Ever notice how we seem to talk at our teens, instead of with them? I know I’m guilty of it, and I’ve definitely seen this happen with other families too: a parent talking to their teen as they just stand there with their arms crossed and a blank stare on their face. You can tell those kids aren’t listening; they are tolerating.
Parents, that’s not a conversation… and I know that’s it’s probably not the communication you strive for. My desire, like yours, is for something much deeper. I want a relationship, a conversation that freely flows both ways. And I’m not referring to the yelling kind.
If we long for this kind of relationship then why do we do this to our teens?
I understand how frustrating this stage of parenting can be. But, if you really want to cultivate a conversation then you might consider changing your approach.
That’s where we, as parents, get to make our daily interactions different. Here are three practical ways that we actually used with all five of our teens.
Ever wonder what your kids would tell a college professor about their homeschooling journey? Well, I found out what my daughter had to say after she submitted this paper for her ENC 1101.31 class when she was just a freshman at the university she attended.
October 10, 2006
Does “Home” + “School” = Freak?
What comes to mind when the words “home” and “school” are combined? Is homeschooling really just schooling at home? For many, it has quite a negative connotation, often rendering poor assumptions. People may think, “Does the kid have a social life, and is he/she even socially acceptable? How can they be challenged in that environment?” Often, the younger generation’s statements don’t differ much, “Wouldn’t the kid be bored all the time? How can he/she stand to be around their family all day every day? What about sports? Are they all nerds?” How might I know this? I was homeschooled, and while a few depictions of us may be true, some families, like my own, have put an entirely new twist on the concept.
Let me just begin by saying that, no, homeschooler’s aren’t always stereotyped. But since the lifestyle can be such a mystery for public and private school children, often it leaves room for some interesting and somewhat humorous responses. Every time I was asked growing up, “Where do you go to school?” I almost immediately felt like an alien when I saw the utter confusion on the kid’s faces at my reply. It’s not that I cared so much, I actually loved homeschooling, but I did find it more and more frustrating to explain as I got older. All thirteen years of my education, prior to college, were spent at my home; thirteen years I wouldn’t trade for any other experience.
College admissions tests are changing. Yes, the College Board is drafting a new SAT test, and the ACT is also being revised. Some say this is good; others think the tests are being “dumbed down”. Regardless of your view, change is coming.
For the past 22 years, I have been involved in the education process of children – mainly as the result of needing to know how to properly teach my five children with what was required to do so.
Over the years I’ve met with governors, lawmakers, and school board representatives in order to keep bureaucracy from placing undue regulations on parents who choose to educate their children. I frequently attend education forums as a homeschooling authority and/or liaison to share the needs of the community, as well as to learn what may be coming down the pipeline.
Recently I met one of the writers of the new SAT in an effort to get to the truth behind the rumors that have been circulating. What will be different with this test in the future?
Are you ready for convention? The saying, “A stitch in time saves nine” couldn’t be truer when it comes to preparing for your weekend. There is simply so much going on that if you aren’t careful you will blow the family budget, miss important presentations that you needed to hear, or find yourself lost in a sea of other confused moms.
Take it from me, with a little pre-planning you will feel less overwhelmed once you arrive at the conference. (more…)
Sitting on my back porch, while I enjoyed a beautiful sunset over the lake, brought a deep sense of satisfaction as I completed my “last first day” of homeschooling. As I observed this sunset I reflected on my day: a journey that I reluctantly agreed to has quickly come to an end. I thought through all the first day stresses that I have worked through for twenty years. “How will we get it all done? What gaps do I still need to address in the few weeks I have left? How do I finish this race well? Will my child be equipped for the next season of life? How did twenty years go by so fast?” (more…)
Learning to listen to your children is one of the most important things you can do to strengthen your relationship. Your children need you, no matter their age, and will continue to need you even as they reach adulthood and begin their own families. One of the ways you can be there for them is to listen to them. Truly listen.
This is difficult, I know. There are a lot of people and activities competing for our time that create a number of hindrances to really listening. Here are a few I’ve noticed in my own life: (more…)