Posts Tagged ‘kids’
Wednesday, May 30th, 2012
My teenagers are part of the technology generation. Computers, gaming systems, cell phones, and ipods have always been part of their lives. They’re texting, checking Facebook, and going out on YouTube in their spare time. The more connected our kids become to the world, the less connected they can become to their parents.
Never has a generation been more influenced by the media. People are quick to tell our kids how to think, how to look, how to feel, how to dress, and what to believe. As a result, I think they need the foundation of family more than ever. We should be the number one influence in our children’s lives.
Think about how often you have indepth, meaningful conversations with your teenagers. If it’s not as often as you’d like, change that. Never under-estimate how important you are to their long-term success. Get back to basics and communicate with your kids…before they become strangers.
Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012
Teenagers can be selfish people, often wanting what they want when they want it. They can be forgetful, too.
“Oh, sorry, Mom, I forgot to call.” or “Sorry, I was going to cut the grass, but I forgot.”
Part of their consequence is an opportunity to listen to us as we express our disappointment. Sometimes the lecture gets a little long.
My thirteen year old put it all into perspective for me yesterday. He had his spring orchestra concert at school last night. It started at 7:30. He was expected to be there by 7:15. After an early dinner, I headed out to run a few errands, bumping into some friends. A short conversation turned into a lengthy conversation and I completely forgot about the concert.
As I returned home, my son was waiting, dressed up for the concert with tears running down his face. It was 7:35. I convinced him to get in the car and we drove to the school. On the way he explained that the seventh graders played first (he’s a seventh grader), then the eighth graders and finally the combined orchestra. I told him he’d be there in time for the combined group but that did little to console him. He didn’t want to be late.
When we arrived we could hear the eighth graders playing. He headed to the music room to unpack his instrument while I took a seat in the auditorium. My heart ached because I could see how upset he felt. When the seventh graders returned to the stage to join the group, my son took his seat with everyone else. He played beautifully.
I was proud of him. I explained the problem to his teacher who was also proud of him for coming inspite of the situation. On the way home I apologized again. He had little to say, clearly disappointed. At bedtime, I apologized once more and he said, “It’s okay, Mom, I forgive you.” He smiled at me and gave me a hug. He meant it.
My son reminded me how important it is to forgive each other. Hopefully the next time my kids forget something, I’ll remember the power of those words.
“It’s okay, I forgive you.”
Wednesday, May 9th, 2012
My youngest is thirteen and rapidly turning into a man. Last night he showed me his newly aquired budding patch of arm-pit hairs. I’m proud to say that he’s confidently moving into manhood, however it wasn’t long ago that I worried about him.
He was quiet, too quiet for me. Turns out, it wasn’t that he didn’t have anything to say, it’s that he didn’t think anyone was listening. I was too busy telling him how to be, how to feel, what to think and what to like. I wasn’t listening. I was drowning him in my version of “wisdom”.
His ideas are different than mine. He’s a kid who reads. He reads more books in a year than I’ve read in my lifetime. When I learned to shut up and listen, I started to get an education. My youngest is a philosopher with a very creative mind. The more interested I became in the way he thinks, the more ideas he shared with me and the more excited he became about life. I’m humbled by him.
We would all be wise to spend less time telling our kids how to be and more time listening to their ideas. And hurry! Before you know it, they have arm-pit hairs.
Wednesday, April 4th, 2012
Unlike many parents, I’m opposed to my son having sex in high school. I don’t think the the emotions involved are worth the likely heartache for him or for his girlfriend. However, I realize it’s ultimately his choice so I want him to understand the potential consequences. I want him to be respectful. I want him to be honest. I want him to care about the girl as much as he cares about himself.
Fortunately, I travel back and forth to Milwaukee with him on a regular basis, giving us lots of time to talk. The conversations that would have been awkward have become easy. As I listen to him, I understand how much focus there is on sex in high school these days. Our kids are bombarded with sexual content from music, television, movies, YouTube, etc… Oral sex is no longer viewed as sex; it’s just part of making out.
Wake Up parents. Talk to your sons. Your influence has never been more important!
Wednesday, February 15th, 2012
My parents raised me a set of rules that I’ve passed on to my children. They’re the rules of success, namely, treat everyone with respect, do your best, and do the right thing just because it’s the right thing to do. My kids repeat them every night as part of their bedtime routine and we’ve had numerous discussions about them over the years. I think they make for a great foundation. However, maybe there should be a fourth rule: Expect the unexpected.
I think we’d all agree that life can be unfair, that bad things happen to good people. Adversity crosses all of our paths from time to time. I’ve learned that working through those challenges can lead to happiness. When you set a goal and work really hard to achieve it, overcoming some obstacles along the way, the sense of accomplishment is huge and it can fill you with joy.
So respect everyone, do your best, do the right thing, and expect the unexpected. The end result will include both success and happiness.
Wednesday, January 18th, 2012
I de-cluttered and organized my house during the first two weeks of January. In the process I got rid of a lot of “stuff” including piles of paper. It felt great. But I’ve been in this position before and my old habits seem to creep back in, destroying all the hard work. I resolved to make this year different.
A very organized friend suggested I get a timer and spend 15 minutes a day keeping my house in shape. She suggested I enlist my kids in the effort. So last week I tried that. “Come on boys, just 15 minutes,” I said.
Wow! This is a brilliant idea. 15 minutes goes by super fast and my kids love the timer. Of course, as soon as it dings, they’re done. However, they can accomplish a lot in 15 minutes with just the tiniest bit of direction. This works so well that we only have to do it five days a week. Seriously, the three of us, working together and presto! I’m organized and my house will be clean forever!!
So try it. Add a little “Timer Time” to your life and let me know how it turns out.
Wednesday, January 11th, 2012
Seriously! All I’ve ever needed is a timer? Once the clutter is gone;once the stuff has been taken to Goodwill, apparently 15 minutes a day with the help of your kids will keep it that way, FOREVER!
Just set the timer and go! At least that’s what Mary says. We’re going to give it a try at my house.
Wednesday, November 30th, 2011
It’s extremely rewarding for parents to watch their children succeed, especially when success comes from years of disciplined effort. But disciplined effort is only part of the equation. At 6’8″ plus, my 15 year old has the gift of height. He’s also been blessed with great coaches and mentors over the last four years who have helped him develop both in basketball and in life. Now as a freshman, he feels privileged to be playing on his high school’s talented varsity team. But what’s most impressive to me is the attitude of the other young men on his team. They work hard every day to help each other improve. There are no prima donnas, just a bunch of kids putting everything they have on the court. What they haven’t mastered yet in execution, they easily make up for in heart. Watching them cheer for each other’s success is priceless. They’ve started the season 2-0 and I can hardly wait for the next game.
Success in life is a lot like basketball. It’s about hard work; but it’s also about the quality of your teammates. Who’s on your team? Do the people in your life contribute to your success or do they hold you back? Do you contribute to their success? How deep is your bench? Becoming a champion in life has a lot to do with your ability to recruit great talent. So take a look at your roster and if necessary add some players that can make a difference. Work on building an amazing personal franchise because you’re worth it.