Important Life Lessons Before College

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Hi everyone! For those in Michigan-what is up with these warmer temperatures!  I’m not going to question it, I’m just thankful for each day we don’t have to battle freezing temperatures, ice and snow!  Also, where did January go?  Usually it just drags by, but this year it has flown!  I’m not sure why, but I think it might have to do with the fact that time is racing too quickly as we prepare for our oldest to graduate from high school in June!

So I have had this panicky feeling over the past few months of trying to think of everything I need to teach her before she leaves the nest!  Now we have had 17 years to try to impart wisdom and knowledge to her but I’ve realized over the past couple of months that some things may have been overlooked.  Some of the basics she has been doing for a while-she does her own laundry, makes a mean bowl of mac and cheese and is driving herself to school and work.  However, I find myself randomly quizzing her on things: Do you know how to address and stamp a letter, write a check, make a dentist appointment and so on.  I’ve been teaching her about stranger danger since she was a toddler but I had a feeling of pure fear picturing her walking home from a college class at night!

When I step back and take a breath, I realize she will be okay.  We have taught her some of the most important things: love God, be thankful, love family, have a heart for service, treat others the way you want to be treated, work hard, and find some time for fun.   As she gets ready to transition into adulthood and test her wings out in the big world, I know she will have many more lessons to learn.  But as in everything, I have learned to give it all to God, she is His beloved child and I know He is with her each step of the way.

…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Matthew 28:20

So how about you veteran parents out there that have sent your babies off to college?  What should be on my list of things to know before you leave the nest?  I welcome your ideas in the comments!

~Blessings

Jen

The Joys of Raising Teenagers!

What I've learnedHello Readers!

As most of you probably know I am a mental health therapist. I see a variety of clients, including the “dreaded teenager.” Now I have a degree on the wall that says I’m qualified to counsel a lot of people, but I can tell you what I really know is from raising 4 children of  my own! My 12 year old twins grandchildren are helping to keep me current!  Before we go anywhere here let me tell you…you WILL survive! If I did it you can do it!!! Come on, lets all say it together!! YES WE CAN!!!

I met with 4 different teenagers today. One looked at her mother like she was the stupidest creature on earth! One dared tell her mom that she didn’t have to follow ANY of their rules and would do what she wanted (mom took it rather well I think, child was able to walk out of the room!). One told me she knew she had an attitude but most times couldn’t control it. One “didn’t like her mom’s tone of voice!!” Now as the mother of 4 GROWN children I can laugh at some of this behavior, because I know there is an end. I know that its hard, but teenagers are a LOT like toddlers, they need rules and consistency. If my children were to read this they would laugh and say I was the worst disciplinarian! Seriously, I was on a first name basis with the assistant principle who called me almost every day regarding my son. Looking back…I probably should have controlled him!! Yeah, and I can  nail jello to a tree too!!! With my oldest I used to say she had PMS, DMS, and AMS (pre, during and after!! We couldn’t catch a break). Now some of the little darlings sail through without a problem, but face it…most teens kind of turn into evil creatures between the ages of 13 and 18!! Like I said…the good news is, if you can hang in there, you get your little babies back and they grow up and give you wonderful grandchildren that you can spoil and send back home!!

I want to share this list of quotes I found. I found them quite entertaining.

#10
Mothers of teenagers know why animals eat their young. -Unknown

#9
Heredity is what sets the parents of a teenager wondering about each other. -Laurence J. Peter

#8
Adolescence is a period of rapid changes. Between the ages of 12 and 17, for example, a parent ages as much as 20 years. -Unknown

#7
You can tell a child is growing up when he stops asking where he came from and starts refusing to tell where he is going. -Unknown

#6
Adolescence is a new birth, for the higher and more completely human traits are now born. -G. Stanley Hall

#5
If you want to recapture your youth, just cut off his allowance. – Al Bernstein

#4
I tell my child, if I seem obsessed to always know where you’ve been, it is because my DNA will be found at the scene. – Robert Brault

#3
Mother Nature is providential. She gives us twelve years to develop a love for our children before turning them into teenagers. -William Galvin

#2
Raising teenagers is like nailing Jell-O to a tree. -Unknown

Finally, in honor of the upcoming prom season, here’s a quote to make you nervous:

#1
Chaperons don’t enforce morality; they force immorality to be discreet. -Judith Martin

Hope you enjoyed a little teen humor! Hang in there parents! You can do this…remember….you aren’t alone!!

Peace,

Julie