Showing 32 Result(s)
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

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

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.)  

gifts for moms

 

 

raising sons

Dear boy moms, you are blessed and this is why…

(Inside: If you are raising sons, your life is so very blessed. Here is why…)

I was positive that when I started having babies, I would have a daughter. Absolutely positive.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I gave birth to one son, then a second son, then a third.

Three boys.

I’ve found, in being a boy mom, I get similar comments. For example, someone will see me with my sons and say:

  •  “So – are you going to try for your girl?”
  • “Three boys… whoa… you must be tired.” (Which, let’s be clear – I am.)
  • “All boys. Man, I feel sorry for you.”
  • Or that awful saying: A son is your son until he takes him a wife. A daughter is your daughter for the rest of your life.
Bring your beloved family of boys closer together in 30 days with the Family Prayer Journal. Read more here…

What raising sons looks like…

A few years ago, my family and I were eating breakfast at my grandmother’s senior living center. It was normal family mayhem. My husband and I helped our kids through the buffet. (“No, you cannot pile only doughnuts on your plate.”) We were up and down during the meal. Orange juice spilled; syrup dripped. Then our chaos was interrupted.

A resident came over to our table and said to me, “You have such beautiful boys.” She hesitated as if trying to decide if she should say more…

I waited for the BUT…

But, I saw those boys wrestling…

I thought the woman might comment with eyebrows raised, “I watched those boys dogpile each other in the lobby.” Yes, they do that. At retirement centers, at target, and in our church foyer. I was not prepared for my sons’ need to daily put each other in a headlock.

But that’s okay because I can get their dad to help. “Husband,” I say, please make these boys stop wrestling. So, his solution? To simultaneously put all three in the full nelson hold. (“Thanks, honey – effective, really effective.”)

Grandpas aren’t any help either…

But, I heard about their schoolwork…

Or maybe the lady would shake her head and say, “But, your grandma told me about the story your son wrote.” You see, I love writing – so I couldn’t wait to read the beautiful words my sons would weave together for school assignments. When my 1st grader brought home his first book, I held it in my hands with great anticipation.

However, the title made me have some doubts. It said, “The Day I Kicked Down a Snowman.” I began reading.

One day my friend and I made a snowman.
The snowman was little.​
We played battle when we were done.​
I kicked the snowman down.​
No more snowman.​
The End.

Then on the last page was a note from the teacher that said: “Sounds exciting! See me!”

But, that bathroom situation…

Or maybe the woman would sigh, “But, I used the family bathroom after your boys.” Oh please don’t let that be the case. I had no idea the toilet would be such an issue in raising little boys. One day, about 5 minutes after I bleached the bathroom (again), I saw that “faithful puddle” at the base of the toilet. It’s so confusing. I know my kids have aim because they always seem to hit the back rim of the oval, so the pee slides down the sides to the floor – that back rim is like a 1-inch by 4-inch rectangle, if they can hit that, surely, they can get to the wide oval center.

At that moment, I was so frustrated, I went all math-teacher-mom on them –  I grabbed a tape measure, measured the diameter of the oval compared to the rectangular back rim, did a little geometric probability, and found that there’s about a 98% chance of the boys getting their streams in the toilet. 

I told my young boys: The. Odds. Are. In. Your. Favor!

I’m a boy mom too…

However, none of those “buts” is what the lady from the retirement home said. Instead, she explained, 

“I have three sons, too, and I love it. They take such good care of me.” She said it with such joy and pride, and went on to give me examples of how her sons loved her well. The wisdom of her 90-something years and the passion in her voice stirred my emotions. She ended our conversation by firmly stating, “My sons take better care of me than…”

(Ready for this?)

“any daughter ever could. I am so happy I have three sons.”

This is also what raising sons look like…

Over the years, I’ve thought about her words – and I’d say they’re true…

My boys have given me a million snuggles and hugs and kisses.

My kids have written “I love you, mom” and drawn pictures of me on cards for holidays.

They’ve scribbled kind thank you notes: “Thank you for helping us with homework, cooking us food, and letting us get a dog.”

At their musical, band concerts, and games they look into the crowd to make sure I’m there.

When we’re walking into buildings, they open the door for me. 

When I pull into the garage with my van full of groceries, they get on their shoes and help me carry the bags in.  

They’ll be chatty with me describing in detail all aspects of their day, but then clam up around other people.

They love when I’m home and tell me so.

In their own unique ways, with their given personalities – every day, my kids show me that they love me.

If you’re raising sons, you are blessed…

So, that morning at the retirement home, I let the sweet lady’s words soak in as she turned to walk away. She took a few steps away and I found myself calling out to her, “Thank you… Thank you for saying that to me.”

She turned back around and our eyes met. We exchanged a knowing look that only two mothers of all boys would understand, connecting us across two generational gaps.

Mother of all boys. I am so very blessed.

Do you want to raise men of faith?

Me too.

I hope my sons believe that God is working in their lives and is always near. I desire for my sons to daily talk to God and ask for his guidance and help.

But there are practices and homework and orthodontist appointments and all the things. How do you teach daily faith in a tangible way?

Growing up my family prayed together as much as our busy schedule allowed in a very imperfect way before bed, and it’s left a lasting impact on me. It’s one of my best teen-years memories. It was short, yet powerful.

Family prayer is a daily routine that gives our kids a chance to be heard, unpack their day, and then point them back to the source of our strength. 

It can take 30 seconds or 30 minutes, depending on what’s going on that evening for your family. Read more about the 7 powerful reasons to pray as a family, then I hope you enjoy the prayer journal as much as my family has. 

 

Join our community of moms raising older kids…

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

You are parenting tweens and teens.

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

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

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

gifts for moms

Author’s note: When I published the original version of this story on The Huffington Post, it went viral. I had an opportunity recently to audition for a mom-story-telling show. When I thought about the story I wanted to share, I kept going back to this near-and-dear-to-my-heart moment. I love how the power of one person’s words can be so uplifting. So, I combined the Huffington Post piece with a talk I had done at MOPS on raising sons. This was the result. So, here’s an updated version from the perspective of a mom now raising older sons. I hope you enjoy it. 

funny parenting stories

Funny Stories about Parenting: Laugh Your Way Through Raising Tweens & Teens

(Inside: Funny stories about parenting to help you laugh your way through motherhood. All these stories are based on true experiences of raising tweens and teens.)

funny stories about parenting

 

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

 

The daughter who talks until the end of time.

Your sweet 11-year-old daughter bursts into the kitchen while you drop spaghetti noodles into boiling water. 

“Mom, I had so. much. fun at Joe’s house.” (Your neighbor boy.) 

“Joe was bored so we wandered around his house for a bit trying to find something to do.”  

Like a freight train at warp speed, your daughter’s words pour out…she describes how she fluffed the living room pillows. (“Joe only has brothers – they don’t notice those kinds of things.”) Then, she continued describing how the living room looked after the fluffing was complete. She does not care that you’ve been to your neighbor’s house a million times before, she’s finishing. her. description. by. goodness. 

You nod and “uh-huh” as you listen.

Then she launches into a story of Joe and her deciding what to do

She details the choices they brainstormed and how they whittled down the list. She outlined how they decided to build Legos, whose idea it was, and in great detail explained every… aspect… of…the Lego creation they built. You feel you were with her on every piece selected and snapped into place. 

Her voice rises and falls and great dramatic gestures are displayed as you… make dinner, set the table, and call the family to wash up. Your Chatty Cathy briefly pauses as you bless the food (Thank you, Jesus), then continues through the eating of cheesy bread and pasta. A little brother tries to interject but the cutie-pie with chestnut hair gives a stern glare securing her senior position on the floor.  

As you scrape the rest of your plate, you glance at the clock. She’s talked for 40 minutes straight.  

How long was your daughter at Joe’s house? 

30 minutes.  

How is that even possible, you wonder? But you’re too scared to ask. That’ll lock you into another 15 minutes for sure… 

 

funny stories about parenting

The tween who discovers the truth about Santa.

“Mom, I don’t think Santa’s real.” your youngest son states. 

Your head snaps up. You know you’ve let the believe-in-Santa gig carry on a little too long with your tween, but he’s your youngest kid. He might be ready to give up Santa, but you might not be ready to let him give it up. It’s accepting that you actually are a middle-aged woman and that your children will become adults and move out. (Tears.) You realize your baby (I mean tween) might get teased by his peers for still believing, but that’s a price he just might have to pay to let you hold onto your youth for one. more. day. 

In response to your kid’s declaration, you try not to show panic on your face. You breathe deep. You smile. Yes, smiling is good you tell yourself. You also tell yourself I am young because even if it isn’t true it makes you feel good and you deserve to feel good. 

“Why don’t you think Santa’s not real?” you cheerfully ask. You expect the how-can-he-visit-billions-of-kids-homes-in-one-night question. You’ve heard that before and you have answers. Or even the how-can-reindeer-fly question. (Easy-peasy – magic words and pixie dust, you’ll say.)

But your kid doesn’t ask that. He says…

“Because all the toys he leaves you can buy on Amazon. And I don’t think he owns the right to reproduce all those exact toys. I’m pretty sure it’s illegal.”

Amazon.

Amazon sold you out. If he knows about copyright/patent laws, your son is too old to believe. You’re going to have to drop the Santa-is-in-fact-not-real bomb right then and there. 

In protest, you decide to cancel your Amazon subscription. Immediately – because you feel betrayed and annoyed and that you need to start buying that anti-aging cream that costs as much as your car. 

But, wait…

Who are you kidding? You can’t cancel Amazon.

You are now Santa and your kid knows it.  

Freeze time. Remember how fun your kids were at this age. Read more about this memory book keepsake.

On motivating your tweens & teens to conserve energy at home

Your energy bill makes your eyes bug out. It’s not the cost – that seems about right – it’s the bar chart that compares your energy use with that of your neighbors. 

The first bar represents the frugal neighbors’ energy use. Their bar is short and efficient, just like them. This doesn’t bother you, you are no “tree hugger” (but thank goodness for them), so onward. 

The second bar shows the “average use” neighbors. Their bar sticks out a solid length in the middle and seems to taunt you just a bit. The mom with one more kid than you down the street can get this right, why can’t you?

Then, there’s you. The sky-high bar declares with zest you and your offspring as inefficient. You stare at your bar. You challenge it to Harry Potter it’s way down to the same height as the “average use” neighbors, but it doesn’t budge.

Then you feel your anger bubble. Deep within you, the rage begins to rise. You love the earth; wasteful living is not your goal. You fume… 

What is wrong with my people? Don’t they love the environment? At the very least, don’t they love me, their frugal momma? The retirees can get this right. Even the family with the pool is beating us in efficient-energy-use.

You’re mad…and determined that the planet isn’t going down because of your family. So after church, when your kids just heard an awesome biblical lesson on love and kindness and minding your mother (you might’ve added the last part), you gather them around the lunch table. 

“Listen,” you say. “Our energy bill gave us a year-end summary of our efficiency use. All the neighbors are beating us. Like, we’re using waaaaay too much energy. What can we do?” (You’ve learned the skill-set of questioning until your people think that your idea is theirs. You’re ready for this conversation.)

“Take shorter showers,” your kids say.  

Yes, you nod. Your kids are so smart. They take after you. You knew you were raising geniuses.

“Spend more time at other’s peoples’ houses so we use their energy,” your kids add on.

No, you shake your kid. Your kids aren’t smart. You graduated Summa Cum Laude from college. How come your kids are so dumb?

Instead of running water, fill the sink 1/3 the way full and use that to scrub off the dishes before they go in the dishwasher. Use cups more than once. Don’t throw all the clothes in the laundry if they aren’t really dirty. You continue with all the ways to be efficient…

You’re feeling hopeful. Your kids are getting this. These are their ideas. They will follow through. They love trees and clean air and animals. They will do their part. They’ll take care of our beautiful, yet fragile earth.

They’re good kids. 

And you’re a good mom.

You finish lunch and your kids clean up. They scrub plates and cups and forks just like you explained. You go about your business while your kids finish their chores and exit the kitchen.

Five minutes later you re-enter the empty, clean kitchen to see how your kids faired.

The kitchen sink is still running. Water is slowly coming out in a steady stream with no one in sight to turn it off.

You’ll try again with this same conversation tomorrow. 

Your turn: tell your funny stories about parenting

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. I sometimes change minor details for privacy reasons.)

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

 

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teen

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 funny stories about parenting series

Laugh through motherhood with me by reading the complete funny stories about parenting 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)

family bible reading plan

A Fantastic Way for Your Family to be Fueled by the Bible in Busy Mom Life (Freebie)

(Inside: A free family bible reading plan you will love. In your busy mom life, be fueled by Jesus’ words of love and hope. Raise kids of faith who hear Jesus’ voice in their everyday life.)

“I need to hear God’s word.”

This thought slipped out of my mouth unexpectedly. And took me off guard.  My life boasted no crisis. Or drama. Nothing burdened my heart. No life event sent me to my knees. 

In between dropping boys off at soccer practice, scheduling dentist appointments, and teaching my high school students, I longed for a voice that’d lately felt quiet. 

Jesus’s voice. 

It’s like when I haven’t talked to my mom or sister or grandma in a while. A moment washes over me when I need to pick up the phone and simply hear their voices. I need to hear their inflections. And tones. The people I love’s words. 

I needed to hear Jesus in the same way. I longed to hear the stories that nourished my childhood. I ached for the words that change people’s lives for the better. I wished for words that reminded me that all of our lives are a part of a much bigger story. 

 

Related article: 60+ Encouraging and Inspirational Best Books for Moms

Grab the Free Family Bible Reading Plan plus get instant access to the Freebie Library that includes 15+ empowering freebies for moms raising older kids.
Yes, I want all of the Freebies!

The Bible Stories That Fuel Us

But, I didn’t just crave any Bible stories, I specifically longed to hear the words Jesus spoke and the life he lived. I longed to hear…

I longed to hear who Jesus is, how he lived, and what he did for us. I needed to feel Jesus living in me, walking near me, and going before me. 

How do we fit in a family Bible reading plan when we’re so crazy busy?

When we’re busy, we work with the life we have to accomplish our heart’s longings.

Now, my life is taxiing kids to activities, helping with homework, teaching high school, and keeping the fires burning at home. If I’m going to fit in reading the Bible regularly in this season, I need to regularly make it work with where my focus is – connecting witmy family. 

So, I created a free Bible reading plan I’ve been reading through with my family and oh how I love it…

A Free Family Bible Reading Plan You’ll Love

Here’s the skinny… Our focus is on reading about Jesus’ ministry and hearing the words he spoke.

  • We read a bite-size, digestible section a night.
  • We then ask three great questions that have sparked great conversation.
  • And we end with journaling (optional) about we want to remember and three things we’re grateful for. 

 

Related article: Best Podcasts Every Mom Needs to Hear

Get the Free Family Bible Reading plan plus more awesome freebies by clicking on the button below.
Yes, I want all of the Freebies!

Get the Free Bible Reading Plan Here

I’d love to share this Bible reading plan with you. So, I put together a lovely printable outlining reading the book of Matthew four days a week. I included discussion questions and journal prompts for you and your family.

So, onto your turn…

What or who keeps you the busiest right now? How could you realistically include the nourishing words of Jesus in your life? The family Bible reading plan doesn’t have to be read with your people. Maybe you’d like to fit in Jesus’ words into your everyday life in a different way. Here are some ideas:

  • Find a coworker friend and talk about this a few times a week over your lunch break. 
  • Make this dinner-time discussion with your spouse/significant other.
  • Invite your grandbabies (and their parents over) once a week and chip away at the Bible reading and discussion.
  • Make this the right-before-bed discussion about 4 times a week with your children. (This is what we do!)
  • Use this at your quiet time.
  • Moms with babies – leave your Bible out on your kitchen counter and read it as your baby throws her spaghetti lunch on the ground. (Also, take deep breaths – you’re a rock-star-momma and this too shall pass quicker than you’d actually like!)
  • Read these short, digestible passages before you get out of bed in the morning.


However you choose to input Jesus’ words, remember there’s no right or wrong way to do this. Jesus meets you where you are and blesses you in ways you can’t even fully imagine until you simply dive in and listen to him speak to you. 

Grab the freebie below, then come back and tell us how you’re using it. 

Yes, I want the Bible Reading Plan!

Let’s stay connected! Join this community of moms of older kids.

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

You are parenting tweens and teens.

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

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get inspiration, resources, and stories 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

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

how to talk to teens

How to Get Your Tween/Teen to Their “Aha Moment”

(Inside: Communicating with your teen can be hard. If you are wondering how to better communicate with your tweens or teens, here’s a proven method that works.)

“No, I swear – I’m going to graduate! I got this!” the son said to his mom.

“So, how exactly are you going to graduate.” (She’s no dummy.) She pulls up his transcript. He’s failing all of his third-trimester junior classes, so mathematically isn’t able to earn enough credits his senior year to graduate. He’s refusing credit recovery or summer school. He insists it will all work out in the next year even though the math in front of him is showing him it’s impossible. (Another confirmation he needs to retake algebra.)

Photo by Nicholas Githiri from Pexels

This story is not uncommon. It repeats itself in raising tweens and teens on other issues, like:

  • The red flags of an over-controlling boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • The confusion teens experience over why they got fired because I was only late a few times what’s the big deal?
  • The teen who treats her friends like royalty and family like dirt.
  • The teen who continually overcommits then wonders why he’s stressed.
  • The girl who honestly does NOT think all the duck-lipped, sexy photos posted will be seen by potential employers. (“Mom, it’s fine my page is set on public. Employers who hire don’t check these things.” *Yes, they do!*)
  • Teens thinking they are invincible and free from pain – despite their bad choices.
  • The student who’s not organized but that’s everyone else’s fault.

    And so on…

What do you do when you’re tween/teen is making poor choices?

Moms, we love our teens. So, it can be so hard when we see a piece of our hearts (walking around in the form of a tall lanky, human being with braces) making poor choices.

When our kids are self-sabotaging how do we get them to see the light? How do we talk to them so they are intrinsically motivated to take the next right step? How do we get them to a powerful “ah-ha” moment?

We start with what our gut is urging us to do…we talk to our kids…

“How do I better communicate with my teen?”

There are two ways our conversations with our kids sometimes unfold:

  • Method 1: Lecturing
  • Method 2: Questioning


Let’s look closer at both conversation methods…

communicating with teen
Continue the discussion on “communicating with teen” and more by joining our community of moms raising older kids HERE.

Communicating with Teen Method 1: Lecturing

Moms, we mean well, but sometimes, like a freight train on steroids, our talks quickly go from listening to lecturing. For example, here’s how a condensed conversation might go…

Mom: I’ve noticed this problem.
Kid: Yeah, me too.
Mom: The problem is… And you shouldn’t do that because of (moms insert all the reasons and her wisdom here.) 

Kid: Okay…

Mom continues lecturing. The big parenting emotions convince mom that the kid hasn’t made good choices because kid hasn’t previously heard mom’s wise words that have been said a billion times.

So mom revs up her loudest voice. (Yelling is most definitely the solution. Kid can for sure hear me if I yell.)

Kid zones out what is being said because she’s getting yelled at then walks away feeling angry, disappointed, and regretful. However, kid is not focused on the wisdom yelled at her, but rather the yelling itself.

Mom hates that she had to yell and instantly feels guilty. However, the silver lining is that much wisdom was at least shared. (I said what I need to say and now, certainly, my daughter will make a change. However, why do I always have to yell to get her there?)

The next day kid repeats the poor choices. 

Have you been there? Yeah, me too – parenting can be so hard.

how to talk to your teen

Communicating with Teen Method 2: Questioning

But there’s another way to communicate – one that high school teachers (I am one), counselors, and other professionals working with teens have repeatedly proven effective. Let’s look at the questioning method.

In this method, the mom keeps asking questions until she is able to lead her kids to a healthy solution that the kid came up with on his/her own.

(Know this about me: I believe that all kids want to be successful and proud of who they are. I encourage moms to look for that spark in the conversation that proves this.)

Onward…here’s a short, tidy version (probably, overly tidy) of what communicating with your teen and the questioning method looks like:


Mom:
I saw that your missing 15 homework assignments.
Kid: Yeah, so what.
Mom: Do you like that you’re missing that many homework assignments?
Kid: I don’t know, not really.
Mom: Why are you missing so much homework?
Kid: I don’t know, I just don’t like to do it.

Mom: What about it don’t you like?
Kid: It takes so long. I feel unmotivated to sit down in the evening.
Mom: What spot in the house do you feel most motivated to work?
Kid: I guess the kitchen table.
Mom: When do you feel most motivated to do homework?
Kid: I guess in the evening. I need a break after school.

Mom: Okay, so how can I help you make sure you set up a routine that will help you be successful?
Kid: I guess just help remind me that from 6:00-7:00 is homework time.
Mom: What should you do about all the missing homework assignments?
Kid: I’ll find out what I can make up and finish them. 
Mom: Okay, when will you have them done by?
Kid: Give me two days. I’ll work in my study hall.

If your teen is crabby and uncooperative, tell them you’ll give them an hour to let this idea set in, then try again.

And if needed – again! Momma, you are a boss woman!

You recovered from a horrendous c-section.

You juggle a job and bills and highlighting your grey hair.

You will not let this teenager get the best of you.

Deep breaths – you are calm, saintly, and pure. 

This is about your teenager, don’t give them any reason to make this about you – keep the focus on them. And try again.

conversation starters teens
Communicating with your teen can be fun: connect over these conversation starters.

Why the Questioning Method Works for Communicating with Teens

Tweens and teens are tricky. There they want to please their parents and do the right thing, but they sometimes get lost in the many layers of being a teen. But, still, they have pride, want independence, and crave parent approval – this method meets all three of your kids’ wants:

  • They are answering the questions, the control is in their hands. (They maintain their pride.)
  • Your kids are coming up with the solution. This shapes their intrinsic motivation and independence.  Momma, all you are doing is asking questions and thinking of more good questions to get them to a solution. (No need to get angry. You wear a halo. Chirping birds fly peacefully around you. Deep breaths and saintly thoughts, momma.)
  • You continually affirm them. “Yes, that makes sense,” but…then onto the next question. (Remember, those kids love having your approval, even when they say they don’t.)


Let me emphasize again that I gave a condensed version, but expect the conversation to be much more work. 

Video: Lead Your Teen to His/Her Aha Moments

I wrote out the condensed version of how to lead your teen to their own “aha moment,” but this video models it. The counselor walks through:

  • Method 1: Lecturing
  • Method 2: Questioning


Watch until the end and see how the Questioning Method can be powerful and effective. 

The aha moment might come, but change is slow.

If you look at the curriculum of subjects in schools, we teach and re-teach the same material (but add a little more depth) from kindergarten through 12th grade. My second grader brought home a geometry concept I was working on with my 10th graders, and I about fell over.

But, it makes sense. We need to see content multiple times to remember it.  You might get your kid to the aha moment (“Now, I get why I should be responsible”), but remember he/she is continually learning the necessary behavior to support these new responsible actions.

Parents, being patient and consistent (so hard!) will help our kids relearn and remember the next right step they came up with for themselves.

Change is slow, but the work is important.

Your work is important.

Keep talking to your kids. Reteach that “aha” moment. Keep moving forward.

Moms, our work is vital. If you are willing to invest this time learning how to better talk to your kids – you are a rockstar. You kids hit the parenting jackpot. And if they don’t know it, they will.

In the future, I bet how lucky they are to have you as a mom will be one of their “aha” moments. 

If you aren’t just concerned about communicating with your teen but also, raising great kids – dive into 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.

Raising Tweens/Teens Series

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

communicating with teen
Continue the discussion on “communicating with teen” and more by joining our community of moms raising older kids HERE.

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 a fantastic 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
communicating with teen
Continue the discussion on “communicating with teen” and more by joining our community of moms raising older kids HERE.
why grandparents are important

The Importance of Grandparents In Raising Older Kids: We Need You More

The importance of grandparents grows even more when you are raising kids. It’s so nice to have the grandparent’s help.

Growing up, my friends’ families vacationed at Disneyworld or sandy beaches. But, not my family. We went to Colorado Springs.

I loved our vacation spot for one big reason: my grandparents lived there. When we’d visit my grandparents, we’d also get to spend time with all of the extended family – aunts, uncles, and about a billion cousins. (It’s been joked that if you find yourself in Colorado Springs needing a ride, just stand at the corner and start hollering the family name. Some “Stegner” will be near to help.)

In contrast, raised as a military kid, my immediate family’s roots never ran deep. Just as soon as I’d familiarized myself with the neighborhood, settled into school, and made friends, we picked up and moved. (Again.)  Even though I loved the adventurous life of an Air Force family, I was also drawn to the stability of a giant family (with grandparents!) who shared a town. To me, Colorado Springs was sacred. 

{Fast forward.}

When my husband and I were trying to decide where to put down our own roots, I wanted to recreate that Colorado Springs experience. So, we weighed the options: live in Illinois (my parents) or Minnesota (my in-laws and their extended family). 

Minnesota won. 

In raising older kids, I’ve never been more grateful to live close to a set of grandparents. (And that the other set – my parents – visit often.) What a blessing both sets of grandparents are to us…an epic blessing.

I’ve found in raising tweens and teens, we need the grandparents more than ever, and here’s why:

No one else loves the kids like the grandparents

There’s a short list of people who truly love your kids as selflessly and wholeheartedly as you. The grandparents are on that list. With them, you can unleash all of your braggings about your kid and the grandparents actually want to hear your lack of humbleness! It’s lovely to share such love for tall, gangly humans with crackly voices and acne with someone else. (You complete us, grandparents. You. Complete. Us.)

family at dinner table
Connect your family with the grandparents using these 400+ conversation starters. My parents came into town and we discussed one of these questions for about 20 minutes – everyone got into it. It was fun.

Grandparents help with all the taxing around

Our family loves being involved; it’s fun to watch our kids learn and flourish in activities. However, our schedule stretches my husband and me as thin as paper. So, it’s ah-maze-ing when the grandparents dive in and cart our kids around to soccer games and basketball tournaments.

Similarly, I have a friend whose dad does all the boy scout activities with her son – it’s their special thing. And another friend whose son’s grandpa is in charge of his music lessons. Then there are the grandmas who help working parents with sick kids and take-your-dog-to-the-school-picnic day. 

Grandparents who jump in and help out – let us all rise up and call you beloved. (I’m so serious.)

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

To keep your tweens/teens trust, you can’t talk to just anyone about them

I used to talk about my kid’s silly words, tantrums, and diaper blowouts with the moms in my MOPS group. (Mother of Preschoolers) But, now I can’t. My kids tell me things they don’t want laughed about or spread around like wildfire. But still, moms need a safe, nonjudgmental place to unravel our parenting thoughts. Grandparents provide that safe place.

Grandparents are important because more people cheering your kid on the better

If just even one of the four grandparents show up for a game or concert, my kids feel like a million bucks. The more people who love my kids and cheer them on the better!

why grandparents are important
Importance of grandparents photo by Tiago Muraro on Unsplash

It takes a village – grandparents say your wise words but sometimes better

I can tell my kids a thousand times that they need to read because it’s vital to their education and I get crickets. But when grandma buys them a new book and encourages them to enjoy it, all of a sudden reading is the best thing ever. Those important life lessons we so desperately want our kids to learn…sometimes the grandparents can drive home the point from a new angle or using a different style and it works. I’m pretty sure that’s called everyone is winning.

Related article: Keep Track of ALL THE THINGS in Style (Free Weekly Planner!)

 

Because moms need the grandparent’s encouragement too

There’s something life-giving about hearing your mom, dad or in-laws say, “Good job!” or “I’m grateful for you!” or “I love you!” Or notice that you could use a dinner out. (“Bring the family – we’ll pay!”) Or bring you a glass of peach sweet tea for no reason. (Awwww…you noticed me!) Grandparents, your kind words mean more to us than we sometimes even realize. 

importance of grandparents
The importance of grandparents is huge, but so is also being in a community of moms raising tweens and teens. Join our community HERE.

Sometimes confiding in a grandparent is easier than the parents

Mommas, yes, we want our teens to tell us everything. (Ah…sweet, utopia…) But, sometimes, there’ll be moments, when they need to talk to someone other than us. (Or instead of us.) So, it’s nice to have trusted adults who will help our kids gain perspective, feel cherished, and know they’re loved. Both kids and parents benefit from a wide support group. 

You help your kids build cherished relationships

My kids love that when their nana and papa come to visit. They explore museums, putt-putt golf, and make an abundance of chocolate chip cookies. My kids talk about the visit for months.

My in-laws (who live in town) are a staple in my kids’ lives. If my kids haven’t seen their grandparents in a few days, they bug us to see them. They even online shop with grandma over the phone. (“Mom, the amazon price has dropped, can I call grandma and let her know?”) (I’m not even kidding.)

By interacting with their grandparents, my kids are learning to engage with people and build cherished, healthy relationships. (My kids also learn to love unconditionally, because we’re family. We’re not perfect, but we always come back to loving each other.)

If your kids have grandparents around, consider yourself lucky

Most of those Colorado trips I remember so fondly ended up being just to see my grandma and the rest of the extended family. My grandpa died from Parkinson’s disease young. (I was only 12.) Similarly, I have dear friends whose parents are gone, or never visit, or are too busy living their own lives. Also, I have friends whose family drama has cast a dark shadow and the relationship isn’t there. So, I don’t take for granted two sets of active, healthy grandparents. And if you are in my boat, I bet you don’t either…

Importance of grandparents photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

To the grandparents (from us)

To the grandparents who love us so well – thank you. Thank you for being our “support staff.” (As my parents call themselves.) We cherish all the encouragement, listening, and rides for our kids. I know we often forget to tell you, so we’re saying it now: thank you.

Thank you for loving us so well. You are a sacred part of our lives and the moments spent with your grandkids – they will always be remembered.

And cherished.

Forever.

Just like you. You are deeply loved.

The importance of grandparents is huge, but so is being in a 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 a fantastic 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

Read the full series on not just the importance of grandparents, but also on building your family’s community:

I was always the girl who moved. After I just unpacked my things into a new home and made it my own, found a church and started making a connection with my faith family, met the neighbors and began to enjoy living by new people, formed my friend group at school together and started to grow close to them – just when I would grow roots, my dad would get his orders.

As the daughter of an Air Force rescue helicopter pilot, I grew up moving every few years. (And sometimes few months, as we’d be in transition waiting for my dad to finish training or for a house to open up on base for us to live.) Moments were hard, but also, the life of a military kid was a great gift.

I learned so much, especially about the importance of community. I became a joiner.

Moms, there will be seasons for all of us when friendships feel hard, but still – we fight for community. We continue to work on building our friend group around us through church, neighbors, moms we meet through our kids, work, and more.

Because we need good people in our lives and people need us! Be encouraged by reading more articles on building your community:

The Importance of Grandparents and Building Your Community Series

The Power of Encouragement: Moms Need It More Than You Know
In Raising Older Kids: This Is Why You Need The Grandparents EVEN MORE 

importance of grandparents
The importance of grandparents is huge, but so is also being in a community of moms raising tweens and teens. Join our community HERE.
gratitude journal for teens

A Gratitude Journal Your Teen Will Love (Raise Grateful Kids)

(Inside: A gratitude journal just for tweens/teens. Journal includes fantastic writing prompts. Download the gratitude journal for teens today!)

Moms, do you ever go to work already in a funk

Me too.

For example, the other day, my family morning routine was rocky at best.  (“No, you don’t have an actual fever. You’re GOING to school.” “Did you look in the basement for your shoes?” “Didn’t you finish your homework last night?”) I waved goodbye to my boys feeling cranky and on edge.

I tried to reset my mood as I drove to work. But, as I walked into the high school, a dark cloud still hovered over my head. I started my day teaching advisory (homeroom) and it happened to be “Gratitude Journal Day.” As a class, we spent 15 minutes focusing on what we’re thankful for. 

When the bell ended the period, I noticed – my mood had shifted. 

Gratitude. God breathes a holy quality into gratitude. 

Gratitude Journal for Teens

But adults aren’t the only ones who need to use gratitude to shift our moods. Our teens need it too. Have you ever seen your teen…

  • Be overly emotional?
  • Act irrationally?
  • Feel over-the-top anxious?

Teaching our kids to practice gratitude can help. When we do this, we give our teens a tool to help them:

  • Take a mental “time-out”
  • Relax their racing brains
  • Adjust their focus
  • Feel ready to move forward


That’s why I’ve written a gratitude journal just for teens and tweens and you can get instant access today…

Access the Gratitude Journal for Teens Right Now

I created a gratitude journal that you can instantly download from Etsy. You’ll see:

  • The science behind why a gratitude journal works to help your big kids get on board with the idea.
  • 30 days of focused gratitude:
    • Each page starts with an inspirational scripture verse or quote.
    • Weaved throughout the journal are short stories and things to think about in this gratitude journey.
    • Space to write.

Continue to be encouraged by the full “raise kids of faith” series.

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
The Science Behind Why a Gratitude Journal Works (Raise Happy, Faith-Filled Tweens and Teens)
 

Shop Empowered Moms and Kids

Join this community of moms of 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 a fantastic 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, feel empowered in your personal growth, and celebrate the awesome momma you are.

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

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

gifts for moms
parenting teens

7 Reasons Why Raising Tweens & Teens is the Best

(Inside: Why I love parenting tweens and teens. Raising teens is fun and parenting tweens can be some of the best years of your life. Here’s why…)

This summer, when we explored Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, we accidentally hiked 11 miles in one day. 

It was amazing.

Rushing water danced down steep slopes, deer bounded between the brush, and the world’s biggest trees towered above us with authority and beauty. We had no strollers, baby Bjorn, or tired little legs. Instead, we explored with three boys who loved the adventure and couldn’t wait to find what breathtaking waterfall/overlook/tree the next hiking path held. Our sons kept the energy upbeat, so we kept going….for 11 miles.

 

Raising teens and tweens is a fun phase of life.

Later that night, as I collapsed (literally) into our hotel bed, my heart beamed.  I thought: Today was spectacular. These boys made this experience ten times better. Omgosh I love parenting tweens and teens.

Why raising tweens and teens is the best.

Before I go on, let me clarify one thing: I don’t live in some elusive land of sunshine and roses. Of course, raising older kids presents unique challenges. We all know that every chapter in life holds beat-your-head-against-the-wall moments. But I’ve found that in raising teens, the good vastly outweighs the bad. Parenting tweens and teens can be a fantastic season of your life. Here’s why…

1. More me-time

Let’s just start right out of the gate here with a selfish thought: parenting older kids gifts moms with more me-time. We are raising our kids to be independent, which means, it’s good for them to hang out with friends, work hard at practice, spend time studying, work that job…etc. This important growing process gifts moms with more time. Beautiful, beautiful time… So we can use it how we want – guilt-free!

Related article: Why Alone Time for You is Good for Your Kids

2. Watching kids grow is amazing

Watching kids discover who they are, unearth their gifts, and learn how to use their talents – there’s nothing like it.

I’ve witnessed a parent bounce shamelessly like a 48-year-old cheerleader when her son broke away and scored that goal. (He’d finally gained the confidence to move!) And a mom-friend who posts a thousand dance pictures. (Her daughter overcame huge health issues to make it onto that stage!) Or the mom who tells the story with tears in her eyes how her struggling middle schooler has transformed into a happy high school kid – he’s found a group he loves, band, and her heart couldn’t be more full.

Then sometimes I become the cheerleading mom or picture-posting-over-sharer or story teller because it’s addicting to witness our kids discover who they are and learn what they can do. The teaching and learning that accompanies raising older kids are very special.

raising teens
Are you raising teens and tweens? Join this community of moms HERE.

3. Teens sometimes decide they love your hobbies too

Sometimes all the stars align just right and your kid ends up loving the same things you do.

My middle son plays guitar with his dad. He also jogs with me. Our oldest son and I discuss the interesting ways a story unravels in books and movies. Then my husband and son watch hours of basketball. Our youngest loves fishing with his grandpa, sitting on the lake beach with me, and letting his dad coach him in soccer.

Your kids deciding they love your hobbies too is one of life’s sweetest gifts. 

raising tweens teens

4. Intelligent conversations

That kid who munched on dog food when he was a toddler now actually has interesting things to say. It’s weird. Am I living in a parallel universe? Did my son just have an actual good opinion about politics? Did my other child say something wise about faith? Who are these little adults and what’d they do with my tweens and teens? 

Go ahead, momma, and pat yourself on the back. You made these human beings and you’re teaching them to mature in this awesome way. Dinner time just became fun. 

Connect with your big kids over these 400+ conversation starters.

5. Family connection activities are way more fun

We used to watch Little Einstein and now we watch the Avengers movies. (Multiple times and then discuss how they all connect.) And with that example, I think I’ve swiftly made my point. The older the kids get, the more fun it is for adults. So, plan that family activity – it’s no longer just for the kids, you will enjoy it too!

6. Parenting tweens/teens mean your kids are still in your home

I asked my empty-nester friend what her favorite life chapters have been and she said, “I loved the years when my kids were older but still in my home.”

I get you, dear friend – there’s something sacred about raising teens and tweens. Our kids are old enough to enjoy them more, but they’re still young enough to live with you. Your home might be messy and imperfect, but it’s full of life and love and joy. 

 

7. Your older kids still want your hugs and attention

In my twenty-plus years of teaching diverse students in a large public high school, I can say this with authority: all teens crave positive attention from their parents. (Or loved ones.)

Don’t buy their apathy and attitude. Tweens and teens want your encouraging words, hugs, and quality time. They need you in their lives. You make them happier, healthy, more well-adjusted human beings. 

So when those moments come and they ask you for a Starbucks date, just take them. Pay the $35.99 for two cups of the campfire mocha special and one scone. Then wrap your arm around your teen as you walk back to the car. They’ll soak it in and remember forever that they grew up loved.

Your Turn

What about you? If you are past this season, what did you love best about raising tweens and teens? If you are in the parenting tweens/teens chapter, what are you enjoying right now? Leave your thoughts in the comments (or email me); I can’t wait to read them.

If you’re raising tweens and/or parenting tweens, be encouraged by reading the full “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…

Creat Family Connection Series

FAMILY ACTIVITIES
Know Your Child: One Way to Learn How Your Kid Feels Loved

INSPIRATIONAL STORIES
One Easy Way to Get to Know Your Kid
Parenting Tweens: Annoying Ways Tweens Show Their Parents They Love Them
7 Reasons Why Raising Tweens & Teens is the Best

CELEBRATING HOLIDAYS
Celebrating Real Love This Valentine’s Day With My Family

raising teens
Are you raising teens and tweens? Join this community of moms HERE.

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

Free eBook: Devotions for Kids & Families

(Inside: Devotions for families that will help create family connection, help families daily experience God, and increase gratitude. Get a free Devotions for Kids and Families eBook.)

Empowered Moms and Kids
For moms raising tweens and teens – inspiration, resources, and stories to lift you and your family up.

devotions kids families
Click here to grab the devotions for families with late elementary age kids ebook.

Have you ever asked your parents what they would do differently if they could go back in time and parent again?  

I asked my dad this and without hesitating, he said: I would get to know my kids more. As exactly they are. My dad is awesome – it surprised me that he felt like he could have gotten to know me and my two siblings better.

I’ve thought about his words often since becoming a parent. My heart’s desire is the same as his – I want to KNOW my kids.

But life gets so busy. After days when I’ve hustled my kids to school, focused them on their after-school homework, and driven them to their evening activities, I often find myself later wondering have I even really talked to my kids today?

I needed a tool to make sure I was connecting with the hearts of my children most days.

(Excluding the days we’re simply surviving – the “perfect” connection is not going to happen every day. Also to be noted, when parenting – our family focuses on one thing at a time. You will see lots of ideas on my blog, but rest assured – we keep it simple. We implement one idea at a time and take lots of breaks.)

So, I created a simple devotional that can be done in the car, around the dinner table or during tuck-ins. Not only does the family devotional help unlock my children’s hearts and voices, but it also lavishes other life-giving gifts.

The devotional…

  •     teaches your children that their voice is important.
  •     creates a home where they feel connected.
  •     builds family-relationship.
  •     teaches the truth of what it means to be a child of God – so valued and loved.
  •     opens our children’s eyes (and our eyes!) to see God at work all around them.
  •     helps our children (and us!) hear God’s voice.

Hear me explain more about how this devotional works and how it can empower your family as well.

We hope your family loves this devotional as much as our family does. Click here and you’ll get instant access to the freebie library. Check your email, the link and password are in there.

devotions kids families
Click here to grab the devotions for families with late elementary age kids ebook.

Be encouraged by the full “raise kids of faith” series.

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 Ways to Teach Your Kids The True Meaning of Christmas
A Busy Mom’s Christmas Prayer


TEACHING FAITH
5 Fantastic Devotionals that Help Create Forever Family Connections


TEACHING GRATITUDE
The Science Behind Why a Gratitude Journal Works (Raise Happy, Faith-Filled Tweens and Teens)

devotions kids families
Click here to grab the devotions for families with late elementary age kids ebook.

Join this community of mom 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, feel empowered in your personal growth, and celebrate the awesome momma you are.

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get inspiration, resources, and stories 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
being a mom

When Raising Big Kids, This ONE THING Will Help You Enjoy Mom Life More

(Inside: A tool to help you love being a mom. Motherhood is hard, and parenting is work, so all moms need this one simple way to enjoy the present more. Find excessive joy in being a mother.) 

Our family littered our mudroom with shoes as we filed into our home. One kid rushed to let out our golden doodle, my husband bounded upstairs to plug in his phone, and another son hurried to the bathroom.

But, me?

I melted into the living room armchair with the joy of a mom who just had someone serve her dinner. (Because a just waiter did, thank you all-things-good-things.) One-by-one, like the slow pattering of the start of rain, the rest of my family trickled into the living room to join me. 

Then…

It happened.

I saw my people, my home, my corner of the world with the same kind of wonder my sons did the first time they saw the ocean. Life paused for a sliver of a second. Every bone in my body felt the blessings of healthy boys, a warm home, being a mom…


Then, the next events unfolded in slow motion.

“You can’t stop smiling about making the B-team?” I said to my 7th grader. My tall, lanky oldest son trained/practiced every day (every day!) this summer to try and move up a basketball team. Today, the team postings confirmed his efforts paid off. 

“And you,” I turned to my middle son, “an A on your math test! We studied so hard! I’m so proud.” “Me too,” my middle son agreed as he grabbed a comic book and began happily flipping through.

Then, my husband, sensing our words-of-affirmation-love-language youngest son needed attention pulled him into a wrestling move, “Don’t forget this kid and his perfect spelling test score!” Our second grader giggled in glee.

We’d worked as a family to help each kid achieve his goals and even though we all know this doesn’t often happen – on this day, the stars aligned. Our family connected over our success. We felt tight. Joy dominated.

And there it was, right in front of me, as clear as the day – my sacred moment. See, I believe God slows down life for a millisecond and gifts us all a sacred moment.

In it, we can hear God say: Look around you! I am here! I see you! And I bless you beyond your wildest imagination! I paused the busyness just for you so you could really see and experience the joy of being a mom!  

The beauty of these moments is that the past seems irrelevant. I don’t feel the heartbreak of two miscarriages that squeezed tears out of my eyes every single day for at least six months. Or the sadness that lingered about moving away from my family and raising my kids far away from them. Those stresses led me down a path that stopped right here, right now in my living room where I’m grateful to be. 

Similarly, my future feels lighter because if I’m doing this parenting thing well enough or what my career holds ahead of me can’t take away this right now moment of joy. 

being a mom

Moms, that’s the secret. It is, it really is. Noticing our sacred moments is one simple way to enjoy mom life more.

.
So mommas, when the sacred moment is revealed us – we need to embrace it. Let go of sorrow of the past and worry about the future, even if it’s just for a moment (you know how we like to cling). Realize there’s power in letting our world pause, and leaning in to feel the right now blessings of being a mom. 

Noticing our sacred moments is how we enjoy our days more, motherhood more, and life more. It’s how we both pull love in and give it away big.

Then the spell broke in our living room – the dog growled, a kid yawned, and we said our goodnights. But before we dispersed, I leaned it. And it filled me up in more significant ways than I could ever have expected.

So, what about you? Did you notice your sacred moment today? 

Related Article: Moms of Big Kids, Have You Seen Your Sacred Moment Today?

Join this community of moms raising big kids…

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

You are parenting tweens and teens.

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

gifts for moms