Middle School Q & A – MBFLP 208

Real life Q and A from parents like you with middle schoolers

Nobody told us what to expect … babies and toddlers we read about, and people warned us in hushed tones about the dreadful teen years, but nobody told us, “Just wait till they’re in middle school!” This week on Facebook Live we took questions from parents of pre-teens, asking them “What are you having struggles with?” That’s the meat of this week’s podcast – real live Q&A about dealing with the challenges of tweens!

Real life Q and A from parents like you with middle schoolers

Whether you call them pre-teens, tweens, middle-schoolers, or something else, your child will go through a transitional period between “clearly a little kid” to “definitely a teenager.” That catches most of us by surprise. Why is that? Probably because we’re anticipating the physical changes – his voice cracks, she starts her cycle, he’s got a proud new whisker, she is starting to get a figure. Before those outward changes appear, there’s a tidal wave of hormones that start the body’s transformation, and those hormones cause all sorts of effects in their thinking, their emotions, and even their spiritual lives.

What’s more important, our families stumble into a relationship minefield at this point. If we don’t recognize what’s happening and handle it right, we can end up with strained, bent, or broken relationships with our pre-teens.

But it’s also an opportunity. If we can come alongside our sons and daughters during this time and give them understanding, guidance, and encouragement – as well as discipleship and discipline when needed – we can lay foundations for a great relationship during the exciting years ahead!

Questions we addressed … 

7:21 – They’re so addleheaded in school
11:21 – Highly emotional but lacking in perspective
13:03 – They make wild assertions with no basis in reality
14:16 – The personal challenge of discipleship
14:56 – How to manage a changing school situation
17:37 – What about transitioning to adulthood – even with special needs
20:32 – Suddenly, there’s social anxiety
23:36 – He’s struggling in school and hates it
26:35 – A normally friendly boy growing quiet and withdrawn
28:01 – Tips for overcoming shyness

Resources we recommended …

Our new book, No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope

Read reviews here

Dianne Craft’s Brain Integration Therapy Manual

Our growing selection of classic, character-building audiobooks

Teaching Kids Self-Control – MBFLP 207

This episode we deal with a perennial problem in parenting – how in the world do we teach our kids self-control? The entertainment and collegiate culture may celebrate raw emotion and thoughtless self-expression – if it’s “authentic” it’s immune from criticism – but the Bible says differently. What’s more, every parent knows that what you might laugh about when they’re two, can wreck their lives when they’re twenty … and make your home intolerable when they’re sixteen. So what can we do to start – and continue – teaching the critical habit of self-control?


 

New
by
Hal and Melanie Young
CLICK HERE to find out more! 

 


What Does the Bible Tell Us?

The Scriptures warn against being led by our impulses and appetites. The Proverbs are full of warnings about the outcome of anger, drunkenness, laziness, gluttony, lust … TLDR, it doesn’t end well for the person “whose god is their belly, who set their minds on earthly things.” (Philippians 3:19)

Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:21-22 list “self-control” alongside love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness, as a sign of the Holy Spirit’s work in someone. That says it’s important, and it also should encourage us to pray for it – for our children and ourselves!

Our children are our disciples and they learn from our example … whether good or bad, and as Jesus said, “everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.” (Luke 6:40 ESV).  That should encourage us to try to be the kind of persons we want our kids to become.

Some Practical Ideas

Feelings are real but they may not be accurate. The Lord tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things …” (Jeremiah 17:9) so we can’t trust every feeling that comes up.  Talk with your kids about what they’re feeling and why they think that is. Help them discover whether there’s really a reason to feel so angry or weepy or fearful.

Realize there are times when they really can’t control their emotions.  The pre-teen years are so filled with hormones, it is nearly impossible for the young adolescent to handle them. When they’re in an emotional storm, you may need to comfort and calm them before you can have a rational conversation again. This will pass; when they settle down, it’s good to have that discussion with them.

Help them see that self-control (and self-discipline) offers many rewards. A child who can keep his temper or his tears in check is not as likely to be bullied. If they learn to rein in emotional outbursts and blurted observations, they can save themselves a lot of embarrassment and apologies. And learning to defer their immediate desires in order to finish a task or reach toward a goal will be great preparation for a useful adulthood.

Encourage them to reach up to adult roles early. When ours are 12- or 13 years old, we make a formal transition – they’re no longer “little kids” but now “young adults, in training.” We encourage them to take more responsibility for themselves and contribute more to the work around the house – with more freedom and privilege granted as they take on more responsibility. And our parenting has to transition from “direction” to “advice” as they mature – we want to them to be ready to step into full, independent adulthood sooner rather than later, and that means a lot of coaching and advice to get them prepared.

Teaching Self-Control is a Long Process

It starts as soon as you teach them to dress themselves, go to the potty, and come when you call. It won’t end until they’re fully capable and on their own! But as they grow up, keep the goal in mind – a fully matured, self-disciplined, responsible man or woman after all those years of discipleship. With that goal ahead, you’ll be ready to capitalize on every opportunity to encourage and guide them.

 

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

 



Best of HIRL: Knights in Training

Free homeschool podcast about Heather Haupt's book, Knights in TrainingRaising boys can be tricky business, no? And if we have a heart to see our boys really change the world with solid character, big ideas, and compassionate hearts, we can feel defeated when we see them being goofy and a little out of control as kids.

That’s exactly why we wanted to have a solid conversation with friend and author Heather Haupt, who has written a book about teaching our boys what it means to take the high road and be “knights” who fight for honor and protect the weak in our world.

Heather has hands-on tools and plenty of encouragement to share. We love this episode!


SHOW NOTES:

Heather Haupt.com
Knights in Training
Sandy Cove Family Camp – Homeschool Week

Recommended Resources:

None

Get Social With Us:

Follow Fletch/Kendra:
Fletch Twitter
Kendra Twitter

Follow the Studio Dogs:
Betty the Surf Dog – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Website
Rasta The Chocolate Lab – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Website

Previous Episodes Mentioned:
Parenting Principles over Formulas with Heather Haupt – Episode 142

Music clips used on this episode:
None used


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.


 

Showing LOVE after Valentine’s Day is OVER!

Showing LOVE after Valentine's Day is Over ... with The Real Kathy Lee Valentine’s Day is a fun holiday for me as a mom. I so enjoy getting up early to write my kids love notes, set the table with candles and red, sparkly runners and cook a special breakfast. I want my children to know on this day that they are loved!
Valentine's Day Once Valentine’s Day was over, I started questioning my attitude towards the other 364 days of the year. Did I work hard to make sure my kids know they were loved everyday? If so, how do I accomplish that and how do I encourage you to love your kids every February 15th – February 13

I came up with a few things…

  1. Write love notes throughout the year. Be creative. Write on their bathroom mirror with lipstick, leave notes on the pillows, tape notes to the back of the seat where they sit in the car, put notes in their books, in their backpacks, in their lunchboxes. Share specific things you love about them or positive things you have noticed them doing.
  2. Spend TIME with them.  I recently saw a news clip about young children and tablet time. The reporter stated that it is fine for young children to be on devices as long as adults were engaged with the children. They showed a video of one child and two adults sitting on a sofa. All three people were on their own device. This is NOT what I am talking about. Real time with your kids means devices are put away. Conversations are happening. Dinner Time, time in the car, while tucking in at night, etc… In order to have a real relationship with anyone, you MUST spend time with him or her.
  3. Honor their work. If your child paints a picture for you, hang it up. If they want to sing you a song, stop what you are doing and listen to it (it usually takes less than two minutes). If they want to read you their story, listen! Honoring their work will teach them that their work matters!
  4. Be careful with your conversations. We have all been guilty of getting on the phone with a girlfriend and firing off. Maybe you were upset with a friend, your partner, or even your child? If you think your child is busy playing and not paying attention, WRONG. They are listening to every word. Decide to share positive things instead… about your friend, your partner, and your child. Words are powerful so choose them carefully.
  5. Create a home that is welcoming for your children and their friends. I am honored when kids say they feel comfortable in my home. I love it when my kids want us to host the party, the bible study, and the special event. I want every one who walks into my home to feel welcomed and relaxed. Hopefully, your children will want to follow your lead and have that kind of home when they grow up and leave the nest.

I am far from perfect as a mom. However, I am confident that my kids will know that I love them and I want them to grow up and love well.

How will you show love today???

Thanks for listening. If you have topics you would like for me to discuss or people you would like to hear from, let me know. Just email me at kathy@thehomegrownpreschooler.com or shoot me a message on social media.

 

Find a way to #sayyes today.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review on iTunes!!!

Thank you to The Homegrown Preschooler for sponsoring this Podcast! Check out the blog post Kathy mentioned, Farmhouse Schoolhouse, to read more about A Year of Playing Skillfully.

Also, to thank you for listening, you can receive a 10% discount on any purchase at

The Homegrown Preschooler by using the code, THEREALKATHYLEE.

 

 

When You Lose Your Junk (with Ashley Smoot)

When You Lose Your Junk - with Ashley Smoot and the Real Kathy LeeToday’s show was full of honesty. We covered some topics that have come up from conversations with moms over the past couple of months. First, we chatted about how and why we ALL lose our JUNK with our kids sometimes. You know what I mean. Those times when you yell, freak out, and act like a lunatic at them. Please tell me, you have had those moments too. I totally have lost it with my kids, too many times. I share my suggestion to look inward and try and reflect on the why? If I am being honest, I usually lose it because I fail to prepare, communicate, or take necessary steps to avoid the conflict. Both Ashley and I shared a personal story of losing our junk and what we learned afterwards. I always suggest asking your children for forgiveness and own your part in the situation.

After we had some online therapy during the podcast about losing our junk, we discussed some other issues that had been brought up recently. We talked about what to do when you feel completely overwhelmed and how to deal with unrest between the adults in the home. In the end, I think we noticed that we mentioned the words, rest, grace and forgiveness a lot. Pretty sure, it is because we all need those things to survive this parenting thing. Thanks for listening. If you have topics you would like for me to discuss or people you would like to hear from, let me know.

Just email me at kathy@thehomegrownpreschooler.com or shoot me a message on social media.

 

 

Find a way to #sayyes today.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review on iTunes!!!

Thank you to The Homegrown Preschooler for sponsoring this Podcast! Check out the blog post Kathy mentioned, Farmhouse Schoolhouse, to read more about A Year of Playing Skillfully.

Also, to thank you for listening, you can receive a 10% discount on any purchase at

The Homegrown Preschooler by using the code, THEREALKATHYLEE.

 

 

Dealing with Parental Guilt – MBFLP 192

A recent study reported that parents experience 23 “pangs of guilt” every week about their parenting decisions. Surely we’re not all ruining our children, destroying the planet, and failing in every regard. So what can we do about nagging guilt feelings as Mom or Dad? This episode we talk about real guilt, false guilt, and how to deal with both kinds Biblically!

“THE ‘GUILTY TRUTH’: New Research Reveals Top Reasons for Parental Guilt”, PR Newswire (by Farm Rich), 9/13/17

 

 

Best of HIRL: Transparent Parenting

For the rest of the year, we will be running a “Best of” series of the Homeschooling IRL episodes. Many of these episodes were earlier episodes that you might have missed. Enjoy!


1428878305523How important is it for us to practice transparent parenting with our children? What should you do when your children ask you questions that are just too personal or too painful to answer? If we do practice transparency, will our kids simply follow our example?

In this episode, we sit down with marriage and family therapist, Chris Oneth, to discuss the topic of transparency in our parenting. We answer these questions and many more as we talk through this very difficult topic.

Join us as we discuss the importance of being honest with our kids and share techniques for walking into the difficult conversations. We share with our listeners how the gospel helps us to conquer our fears. We also address the error of parenting from a place of shame and as always we encourage you to celebrate the freedom that comes when we embrace the grace of God.

Join us on this episode as we encourage you to press into your anxiety, to get real in your marriage, and to practice transparency with your children.

Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

 


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!


We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Sony and their new movie, The Star, the Story of the First Christmas – Coming in Theaters November 17th!

Visit TheStarMovie.com to learn more.


Best of Homeschooling IRL: Unrealistic Expectations

Free Homeschooling podcast about parenting with unrealistic expectations.

In this Best of Homeschooling IRL episode, Fletch and Kendra chat with Kathy Lee, mom of many and co-author of The Homegrown Preschooler. Kathy is a child development specialist who has homeschooled and raised kids and now speaks all over the country to parents (often with several of her kids in tow!)

We discuss the growing trend of high academic unrealistic expectations at younger ages, play-based preschool, and developing relationships with our young kids and teens that last well into their adulthood.

 

EPISODE TIMELINE
3:10 Fluff – Chocolate Labs and Newsies! 
12:28 Unrealistic Expectations – Part 1 Kathy Lee
30:25 Unrealistic Expectations – Part 2 Kathy Lee
42:23 The show is over. Goodbye!


SHOW NOTES:

Recommended Resources:
The Homegrown Preschooler
KathyHLee.com – personal blog
Betty the Surf Dog – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Website
Rasta The Chocolate Lab – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Website
Fletch Twitter
Kendra Twitter

Previous Episodes Mentioned:
All of them

Music clips used on this episode:
Three Little Birds/Bob Marley – Buy it now on iTunes
Seize the Day/Newsies – Buy it now on iTunes


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Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Raddish – a cooking club and curriculum, specially designed FOR KIDS by chefs and educators! Raddish is perfect for homeschooling families! Teach thematic cooking lessons that incorporate math, science, nutrition, geography, and culture. With Raddish, the kitchen is the tastiest place to learn! Use coupon code PODCAST at checkout for $15 off a 6 or 12 month membership. Visit RaddishKids.com/Homeschool to learn more and to download a free lesson.
Check out this info pack: Raddish One Page

LISTEN HERE

Are you ready to listen to Fletch and Kendra get real about homeschooling? Press the PLAY button below.


Talking to Kids about Disasters – MBFLP 181

talking about disasters

The news is full of alarming stories – hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, and more – and it’s nearly impossible to shield our kids from hearing about it. How do you help your children understand natural disasters and bad news with concern but not panic? Do you talk with your teenagers differently than your young kids? What should we be thinking ourselves? Don’t miss this timely episode —

 

 

Resources

Article on our blog

Another article, about bad news that’s man-made

Get Our Newsletter!

 

Free Checklist

Free Workshop
“Homeschooling in Hard Times”

 


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Raddish – a cooking club and curriculum, specially designed FOR KIDS by chefs and educators! Raddish is perfect for homeschooling families! Teach thematic cooking lessons that incorporate math, science, nutrition, geography, and culture. With Raddish, the kitchen is the tastiest place to learn! Use coupon code PODCAST at checkout for $15 off a 6 or 12 month membership. Visit RaddishKids.com/Homeschool to learn more and to download a free lesson.
Check out this info pack: Raddish One Page