be a nice addition to my annual memory books.
 
memory book printable
Get the memory book printable here.

That’s how I like to preserve memories, but these printables could be printed out to be put in memory boxes, kept in folders, or displayed at grad parties.

Or they could just be stored in the folders of pictures and memories on your computer. It’s just lovely to have “things” that mark your kids’ years and bring you back to that sweet season of raising kids.

I never look back and am sad I took the picture or recorded my kids’ thoughts.

Because I’m a mom.
 

A keeper of the memories.

Specifically, a photos and words person.

A memory-junkie.

And I love it.
memory book printable
Get the memory book printable here.

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens. We try and come up with great ideas like a memory book printable for big kids and more…

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 kids, 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. 

 

If you grab the memory book printable here, you will automatically be signed up for emails.

Read more in the “Raising 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 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…

 

memory book printable
Get the memory book printable here.
kindness at home

Kindness at Home is Everything, Let’s be a Family that’s Kind to Each Other

(Inside: Kindness at home means the world. We all want to go home to a kind family. A kind family that nurtures and supports. Read on..)

Let’s be a family that’s kind to each other.

A family that looks up from their devices and smiles big when we see the other arrive home.
 
And asks about their day, because even though you don’t always feel like answering, it’s sure nice to be asked.
 
Let’s see – really see – one another every. single. day.

Let’s be a family that’s kind to each other.

When big emotions hit, a family that takes a deep breath and exhales slowly before answering. Who tries to respond instead of react.
 
And when words spew out, pelting across the room instead of controlled, thought-out responding, is quick to apologize. Who takes ownership over their actions.
 
Let’s recognize that we’re each other’s safe place, so we can all hold it together out there and unravel at home. Let’s put hard moments in perspective and freely give grace.

Let’s be a family that’s kind to each other.

Big kids who notice when the parents are juggling all-the-things and are quick to help in the kitchen.
 
Or parents who see their teens studying for the big test so make their lunch for the next day and bring them a glass of water.
 
Let’s be aware, help lighten loads, and try to meet needs.

kindness at home
One of my favorite things to do to create family connection is go out to eat (especially after a busy couple of weeks), and while we wait for food, ask a few of these conversation starters.

Because the world out there is tricky.

Navigating it can be like eating spaghetti with a spoon – messy, partially effective, and just plain hard. So, let’s recognize that small acts of daily kindness send big love through all of our lives.
 
Kind attitudes uplift.
 
Kind words heal.
 
Kind actions revive.

And doing our part matters: if we want to live in a home that is kind, we need to be the type of person who is kind.

Every family member is important. Vital, even. Each must daily show kindness, so we create the kind of nourishing home that we all want to come home to.
 
It won’t be flawless.
 
Perfect families don’t exist.
 
But families who continually come back to kindness do.
 
So, let’s be that.
 
Let’s be a family that’s kind to each other.

Kindness at home matters. We all want to live in a kind home and feel connected to our families. Read more in the Create Family Connection series.

We all want to feel connected to our family. I know, I do. 

One of my favorite things to do with my family is to create family time. Yes, life gets busy, and no I don’t do this all perfectly (who actually does!?!), but it sure is fun to try. 

I hope you enjoy these family connection articles and ideas too…

FAMILY ACTIVITIES
Know Your Child: One Way to Learn How Your Kid Feels Loved
400+ Great Conversation Starters for Families of Teens
7 Powerful Reasons to Pray as a Family

INSPIRATIONAL STORIES
7 Reasons Why Raising Tweens & Teens is the Best
My Big Kids, No Matter How Fast Your Grow, I’ll Always Be Your Mom 
Moms of Big Kids, Get Lost in Motherhood if You Want

kindness at home
Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens here.

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens. We’re working together to create kindness at home…

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 kids, 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. 

kind family
kindness at home
Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens here.
family at dinner table

The Lasting Power of a Simple Meal: It’s Not Just Your Family at the Dinner Table, It’s More

(Inside: Moms, we think it’s just our family at the dinner table, another meal, nothing special, but it’s so much more than that…)

It’s not just dinner.

Moms, we think it’s just dinner, but we forget.

It’s not just noodles, a jar of spaghetti sauce, and a side of broccoli.

Or pizza showing up at our door.

Or chicken sandwiches ordered from a booth.

It’s a place for our family to fill their empty bellies – a mood booster and an energy-giver.

It’s a place to unpack your thoughts and process your day. To be heard and to listen. And for your family to speak truth and encouragement into each other’s lives.

It’s a place to just focus on eating because everyone’s too tired to talk, but it’s your safe place to simply sit and be. The dinner table is a place to belong.

It’s a place for good conversations. And belly laughs. And heated debates. And dumb topics. And intellectual thoughts.

family at dinner table
Do you want to make your meals more interesting? Discuss these awesome conversation starters for families of teens.

At the end of a busy day, we can quickly throw together/order/pick up something to eat and not think anything more about it. But it’s not just dinner.

It’s a pause in life to soak in the people you love. To refuel your body. To show and receive emotional support. To create and deepen family connections. To nurture a sense of belonging.

Life gets busy and this certainly isn’t going to happen every single night.

But, that rhythm of continually coming back to family meals.

It’s not just dinner.

It’s life.

Want to connect more than over your family at the dinner table? Read more in the “Create Family Connections” series.

We all want to feel connected to our family. I know, I do. 

One of my favorite things to do with my family is to create family time. Yes, life gets busy, and no I don’t do this all perfectly (who actually does!?!), but it sure is fun to try. 

I hope you enjoy these family connection articles and ideas too…

FAMILY ACTIVITIES
400+ Great Conversation Starters for Families of Teens
7 Powerful Reasons to Pray as a Family (+ Prayer Journal)

INSPIRATIONAL STORIES
My Big Kids, No Matter How Fast Your Grow, I’ll Always Be Your Mom 
Moms of Big Kids, Get Lost in Motherhood if You Want

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

family at dinner table

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 kids, 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
family at dinner table
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
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

raising teens

I Will Miss These Years of Raising Tweens and Teens

(Inside: Raising teens and parenting tweens can be hard, but also so fun. Someday, I will look back at these years through rose-colored glasses and miss it all.)

“Mom, why are you hugging me so long? I’m just walking one house down to the bus stop, like normal.”

“Because…” I squeaked out. “You’re only wearing a hoodie. And it’s snowing – hard. And we live in Minnesota. I JUST DON’T KNOW IF I’LL EVER SEE YOU AGAIN.”

Wiggle out of my arms. Eye roll, then smile. “Bye, mom.”

Teens are exasperating.

In raising older kids, there are times you wonder when that infamous frontal lobe will fire up. There are big emotions, doing the minimum, and “I raised you better” moments. Because of that, I think we’re supposed to hate these parenting years.

But I don’t know…

So far, they’re kind of my favorite. And someday, when I’m way past this season, I will miss these years.

Yes, the hoodies make me crazy, but then that same son walks back through the door (alive!), plops down on the kitchen stool, and pours out words – the class-clown-did-this and the teacher-said-that… He laughs; I laugh. It’s intriguing to watch how our teens process their worlds.

Then, there’s watching my tween son (I have 3 boys) power kick the offense’s soccer ball across the field shutting the other team out. He pumps his arm quietly by his side. I love how these raising-older-kids years hold lots of small moments that piece-by-piece build our kids’ confidence.

Or when my kid texts me that he aced his math test. It’s rewarding for me to see my kid learn that hard work does pay off.

I’ll miss piling into our car and driving to Nana and Papa’s house in a small town, USA.

My sons hunt for frogs, fish at the pond, and run around with their cousins like little kids again. No peer pressure – just a safe place to be themselves. I love these sacred family moments.

After a long day of school and work, my family crams into a booth at Culvers. We order burgers and fries and the food tastes so good because I didn’t have to cook it. The conversation doesn’t have to be perfect; I just like being surrounded by my people at the end of the day.

I will miss the hugs and kisses and prayers before bed.

 

family at dinner table
Connect with your growing kids over these 400+ Conversation Starters. My favorite way to use them? Go out to dinner, and go through a couple while you wait for your food.

I love it when our house is filled with friends.

There is eating pizza and bantering over video games and playing pool and shooting hoops in our driveway. I will miss the energy.

And I like going to all of their concerts, games, and school functions – we enjoy how regularly seeing our community is weaved into the everyday fabric of these years.

Or it’s fun to read my son’s English paper and think: Huh – so that’s how his brain works. I love getting to know my son better.

Or when we’re watching a family movie and my tween rests his head on my shoulder. I freeze, not wanting to wreck the sweet moment. I like that they still need me.

I will miss the gangly arms and legs around the Christmas tree, their excitement in front of our traditional chocolate mint birthday cake, their voices at our Thanksgiving table.

 

raising teens
Bring your family closer together in 30 days – check out the Family Prayer Journal Here.

Yes, there’s also attitude, disgusting rooms, missing school work, broken rules, conflict (wear a coat!), and standing firm as a parent when it’s no fun, but I won’t remember any of that.

It’s like giving birth, I remember the baby more than the pain.

I won’t recall how daily annoyed I was at the shoes and hoodies and backpacks and band instruments and sports equipment piled in a tangled heap on the entryway floor – I’ll just remember that I was glad my three boys were all home, safe under one roof.

I will remember these parenting years all through rose-colored glasses.

I will miss having a house full of tweens and teens.

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 parenting tweens and raising 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 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
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”
To the Mom of a High School Freshman

BOOK IDEAS
Book Ideas for High School Teenagers
Book Ideas for Middle School Tweens

GIFT IDEAS
Gifts for Teen Boys
Gifts for Teen Girls
Stocking Filler Ideas for Teenagers

 

raising teens
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
10 Easy Way to Teach Your Kids The True Meaning of Christmas
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.
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. 

family at dinner table
Connect with your family over THESE 400+ Conversation Starters.

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.)  

gifts for moms

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

family at dinner table
Connect with your family over these 400+ conversation starters. Grab them here.

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.)  

gifts for moms

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