Make the Most of Uncertain Times – MBFLP 258

Coming out of the bunker - making the most of these uncertain times

“How do I encourage my young men to look forward to the future?”

In part 1, we talked about the reality of uncertainty as a part of every time and every life, though the immediate upheaval is a very real and very disruptive event!  (see episode 257, “Making Sense of Uncertain Times”)

But how can we provide some practical help to young men whose plans for college, work, nnd relationships have been upended and put on indefinite hold? What can we do as parents to help them make the most of these uncertain times?

Remember the pandemic hits everybody differently. People in stable relationships with established careers may be better able to adjust to the disruptions than young men who are just at the starting point.

Young single adults may be feeling real isolation and loneliness. They may appreciate more contact with family, in real life or online. Reach out! And plan to listen – they may be missing people they can talk through their concerns with.

A new socialization problem

Encourage them to be inventive about socializing online. We have young adult friends who have organized online prayer meetings, held conference calls for fellowship, connected through video gaming platforms, and more. Some video conferencing programs offer service for small groups for free, and messaging apps like Skype and Signal can be used for several people in a call.

If your teens don’t have a social media account, now may be the time to train them how to use it wisely. Social media has its pitfalls, for certain, but it is possible to use it for God-honoring purposes. Your teens will be expected to have some social media savvy when they leave your home; it’s widely used in business and academia as well as peer-to-peer. What better time to coach your teens than right now, while they’re still at home and open to guidance?

For kids too young for social media accounts, we may want to use ours to facilitate fellowship for them and their friends.  It’s worth remembering that our online friendships may be part of our own coping mechanisms; our younger kids may not have that connection for themselves. Maybe you can set up a game meeting, a virtual tea party, or some other way for the elementary and middle school kids to interact … with supervision.

Realize that all our social skills may be rusty – your young people may need encouragement and coaching when they can resume meeting people in person.

(jump to continue … )

What can you do with this time?

Parents and people in a more stable situation may be able to provide perspective. If we aren’t in the throes of the uncertainty faced by our sons, we may be able to think of alternatives and options that they haven’t considered yet. We also may be able to point out that life doesn’t end at 25 or 30 — in fact, the most productive and effective part of their lives and careers is very likely years in the future still. A few months delay at 18 or 23 is not going to stop the world for them!

Some practical ideas to consider: Start a business. Start something online. Begin writing the book you wanted to write. Read up a subject and take a CLEP exam for college credit. None of this has to be permanent or long term, but any of them will encourage you to be active, keep thinking, and avoid just giving up!

Give them hope! Your sons need encouragement and they need the benefit of your experience and your ideas. Remind them this is a just a passing time in their lives and it will soon be past. Rather than despairing, they can make the most of the opportunities they have in these uncertain days!

Resources We Mentioned

Skype messaging app

Signal messaging app

SKRAFTY moderated Minecraft server and more

Our free College Decision Resource Pack – click here to download your copy!

Making Sense of Uncertain Times – MBFLP 257

How can we encourage our young adult sons to look forward to the future?

A listener asked the question, considering the wide-ranging effects of the pandemic response. What can we say or do to give hope to our young adults, when everything seems to have a roadblock? What do we do when college is reduced to online classes, when social opportunities are severely restricted, and many entry-level jobs aren’t hiring?

First, we need to recognize our sons’ struggles may be very different from our own.  Those of us in stable relationships, with family surrounding us and our careers well underway, will weather the storm very differently than the young man who is just starting out.

They need our understanding and sympathy. That’s only Biblical – Romans 12:15 tells us to “rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who  weep.” Put yourself in his place – how would you feel if suddenly high school graduation wasn’t going to happen, and college would likely be video classes like the last semester of high school, and the great adventure of moving out and meeting new people was postponed indefinitely? It would be disappointing and disorienting, at best. Your son doesn’t have your perspective to give him some balance and patience!

Consider that when Jesus went to the tomb of His friend Lazarus, He wept. Even though He was about to bring Lazarus back from the dead, Jesus could share the immediate grief of the sisters. Surely we can be sympathetic to our sons’ worries before we try to fix them!

We have perspective they (probably) don’t 

This may be the first time your young adult had a total upheaval of long-held plans. It may feel like the end of the world to them. Those of us who have experienced sudden job loss or a health crisis might be able to say, “It’s not just the present trouble – there’s a certain amount of uncertainty in LIFE.” Times of greater or lesser disruption will come, but there are no guarantees about the next day’s plan (James 4:14).  In fact, our response to difficult times reveals our character.

In uncertain times, God intends us to keep going. When the Jews were taken away to Babylon, God acknowledged the disruption but told them to keep on with life – build houses, plant gardens, get married, raise families, and pray for the peace of their place of captivity (Jeremiah 29:4-7). Jesus described the end times (in Matthew 24) as master leaving on a journey and returning unexpectedly – he wants to find his servants watchful but working!

Uncertainty is a part of life, by God’s design – but He wants us to trust Him and keep on doing the best we know how!

Resources We Mentioned

Romans 12:15 – Weep with those who weep

John 11:1-44 – Jesus wept

James 4:13-15 – You do not know what will happen tomorrow; for what is your life? It is even a vapor … 

Jeremiah 29:4-7 – God’s instructions to the Jews in Babylon to live as normally as possible – even as captives and exiles!

Matthew 24:3-47 – Jesus describes the end times and suggests we should keep working until He comes!

Gary Smalley, If Only He Knew (the marriage book Hal mentioned)

When It’s Time They Were Moving Out – MBFLP 242

“What ever happened to growing up and moving out?” someone asked. The fact is, a growing number of young adults are living at home with their parents. Is this a problem? Well, sometimes yes, but sometimes not at all. This episode, we’re talking about how to work through the young adults leaving Mom and Dad’s home for a place of their own.

Back Home Again

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that in 1969, less than 10% of young men (ages 25-34) lived at home with their parents – and more than 80% were married and living with their wife. In 2019, though, nearly 20% are back home (or still at home) with Mom and Dad, and only 36% are married.1

There are many reasons that may be so, but popular wisdom aside, it’s not necessarily a sign of failure or character weakness when a young adult is living in “the natal household,” as one researcher puts it.

3:15 – Census figures on young adults and their living arrangements

5:45 – Reasons good kids may still be living at home

7:30 – How can we prepare our kids to be independent adults

15:25 – A word from our sponsor

16:25 – The importance of the parent-child relationship during this transition

18:11 – How to handle a young adult who puts the family at risk

22:00 – When your adult child wants to move out and you the parent are holding him or her back

25:55 – How to help a young adult who’s “stuck”
You might be interested …

Escaping the Endless Adolescence: How We Can Help Our Teenagers Grow Up Before They Grow Old
Joseph Allen and Claudia Worrell Allen

Engaging Today’s Prodigal
Carol Barnier

References

  1. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1967 to present; table AD3, “Living Arrangements of Adults 25 to 34 Years Old, 1967 to Present”

This episode brought to you in part by

Real tools. Real skills.

Unexpected Benefits of Graduation – MBFLP 226

It’s Graduation Time!

We’re heading out for our fifth high school graduation (our homeschooled son will be in the ceremony at the North Carolinians for Home Education “Thrive!” conference). It’s a milestone that doesn’t grow stale even the fifth time around!

It’s good to see our children growing into the first steps of independence, as they graduate from high school and move off to college or their first job and apartment. We’ve found several unexpected benefits to that transition, though – things that benefit not only the graduate but also their younger siblings and our family as a whole. Join us as we unwrap some of these surprising gifts that come after the tassel’s turned!

Upcoming Events

Come by and see us at one of these upcoming conventions!

May 30-June 1 – Winston-Salem, N.C.
Thrive! Conference – North Carolinians for Home Education (NCHE)

June 6-8 – Richmond, Va. 
Virginia Homeschool Convention – Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV)

June 15 – Raleigh, N.C. 
North Raleigh Homeschool Conference

July 19-20 – Phoenix, Ariz. 
Arizona Homeschool Convention – Arizona Families for Home Education (AFHE)

… or see more events on our webpage here

iGen – Understanding the New Generation – MBFLP 211

iGen - understanding the new generation

Move over, Millennials – the new generation has arrived! Researcher Jean Twenge calls them iGen – the first generation that’s grown up with smart phone in hand. How has that shaped their thinking? What does that mean for the rest of us? How should we teach and prepare our children to interact with their generational peers? Are there things to watch out for – and opportunities to grasp? Join us for a discussion of Twenge’s book iGen and how this new culture impacts our family life, ministry, and society at large.


Discussion of Jean Twenge’s book iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy–and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood–and What That Means for the Rest of Us

Researcher Jean Twenge noticed that numerous cultural trend lines took a sharp turn about 2012 – the year after the majority of Americans were carrying smart phones. She marks this as the sign of a new generational group some have called Generation Z (following the Millennial “Generation Y”). She’s called them iGen – the generation shaped by the iPhone – and she makes a powerful case that the handheld devices might be the largest influencer in their thinking, philosophy, and personality.

What’s distinctive about this generation?

They are growing up online. The average high school senior now spends six hours a day on new media, including two hours of Internet and two and a quarter of text messaging – every day. Time previous generations spent on homework, extracurricular activities, after-school jobs, and hanging out with friends, has been replaced by hanging out online. They are insecure and unhappy from their constant diet of social media, and 34% have been cyberbullied. Because they know how people manage and manipulate their image, they are cynical about what they see even while it impacts them emotionally.

They value individualism. Like Millennials, they seek authenticity. As a rule, they will not tolerate criticism of anybody, especially themselves (though they are prone to self-criticism). They have largely embraced the sexual revolution (widespread pornography, abortion on demand, same sex marriage, normalization of transgenderism) as nobody’s business “as long as nobody is hurt.”

They are maturing more slowly. Their parents have been protective and the children have embraced child status well into their twenties. The typical high school senior today is less likely to have earned a driver’s license, had an after-school or summer job, gone out on a date, or even spent much time outside parents’ direct supervision.

They value safety. iGen’ers are less likely to engage in risky behaviors like reckless driving, drug and alcohol experimentation, or sex as teenagers – not because these activities are immoral (iGen appears to continue the Millennial rejection of religion), but because they aren’t safe.

Their social lives and identity are text-based online, so words are weaponized. This is why campus culture is becoming hysterical over controversial speakers or even contrary opinions. iGen students demand protection from challenging viewpoints and consider offensive words as literal, physical assault. They are less likely to have had scuffles on the playground as children; instead, they’ve grown up savaging one another by text message.

iGen - what we need to know about the new generation

Why should we care, and what should we do about it?

Although we may be raising our own family by older standards, this is the generation of our children and the culture they will need to navigate as adults. How can we prepare them to succeed?

Move slowly on cell phone and social media. Social media is linked to depression, especially in younger students. Although older teens need to understand these tools, Twenge suggests younger teens shouldn’t get cell phones any sooner than necessary, and then start with “dumb” flip phones rather than Internet capable. Even then, monitor usage closely.

Push them forward to independence. Get their driver’s license early. Encourage them to get jobs and learn to manage their own money. Teach them how the world works, how to evaluate choices and make decisions.

Encourage real-life friendships. Don’t over-regulate time with friends and activities, especially as they reach older teen years. Get them off their phones and out of the house more.

Train your Christian children to stand on the Scripture without applause. This generation is growing more hostile toward Christianity, and its hysterical reaction to opposition will make it resistant to the Spirit’s conviction. We can’t be surprised when they react, but neither can we simply refuse to speak up; We need to be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves,” and choose our words and opportunities with care.

 


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor -Time 4 Learning

Time4Learning provides the tools and resources students need to build skills and confidence in the core subjects like math, language arts, science, and social studies. No matter how long you’ve been homeschooling or whatever your current situation, Time4Learning is a flexible, online curriculum that can be tailored to your child’s individual needs.

The comprehensive, award-winning curriculum allow students to study confidently and excel at their own pace, making it ideal for all kinds of learners, whether they are mainstream, gifted or special needs.

Click Here to Visit Time 4 Learning!


Love, Honor, and Virtue – HIRL Episode 140

Free homeschool podcast about talking to your boys about sex and purity.Two of our favorite guests, Hal and Melanie Young, join us on this episode of Homeschooling in Real Life for a candid discussion about technology, temptation, addiction, and culture. We talk about the false sense of security that homeschooling can give us and how we can equip our kids to make choices that set them up for healthy sexual relationships.

As always, Hal and Melanie are engaging and intelligent, and we appreciate their honesty as we discuss a Biblical and God-honoring approach to love, honor, and virtue.


SHOW NOTES:

Recommended Resources:

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:

None

Music clips used on this episode:
None


SUBSCRIBE AND LEAVE AN iTUNES REVIEW:

Allow the magic of the internet to deliver Homeschooling In Real Life to your tablet or smart phone. Let us show you how easy it is:

  1. Follow this link to our iTunes page.
  2. IMPORTANT STEP: Under our big red HomeschoolingIRL logo, just click on View in iTunes
  3. The iTunes program will automatically launch and take you to our podcast page.
  4. FIRST – Click SUBSCRIBE. Voila! All or our podcasts will come directly to your computer and smart phone.
  5. NEXT – Click RATINGS AND REVIEW. Remember the best reviews are 5-stars (hint hint!).
  6. Thanks for being one of our listeners! HIRLers rock!

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO LISTEN TO HomeschoolingIRL?

  1. You can listen right on this page. There is an audio player below.
  2. You can listen on your iPod, Smartphone or tablet. Open the PODCAST app on your device, search podcasts for “HomeschoolingIRL” and click subscribe. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
  3. Subscribe to the HomeschoolingIRL website and you will be notified when every new episode is released. Follow this link and begin your FREE SUBSCRIPTION.

ADVERTISERS/SPONSORS:

Please visit our coffee sponsor: Caroline’s Coffee for 10% off any order. Use code HIRL


C_Logo_2012


Join Fletch (from theMangoTimes) and Kendra (from KendraFletcher.com) for the HomeschoolingIRL podcast every week as they interview guests and talk through some of the goofiness they have experienced in nearly two decades.


LISTEN HERE

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

 

What Time Is Curfew? – MBFLP 147

mbflp-147-curfew-v

 

Several people have asked us “What time is curfew at your house? When do you require your kids to be home? Is it different for teens and twenties?” 

Our answer usually surprises them — because we really don’t have one! That doesn’t mean our kids run rampant, smashing mailboxes at 3 a.m. and hanging out in grocery store parking lots all night … but it’s because of an approach we take with relationships and responsibility in our family. This episode, we’ll talk about how and why we handle the question of curfew the way we do!

 

You can read more on our blog at RaisingRealMen.com – CLICK HERE! 

This program is brought to you in part by
Schoolhouse Teachers banner-468x60Click here for more information!

MBFLP – What Homeschool Grads Wish We Knew (Or Had Discovered Sooner)

MBFLP - Things Homeschool Grads Wish We'd Known

Have you ever wondered, if you could “do it all over again,” would you do things differently? Maybe you’ve graduated one student, but have a younger sibling following. It’s fairly easy to see whether your academics were on target, but what about the bigger issues of life? Is there time for a parenting tune-up? Or a major course correction? This episode, we’ll share some of the things that we hear from graduates about their experience growing up homeschooled!