Parenting teens: staying close starts early.

by Jennifer Dyer

If I were to write a book about parenting teens, I would entitle it Before the Hormones Hit. From what I remember, what I have been told, and what I have observed, by the time children reach their teens much of the parenting work has been done and it’s time to reinforce.

So, start today, even if you only have little ones. Build into them. Take them out on dates. Find out what interests them and be a part of that. Go to their games and school events. Have lunch with them at school (at least when they’re in elementary–middle school might not go so well…). Play games as a family. Ride bikes together. Find a hobby you can all enjoy. Have fun.┬áDon’t wait until later.

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Parenting teens and other ages: backing up your spouse.

by Jennifer Dyer

How often do you disagree with your spouse when it comes to parenting issues? How do you handle it? Do you voice your opinion in front of the kids or wait until later when you and your spouse are alone?

I know some responses depend on the situation, but in a recent conversation with a friend I realized how important a united parental front can be. The person shared with me that when one parent feels isolated, without the support of their spouse, they are more likely to disengage from parenting. The person put it: “When you feel everyone is out to get you, you really don’t want to participate in the family and it makes setting limits and boundaries for the kids all the more difficult.”

Food for thought. Do I back my spouse up or do I tear him down in front of the kids?

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Tooth Fairy–why is mine different from hers?

So last night my eldest finally lost her front tooth, which has been hanging crooked for the last month. In her excited state, she declared she needed to write a note.

“Dear Tooth Fairy,

Do you know my friend Laine’s Tooth Fairy? She gives Laine $10 a tooth. I’m just wondering…”

The Tooth Fairy’s reply:

“Dearest Child,

All Tooth Fairies are different. That’s what makes us special. Maybe Laine’s grandpa slipped that Fairy a $20…”

My daughter’s reply:

“Well, can Grandpa call my Tooth Fairy?”

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