Preparing Your Teens for More – MBFLP 205

“You think this is hard – just wait till they’re teenagers!” the stranger told Melanie as she pushed our four young children through the Atlanta zoo. But that’s a cultural expectation, not a foregone conclusion. Why can’t the teen years be productive years of growth, maturity, and deeper fellowship between parent and son or daughter? This episode we’re looking at positive ways to build up your teens during these critical years of transition from childhood to independence!

The Remarkable Potential of Teenagers

The oncologist looked at Hal skeptically.

“Well,” he conceded, “if you feel up to it, you can travel. And you can speak from the platform. But you can’t stand around shaking hands afterward – your immune system is going to be completely shot.”

The results had come back from the biopsy – Hal had advanced lymphoma, and he was about to start chemotherapy. The good doctor from Duke had listened while we explained what we do in our ministry, and travel was a concession – no compromise on the personal contact.

We had hardly gotten this far explaining it to our family when our teenagers burst out, “Don’t worry, Dad – we’ll take care of the book fair!”

Our oldest still at home were 16, 14, and 12. We might have been a little skeptical, but at the time, we didn’t have a choice. Hal was sidelined, Melanie would be busy counseling and praying with parents, and somebody needed to handle the business part of our resource table. If teens are who we had, then teens would have to do the job.

And it has made a world of difference!

Don’t Underestimate Teenagers

So many people consider the teen years and react with alarm, “Batten down the hatches! Duck and cover!” And yet, we look back and history and wonder. Laura Ingalls Wilder was put in charge of a school before she turned 16. John Quincy Adams was 14 when he became the sole translator for America’s embassy to Catherine the Great of Russia. Paul Tripp calls it “The Age of Opportunity;” why shouldn’t we expect more from the teenage years?

What started as a necessity in our family developed into a tradition – ever since that day, our teenagers and their younger siblings have managed our booth and many aspects of our travel. They shoo us out into the aisle, telling us, “You need to be talking with the parents that need help! Let us take care of this stuff.” They load and unload, set up and manage. They deal with customers of all ages, polite or combative. And they take turns in charge of the booth and their siblings, watching the younger ones and passing on job skills to the middle group.

Sometimes they even challenge us! Our third son made it a point of honor to learn to drive our 15-passenger van and trailer in any situation – threading night-time traffic alone in downtown Phoenix, backing the trailer into a tight parking space, or turning the whole rig around on a one-lane road that suddenly became impassable. Hal had to step up and improve his own skills to keep from calling the 16-year-old to get us out of a spot!

They became so involved in the business and support of our ministry, we naturally included them in all our planning. “We need some products to keep the younger children quiet while you talk with their parents,” they told us. We challenged them to come up with ideas, and they located sources for the swords and rubber band guns we sell alongside our books on parenting and marriage.

Three of our teens took what they were learning from our own business and bought another for themselves. The one who took the greatest part at the age of 13 is majoring in entrepreneurship in college and has already attracted venture capitalists to the businesses he’s started.

One of our teens became a freelance journalist at the age of 17 and was writing investigative articles for a statewide magazine before he left for college.  Another taught himself guitar and mandolin and joined a bluegrass band at a local coffee house. His elderly bandmates used to tease him, “I’ve got blue jeans older than you, Curly,” and he’d smile and reply, “But I’ve got more hair than all of you, combined.”

What made the difference? For all our teens, they found an area where they could serve, then we encouraged them to step up. By the time they were ready for college, they’d already been participating in grownup activities for two or three years, and they were unafraid to face the new opportunities which opened up in college and their early careers.

Want to read more? CLICK HERE!


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Well Planned Gal

Rebecca from the Well Planned Gal understands the challenges of working within a budget, managing multiple children, and trying to keep up with a variety of information. That is why she created popular planner bundles!

Combine organizational tools with year long encouragement by bundling Well Planned Day planners with the popular Family Magazine. For a limited time, Save 30% with one of her popular planner bundles. Each bundle contains 2 planner products with a one-year subscription to Family Magazine.

Click Here to Go to Well Planned Gal


When DAD Is The Teacher – MBFLP 204

When Dad is the Homeschool Teacher

Surveys and studies have shown that over 90% of the time, Mom is the primary teacher in a homeschooling family. But that doesn’t account for everyone, and sometimes Dad is the teacher, not Mom. How does that change the homeschooling dynamic? What is it like being a Dad at a support group meeting full of Moms? How can the homeschooling father find the support and encouragement he needs when so much is aimed at the concerns and struggles of mothers? This episode, we look at the question of what happens when Dad is the teacher.

When Dad is the homeschool teacher


When Dad is the Homeschool Teacher

Some years ago a survey found that something like 96% of homeschool families report that Mom is the main teacher in the home. That number may have changed with the rise of more digital and co-op programs, but the bottom line remains – at 90% demographics, you have to expect most of the support will be directed toward mothers, not fathers.

But there are many situations where Dad might be the main instructor at home, whether by plan, by accident, or by temporary circumstance. And if Dad’s a homeschool teacher, he needs support and encouragement just like Mom would. How does that work out?

First, it’s nothing to apologize for. While the Bible talks about the instruction of both parents, whether as a couple or individually, it frequently puts the expectation on the father to make sure the children are being trained up “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4). Modern work patterns make it difficult for fathers to personally carry out the 24/7 spirit of Deuteronomy 6:7 – “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” If a Dad does have the opportunity by working from home or whatever, that’s a blessing in itself.

No matter who’s teaching, you’ll need to communicate with your mate. Keep her in the loop. Give her a daily update. Reach out during the day with prayer requests or interesting news. Coordinate on decisions. And give yourself a mental break at the end of the day before she comes home from work, so you can ease her return to the family after the distraction and stress of the workplace.

As the dad, you may not be as tuned in to your child’s non-verbal and emotional communication. Get your wife’s input and trust her instincts. (On the plus side, you are likely to experience less stress and uncertainty over choices and directions for the homeschool. We tell moms to recruit their husbands’ decisiveness to break the impasse they experience).

Do be sensitive to your children’s childhood. We dads get really goal-oriented and sometimes we don’t allow for their normal levels of distraction, fatigue, and so forth. They’re kids!

Understand their differences

Understand the learning differences between your sons and your daughters. Boys tend to be noisy, physical, active, and just hard to teach. Moms often don’t instinctively get this, and you do. But you might need some insight into what makes your daughters special.

For example, our sons like the teaching to be emphatic, confident, engaging, challenging. They like to debate. And they like the room well lit and cold, preferably with a breeze in their faces. We understand this. Our daughters like things more warm and nurturing, affirming, peaceable, gentle rather than stirring. You need to speak both languages, if you have both sons and daughters to teach.

One thing I find I CANNOT do is divide my attention. If I’m teaching our kids or interacting with them in any way, I have to focus on them. I simply don’t have the ability to continue working on my laptop and have a conversation or lead an activity at the same time. The multitasking gift is a great boon to homeschooling moms; I do things like keep a notebook handy, and anytime I’m interrupted (a billion times per day), make a note of what I’m doing. That way I can get back on task without trying to keep half my brain on hold while I talk with my child.

We all need support

Finally, recognize that all homeschool teachers need support. Join a local group, even if you’re the only father in the mix. Yes, there will be some conversations you just can’t connect with, but there are so many other things which are important. Your kids need the peer group, there will be activities and opportunities that enrich their learning and make your teaching easier, and you’ll be less isolated yourself.

— Hal


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Well Planned Gal

Rebecca from the Well Planned Gal understands the challenges of working within a budget, managing multiple children, and trying to keep up with a variety of information. That is why she created popular planner bundles!

Combine organizational tools with year long encouragement by bundling Well Planned Day planners with the popular Family Magazine. For a limited time, Save 30% with one of her  popular planner bundles. Each bundle contains 2 planner products with a one-year subscription to Family Magazine.  

Click Here to Go to Well Planned Gal


 

Win-Win Arguments – MBFLP 203

It’s inevitable that we will have conflicts with the ones we love – the simple fact of fallen people living in a fallen world means accidents, misunderstandings, expectations – and yes, downright sin sometimes. When they happen, though, how do we turn the unavoidable conflict into something constructive? Can we argue in a way the honors God and leaves our relationship stronger? Is it all about the win, or is there a bigger goal in mind?  This week, we talk about choosing your battles carefully and aiming to fight so we both win!



Discipline Without Breaking Their Spirit – MBFLP 202

Kids need discipline, and in fact, God tells us that a child who doesn’t receive discipline has been rejected by his parents! (Hebrews 12) Discipline, after all, is discipleship – it’s meant to teach, not just punishBut there are good and very bad ideas for administering the needed correction to our kids. How can you discipline your child without breaking their spirit? That’s what we’re talking about this episode.



Dealing with Disrespect – MBFLP 201

“My son shows me disrespect.” “How can I deal with the disrespect from our kids?” “What can I do to teach my children to be more respectful?” It’s something we all have to deal with as parents, and yet it’s hard – and some of us struggle more than we expected! This episode, we look at the very real question of respect – teaching our kids to show it, dealing with them when they don’t, where this may be coming from, and what God expects from all of us!

Mom and Dad Parent Differently – That’s Okay! – MBFLP 200

What can you do when Mom and Dad have different perspectives on parenting? We get this question a lot, and it’s a concern – but in many cases, it may be a feature, not a bug! “There is unity of spirit, but diversity of gifts – just like in the church,” we think – listen in and see why!

References

Abigail Shrier, “‘Knock it Off’ and ‘Shake it Off’: The Case for Dad-Style Parenting”
Wall Street Journal, 3/12/18 – online (subscription)

The commentary on Albert Mohler’s podcast, “The Briefing,” may be helpful – 3/16/18, segment 3

 



New Hacks for Family Travel – MBFLP 199

We’ve traveled about 150,000 miles for ministry and business the past several years, so we’ve learned a few things about taking a big family on big trips for small budgets. This year, we have several new tips, trick, hacks, and advice on budget travel, discount lodging, and cheap food along the way – it’s our annual “Cheap Family Travel” update, and it may change the way you look at vacation or business trips forever!

Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!

 

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor, The Miracle Season!

Based on the inspiring true story of West High School girl’s volleyball team. After the tragic death of the school’s star player Caroline “Line” Found, the remaining team players must band together under the guidance of their tough-love coach in hope of winning the state championship.

Visit here to learn more.

 

 

Business and Marriage – Making it Work – MBFLP 198

This page may contain affiliate links which earn us a small commission while not costing you anything extra.

Have you ever thought about “coming home” from the corporate world and running a family business? A lot of homeschooling families dream about that day … but we found there are some surprising discoveries when your mate is now your business partner and co-worker!

This episode, Hal and Melanie sit down with their friends Larry and Sue Pruett of Side-by-Side Business, to talk about work-life balance, homeschooling while running a business, and what all four of us learned in the transition from 9-t0-5 life to working from home with our spouses!

LINKS AND RESOURCES

Learn more about Larry and Sue Pruett’s family business journey at Side-By-Side Business

Ancient Paths Christian Bookstore

The Kanban work management tool, TRELLO – trello.com 

Take the Proven Amazon Course and learn how to become an Amazon Seller from home! This course is chock-full of information for selling online. We took it ourselves!

Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!

 

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor, The Miracle Season!

Based on the inspiring true story of West High School girl’s volleyball team. After the tragic death of the school’s star player Caroline “Line” Found, the remaining team players must band together under the guidance of their tough-love coach in hope of winning the state championship.

Visit here to learn more.


Adulting – MBFLP 197

Studies are showing that high school seniors are less prepared for independent adult life than their parents and grandparents were, and psychologists are saying “Twenty-five is the new fifteen.” Does it have to be that way? Can’t we raise teens who are ready to step into grown up life? What are some practical steps for teaching adult skills? This episode, we look at “adulting” and how to get kids on track for responsibility – and success – as grownups!

 

Interested in the books we mentioned? These affiliate links take you to Amazon but also support this program at no cost to you!

Escaping the Endless Adolescence (Joseph and Claudia Allen)

The Vanishing American Adult (Ben Sasse)

 


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!

 

The animated feature, ‘ICE DRAGON: LEGEND OF THE BLUE DAISIES,’ blooms on big screens nationwide for a two-day family-friendly Adventure. Take an amazing journey to an enchanted world that holds a secret…where hope is in a song! In select cinemas nationwide March 24 and 26 only. If you missed the live event, purchase a copy for your home library on Blue Ray, Digital or DVD.

Visit here to learn more.


Love and Sickness – MBFLP 196

 

 

To love and to cherish … in sickness and in health

For most of us, getting married at our healthy young-adult peak, the thought of life-rattling sickness is just a theoretical thing … most of us haven’t suffered more than an annual flu or a sprained ankle. Yet living in a fallen world, we can count on encountering an injury, a serious illness, or some other medical issue that calls us to account for that promise. How do we show love in sickness – whether our mate’s the one under the weather, or we are?

We’ve been there (both of us) so join us for a full episode of reasons to show extra love – and ideas how to make it work – when there’s sickness in the family!

 



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