lifeguard on duty

photo taken October 29, 2017 in California

Do you feel like a lifeguard as a parent? There is such a fine balance between trust|openness|limitations|independence when parenting teens. There isn’t an exact science. I know many parents would say that we are too strict and others would say we are too lax. Lately Danny, the girls and I feel like we have come a long way and are making progress. We have had some inspiration that has helped us recently. I thought I would share some of them here and would love to know what is helping you at your house.

FAMILY SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDE by Anna Macfarlane was a great conversation vehicle for us. It really helped us see that we aren’t maybe as far apart as we thought we were on the ideas around social media. I especially loved that the lessons had questions for the teens to ask the parents along with questions for parents to ask teens. It is great.

THE SELF DRIVEN CHILD: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives. I don’t have a straight A student in my home. And I wasn’t a straight A student either. We have had a few years of focusing that way, and truly they weren’t good for any of us. This book opened my eyes to a different perspective and tools that not only help us survive when things aren’t going well, but change our environment here to help us thrive. I think it might be my very favorite parenting book that I have read.

SPARK: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. This book helped me see the need for more movement and exercise in our family. I was drawn to this book because of issues I was seeing in focus, grades, and confidence in my girls that can be brutal in upper elementary-high school. We have made changes. Ellie bought and pays for a gym membership, Kate is competing on the high school lacrosse team, Sophie is in competitive tumbling, I increased my yoga attendance and just began running again (Danny has always been great in this area!). I do love music and lessons, but the more I learn about the correlation of exercise and mental/emotional wellness, the greater pull I feel towards athletics. Had I known then what I know now, I would have made the sports we tried when they were young a greater priority.

I am grateful for THIS article. The parents desire to make all of us more aware allowed for a great discussion at our house that I hope will remain open and continue.

KNOW HOW MOM: I signed up for her parenting prompts that I enjoyed. We also bought her Buddy Quest books for my girls. Several times on her IG account I have stopped, so grateful for the perspective she offers.

THIS talk this weekend was one of my very favorites. It touched my heart has a parent.

I have mentioned both of these before, but the podcasts from Brooke Castillo and Jody Moore have really helped me put parenting in perspective. I have learned to see the root of many of my anxieties as a parent. Analyzing my thoughts and separating their choices and decisions from who I am as a person has allowed for a greater love and respect between us. I am so grateful for all that I have, and will continue to learn from them.

Monthly dates: In our regular living, I definitely have time one on one with each of my girls. Along with that, there is something greater about scheduling something and making time for it each month. I meet my girls for lunch (generally take them out) during the school day every month. They LOVE being checked out. We work hard to get them back before the bell rings for their next class. They choose where we eat, and I LOVE sitting across from them to hear all about what is going on that week in their lives. It is one of my favorite things about my month. I think I initially got that idea from 71Toes (I have learned a lot from her as well.)

How are you balancing the lifeguard duties in your home? I would love to know any tips or resources that have helped your family. We are making progress…and have plenty of room for improvement!

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