All They Need Is LOVE…And Chores!!

This crazy job of parenting just got a whole lot easier!

Author and former freshman dean of Stanford University, Julie Lythcott-Haims, has written a book How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success, to document her experience and help parents reprioritize and refocus.

Here is the basic breakdown.

“These are the two best things that each of us can do for our kids to help them become successful adults:

1 – Give them chores.

2 – Teach them to love.”

Isn’t that great? Here is the research she uses to back it all up…

“The longitudinal “Harvard Grant Study”  (one of the longest studies of humans ever conducted) found that success in life comes from having done chores as a kid.  The earlier the kid started, the better.  When our kids are too busy to do chores, we eliminate the biggest factor for success.  The Harvard Grant study also found that happiness in life equals LOVE.  Not passion, LOVE.  Love of people and love of human experience.  If there’s anything that we can do for our kids, it’s to teach them compassion, work ethic, and the love that can be found at home.”

This is the best parenting news yet! We already love them pretty hard!

Now we just have to make them do a little work around the house!!

The primary task of the teen years is for your teen to learn how to be an adult while still in a safe, nurturing environment. It’s the time when they should try adult skills and tasks and have an opportunity to fail, to try again, and to ultimately master that task. Let’s be honest. We’ve got the safe nurturing environment thing down. We do for our kids for so long, it’s hard for them and us to make the transition to them doing for themselves. We say. “Their job is to work hard in school”, or “they play a travel sport, they have no time for the extras”, or “I just want them to be a kid and enjoy life while they can”. All are great sentiments, but none prepare them for adult life. Not a single one of us focusing on just one job. We work, raise a family, do everyone’s laundry, shop for and prepare all of the meals, all the while planning how we are going to pay for braces, college and maybe a wedding someday. It is a disservice to your teen to let them believe doing one job really well is enough. They are going to be expected to do all of the jobs someday.

Teach them to cook one complete meal.  Show them how to read the menu, write the grocery list and then go to the store and purchase the supplies for that dinner. They will become a master of that one meal. During the busy school year you can even call home and say, “Hey, can you whip up your meal tonight, I’ll stay at work an extra half an hour”!

Have them run their own laundry from start to finish. If they run out of clean shorts, direct them to run a load of laundry. If the dryer is full of unfolded clothes you haven’t gotten to, they can fold it and put it away. They will find a dryer full of unfolded clothes that belong to someone else their entire lives! Might as well get them used it now.

Leave them a chore list. They will hate your guts for it. There is nothing more annoying as a teen than to wake up at noon, think you have the whole day to yourself and find a chore list waiting! But, hey, isn’t that the story of your life? Don’t you wake up every day at 5:45 and have a day’s worth of tasks waiting? I’m not saying every single day they should be scrubbing grout in the bathroom or washing second  floor windows, but one hour’s worth of sweeping or loading the dishwasher is a gentle reminder that the day to day tasks will become their day to day tasks.

Your teens do work hard all year. They do wake up early and get good grades. They do play sports more intensely than our generation did, but they are all going to grow up into adults with adult responsibilities. Teach them not only how to cook or how to do laundry, but teach them that cooking and laundry are jobs that every adult must do. The better they are at managing those basic tasks, the more time they have later in life to enjoy all of the rewards you want them to have now. Staying on top of their day to day lives allows your young adults to have hobbies, travel, and build a relationship and a career!

They can have it all later, because they learn to manage life now!!

What are you assigning your teen to do today?

 

Believe in Holiday Magic….Even with Teenagers!

christmas-magicBelieve in Holiday Magic….Even with Teenagers!

~Finding your secret weapon to make the magic happen.

 

Remember long ago when your adorable little kids were wild with energy and excitement around the holidays? When everything seemed magical and fun….

Matching pajamas …

Piles of presents ….

Eyes twinkling with excitement ….

And now what? They prefer to sleep until noon and have literally two items on their gift list; both would add up to a mortgage payment! And worst of all, they roll their eyes at the little things that used to thrill them!

The very best way to find that magic with your teen is by simply spending time together.

I know, that sounds a little scary. Our teens don’t always want to hang out with us or spend time together in a small room! I get that. Mom of three teenagers here!  Asking your teens to hold hands and sing carols is not what I am suggesting.  I get it. That’s not going to happen for many of us this year.

 

As much as the hard times hurt, beyond what we thought possible,

the good times can be far more amazing than we thought possible too!

Let’s all commit to making this holiday one of the good times.

Here are five suggestions for finding the perfect way to spend time with teenagers this holiday.

Pick one or try all five.

We can make it happen!

Warning: Enjoy it quickly and stand back when they are done!

Reinvent Traditions. What is one of your holiday traditions? Was it to get the kids matching pajamas? Great! Work with that. But you may have to let go of the matching and look more towards funny or ironic or dare I say, cool. Try something like these animal pajamas or photo booth props. Or maybe it’s simply sweat pants of their favorite sports team. You can always remember the Christmas your kiddos had matching pajamas as YOUR version of sweet, cute and magical. But you can also look back on this Christmas and be reminded about what THEY thought was cute or cool. And in that switch, you may just find magical. Traditions are a connection, a sense of belonging, a piece of who they are and where they come from.

Build on Your Family’s Hobbies. What did you do when the kids were little? How did you spend time together? Find a way to expand on that. Always got a zoo pass from grandma in the past? How about a family passes to the ski hill? A paid registration to a running race? Look to your past and you will find something. Did they used to love to read or do puzzles? Try wrapping up a giant puzzle of somewhere they would like to go. Set up a card table and pull the puzzle out. They may just wander over and start working on it. Was family movie night a thing when they were little? How about a favorite holiday movie for their gift?

Something That Centers On Meal Times. Meal times are still one of the most important times in the life of a family. If your family is anything like mine though, that is a rare treat to have a meal together. Lives are busy and schedules are crazy. But a holiday is a perfect time to let your teen know that eating together is still important. How about a cook book based on their favorite movie or based on a hobby of theirs? Then make a point to have the ingredients on hand for a few of the recipes. Ask them to make the nastiest sounding ones you can find! Meals with teenagers are a rare occurrence; find a way to make them fun.

Something Fun. A game or a silly toy can be great time together. How about a wrapped box full of Nerf Guns and you be the first to grab one and work out your holiday frustrations? Does everyone have a sweet tooth? Maybe a gumball machine, make your own pixie sticks kit, gobstoppers or atomic fire balls? How about a hot sauce sample pack and challenge each other to try them all? What about a game? Something old school your teens have never tried? Operation? Simon? For a new game, try LCR. But instead of the chips that come in the set, give everyone in the family a roll of quarters. Your teen will love a chance to win a few bucks!

Something To Make Together As a Family. Creating something together allows you to spend time with your teen and maybe have a lasting memory or decoration for years to come. How about a simple gingerbread house kit? One for each family member and have a design contest or if you followed the suggestion of the Nerf guns for the family, the gingerbread house could become the tactical target and it can be team Family against team gingerbread house! I know, I know, not your idea of an idyllic holiday, but a favorite memory for you teenager for sure!

Time together may take a little more creativity but it can be done!  What suggestions do you have for us? Do you have great ideas that have worked with your teenager? Please share in the comments section below!

 

 

Joy Hartman is passionate about empowering teens to become strong, confident adults! She works with teens of all ages as a family therapist in Wisconsin and has the unique experience of raising three moody, eye-rolling teenagers of her own. For more fun and support on this crazy roller coaster ride of parenting teenagers, join Joy and hundreds of other parents at:

Joyhartman.com

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logoSurviving Teen Years  is a community of  people who are trying really hard to understand and appreciate their teenagers. Joy Hartman works with teens of all ages as a family therapist in Wisconsin and has the unique experience of raising three moody, eye-rolling teenagers of her own. For more  fun and support  on this crazy roller coaster ride of parenting teenagers, join Joy and hundreds of other parents here or on Facebook

This Thanksgiving I Choose to Be Thankful For My Teenagers

Daughter looking a phone and ignoring her mother

Some days it’s really hard to be grateful for teenagers. So as we approach Thanksgiving, I pause to share my gratitude for these moody, irritable, creatures that have moved into my once peaceful, easy going home.

Maybe in a few years when I am looking back at the teenage years, I will have more profound things to say, but this is the best I can do for now…

I am thankful my teenagers sleep in! I remember the days we were up at 6:20 Every. Single. Morning.  No matter how late we were up these sweet babies would wake up at 6:20 with the energy of a freight train! So yes. Today I am thankful they sleep in!

I am thankful my teenagers tell me when I look hideous. They always have an opinion about fashion and I am glad they keep me somewhat in line.

I am thankful my teens have big dreams and are so confident that all of their dreams are within reach! They know everything and are the expert in all things!

I am thankful that my teens are passionate. That’s the nicest word I can think of for the crazy ups and downs of mood and attitude around this house! I am somewhat hopeful that they will find a way to channel all that intensity into something besides being annoyed with me!

I am thankful my teenagers keep going. Even after what seems like tragedy after tragedy, world crisis after world crisis these teenagers keep wanting more from life. They want to make a difference. They want to travel. They want to stay up all night so they don’t miss any exciting thing. They keep going. They have energy and are ready to tackle the world.

I am thankful my teenagers are so stinking smart with technology! My teenagers can operate the TV remote control!!! What am I going to do when I want to watch TV and they are all gone in college??

I am thankful that teenagers challenge me to think differently. I welcome them challenging me. OK, that’s a lie. But I try to remember that when they challenge me it helps us both grow and change.

I am thankful teenagers have taught me patience. They don’t have ANY. None. Zero. But they have taught me to find it.

I am thankful they are free spirits and have a creative vision. I don’t know what the state of their room is expressing, but I am glad it makes them happy and that they seem to thrive in the chaos!

I am thankful my daughter and I wear the same size shoe. She has a lot of great shoes!!

What are you thankful for?

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Joy Hartman is passionate about empowering teens to become strong, confident adults! She works with teens of all ages as a family therapist in Wisconsin and has the unique experience of raising three moody, eye-rolling teenagers of her own. For more fun and support on this crazy roller coaster ride of parenting teenagers, join Joy and hundreds of other parents at: Joyhartman.com or Facebook

 

My Happy Little Girl Is Gone!

sugar

 

Somewhere in middle school our sparkly, energetic little girls seem to get lost in sadness and moodiness.

 

Follow this map to show them how to come out of adolescence as a new and improved confident, amazing young woman!

 

Did your happy go lucky little girl seem to disappear into insecurity, silence and moodiness somewhere along the line? Was she once happy and friendly and could laugh and smile easily and often? And somehow, somewhere, she seems to be lost? Middle school age girls often lose their sparkle and dissolve into sad, moody, withdrawn, isolated, grumpy human beings. What a sad process for parents to watch! Standing by on the sidelines and hoping your daughter will return to her amazing little girl self is a brutal reality of parenting a teenage girl.

 

The sad truth is she won’t ever return to the same little girl you loved so much. She won’t ever wear her Cinderella dress to the grocery store again. She probably won’t climb too many more trees, or have a stuffed animal tea party or wear lady bug boots to jump in puddles. She is growing up. But the great news is that she can emerge from adolescence a young woman who is more capable, more confident, and more sure of herself; if she has a path to follow and a map for getting through the other side of the very difficult years of middle school. You are her map!

Follow these guides along the way and your daughter will come back more amazing than ever and hopefully you will see that silly little girl pop back in every once in a while!

Insist on time to just be.

Our daughters are busy every minute of the day. They are busy socially, academically, physically, emotionally. They are constantly balancing friends and emotions.  “Busy” has become more intense for this generation. Teens no longer have to wait even seconds between interactions and receiving information from their social world. They have constant pressures through social media to stay aware and informed so that they don’t get left behind. They need down time. They need moments in the day when they can rest from the social, emotional, physical and academic pressures. They need to curl up in a chair and read, or watch mindless TV, or perhaps color a picture or better yet, play. When given a whole day with no commitments, my daughters find the funniest ways to play! They will practice hair styles on their American girl dolls, they will take the dog on a walk and come back soaked to the knees because they tried to get the dog to walk the plank at the pond (poor guy) or they will attempt to create a zip line from the old rotten swing set to the back deck. But they are together and they are playing.

Show them adventure.

 Show your daughters they can accomplish things. Show them that they can conquer things. Show them they have power, physically and emotionally. Give them an experience they have never had and show them the thrill of accomplishing something new! Put them in a canoe, or in front of a rock wall, or behind the wheel of a go-cart, or give them a tool to fix the lawn mower. Teach them to set the iPad with a YouTube step by step by step guide for doing something adventurous! Do it together. Change a tire just so they know how. Climb up onto the roof just to see how far you can see. Take them somewhere far away with no internet connection! Simply, hop into the car with them and have them navigate their way somewhere new.  Girls tend to get so wrapped up in texting and keeping up with the nothingness that is the day to day life of teens, they have no time for new experiences. Show them the thrill of adventure!

Provide opportunities to give back.

 Doing for others teaches kindness, empathy and tolerance. Give your teen opportunities to give back. Maybe that’s within her own family, at school, in her town or within the world in general! She does not have to be paid for making dinner or doing dishes that is part of being a family. Everyone works together for the common good. Give your daughter a chance to contribute to the family just because she is grateful to be a part of this family. Help her organize a drive at school or participate in the ones offered. If there is a fun run, have her participate. As a family, gather things you don’t use anymore or food and donate to the local shelter. Have her come along. Have her donate items that have value, not just the junk she doesn’t want anymore. Perhaps give her a gift on her next birthday in honor of something bigger. Donate the money for food or education in another part of the world in her honor. Find ways she can give back and offer her those opportunities.

Give them a soft spot to land.

 Our girls venture out into a scary world every day. They are physically growing and changing every day. They face enormous social, emotional and academic pressures every day. They hear about friends cutting, peers partying, crass conversations, sexting rumors, friends who are depressed. They need a soft place to land at the end of their day. They need a place where they can shut down and relax. They need a comfy chair and a safe atmosphere and a willing and ready listener so they can take a break from all of those pressures. Be their soft spot.

Know when to offer an opinion and when to just be quiet.

Ask questions, learn about your teen, find out what makes them tick, what bugs them, what they want from the world. But more importantly, zip it and be ready to listen. Your daughter will most likely start talking at the most unlikely moments. You could schedule a Starbucks date every afternoon and give her 45 minutes of your undivided attention, but you will actually get the most information at strange, unexpected times. Maybe it’s the five minute ride to a friend’s house when she opens up, or she may say something really important as she strolls by your bathroom door as you are about to dry your hair and you need to get to work on time! Those are the moments to wait for, look for, and be open to. She needs you and will find you in the most unlikely moments! Be ready.

 

Your little girl is growing into an amazing young woman and that sparkle you miss so much is coming back in new, beautiful, confident ways! Keep showing her the map and she will shine again!

joy prof picJoy Hartman is  passionate about empowering girls to become strong, confident women. She works with girls of all ages as a family therapist in Wisconsin and has the unique experience of raising two soon-to-be strong, confident teenage daughters of her own. For more fun and support on this crazy roller coaster ride of parenting teenagers, join Joy and hundreds of other parents at:

Joyhartman.com or
Facebook

Beautiful And Strong

beautiful-and-strong

My daughter’s teacher showed the Dove video that shows women being asked to walk through one of two doors; beautiful or average. Check it out below you haven’t seen it.

After she showed the video she pointed above the door of the classroom to a small sign that read “Beautiful and Strong” and said, “you may not have noticed, but you have been choosing the beautiful and strong door every single day this year”!

How great a teacher is she?!?

I Wish Every Teenage Girl Knew The Secret To Being Beautiful

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It is not perfectly straightened hair. Nor is it the must have mascara color, the shirt tied in the back so perfectly that the hair tie doesn’t show, the shortest shorts, or the right name brand of clothes. I wish every young girl, every girl, heck even 40 year old girls, could know the secret to beauty.

A confident, happy girl is a beautiful girl!

I wish girls were raised to know it and believe it and live it every day. Happiness is the best kind of beautiful; a beauty that can last through your lifetime. Happiness is within our control and is not dependent on how much money we have, how our bodies fit the current styles, which boy thinks we are cute, or what clothes we are wearing. Beauty is within us all. Save your daughter a lifetime of chasing beauty and show her exactly where to find it.

While it seems to be an uphill battle to make our young girls believe they are beautiful, there is a simple solution!

It turns out that happiness is absolutely contagious!

Researchers have come up with proof after proof that happiness can be learned. It can be shared and it can be passed on and on. So share your happiness with your daughter. Show her daily how you find happiness.

Step One! Smile everyday! Seems simple. But are you smiling every day? Do you share happy thoughts and reflections from your day? Do you see beauty in yourself and your life? Don’t ask her if your outfit looks OK. Don’t ask her if something is in style or if you look skinny in a certain pair of pants. Announce to her that you feel great today. Tell her you love these pants. Choose an outfit because you love it and be sure she knows how fantastic you feel today. Make statements about how you handled a situation really well. Tell her about how you rocked that phone call or impressed that customer. Smile at a simple gesture. Belly laugh and snort over a joke or a funny story. Let yourself experience happiness. The day is busy and chaotic and there a million things to be done before the day ends, but have you smiled today? Have you stopped, maybe at dinner, to smile and laugh with your daughter? Click here to read about time importance of sharing a family meal once in a while.

Next, put on some fun, happy music! Music has proven to affect mood. Happy music leads to more happiness. Make a playlist for yourself and plug it in to your car when your daughter is along for the ride. Your captive audience will have no choice but to listen. Play one of her tunes, one of yours? See if happy music affects your mood. If you have a few minutes with your daughter, look up the latest pop song or music video and show her your dance moves. Learn a new dance together. Laugh and listen to music! Have your daughter film a lip-sync to one of her favorite songs while you are driving her to practice for the 100th time this week. But make it a happy song.

Finally, teach your daughter to walk with her head held high. Show her that making eye contact with people around her allows her to connect with the world around. It is a hard habit to start but it shows the world you are confident and sure of whom you are. Building confidence starts with making it a habit. Believing in herself takes time. Fake it til you make it here! Walk with confidence. Smile with confidence. Teach your daughter to greet a person with eye contact and a smile. It sets an immediate tone of confidence. Be sure you are walking with your head help high and greeting people with eye contact and a tone of confidence. She is watching you and will learn to hold herself like you hold yourself.

Beauty is strength.

Beauty is humor.

Beauty is musical talent.

Beauty is passion.

Beauty is dreams.

Beauty is singing.

Beauty is kindness.

Beauty is attitude.

Beauty is wisdom.

Beauty is happiness.

Find your happiness and share it with the world! There is a girl out there watching!

 

joy prof pic

Joy Hartman is passionate about empowering girls to become strong, confident women. She works with girls of all ages as a family therapist in Wisconsin and has the unique experience of raising two soon-to-be strong, confident teenage daughters of her own. For more fun and support on this crazy roller coaster ride of parenting teenagers, join Joy and hundreds of other parents at:     Joyhartman.com or Facebook

 

 

What I Won’t Miss About Being Room Mom!

 

Making “a few copies” for the teacher. No teacher in the world has “a few copies”. It’s more like 23 copies of forty-seven pages and they would like them on color coordinated, rotating sizes of different shaped paper, please! I love every teacher out there, and am in awe of your dedication and talents, but come on teachers!! I don’t have a Masters Degree in Copy Machines! Where do I even put the original?!?!9f4277eb0f06fdd057917dd3bc91ec2b

Dealing with my own compulsion to have a perfect party. Between 3 kids and 18 combined years of grade school, I learned one thing for certain in the 15 years of room mom duty…. the kids don’t really care; they just want to get to the mass amount of sugar part!! Trust me! Bring frosting and sprinkles and you are a rock star room mom!classroom-party-ideas

Coordinating Fantastic Friday, Wacky Wednesdays, Pajama Day, Favorite Character Day, School Store, Immigration Simulation day, Pizza Parties…. Did we have any of these things when we were growing up?? I’m glad education is fun and creative, don’t get me wrong. I just wonder how much entertaining do these kids really need? Teachers, you have my respect. Thanks for making everything fun!party-food

Baking 100’s of cut out cookies in non-religious non-holiday seasonal shapes; fall leaves, snowflakes and evergreen trees and the ever popular heart shape cookie for the friendship party on February 14th! I have every cookie cutter shape you can imagine!friendship party

Counting Box tops and yogurt tops! Who is the disgusting human being that decided schools can get money by collecting yogurt tops? I mean really people, what do you do when you open a yogurt? Lick it!!! How gross is that? You lick it and put it in an envelope and I’m the poor mom who has to count ‘em to be sure the right class gets the party for most already licked yogurt tops collected!  download (3)

Being the health room monitor for the day. I don’t like my own kids when they are sick. I am repulsed by other people’s kid who are either oozing something from somewhere or proudly handing me a bloody tooth to put in the little tooth necklaces that appear to have the value of the Holy Grail.  Gross.41SY6a5IPYL._SY300_

What I will miss is being involved in my kids class. I will miss knowing each of his friends. I will miss having a connection with the teachers. I will miss the hugs and thank you’s from the class. I will miss my little boy.

But I’m ready for the next stage. Middle school…here we come.

 

 

joy prof picJoy Hartman is passionate about empowering teens to become strong, confident adults! She works with teens of all ages as a family therapist in Wisconsin and has the unique experience of raising three moody, eye-rolling teenagers of her own. For more fun and support on this crazy roller coaster ride of parenting teenagers, join Joy and hundreds of other parents at:

Joyhartman.com

or
Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a Teenage Girl? Hang on for a Wild Ride!

 

Wild ride 2Parenting teenage girls comes with a rollercoaster of emotions and endless worry! I know because I am the lucky mom to two teenage daughters, 13 and 14!! I didn’t plan that or have any idea what I was getting myself into. Every day is a new adventure in drama, angst, and moodiness; and that’s just talking about me! Add two teenage daughters to the mix and you don’t even want to imagine life around here! But I am determined to raise happy, strong daughters! If they can grow up knowing and believing that their body and mind are amazing and capable of anything, I have done my job! Right now they think the secret to happiness is perfectly straightened hair, or the right shade of blue mascara! Sometimes they even think they are pretty amazing in the shortest shorts known to humankind! Ugg. I have a long road ahead of me!

I wish my girls, every girl, heck even 40 year old girls, could know the secret to beauty. A confident, happy girl is a beautiful girl! I wish girls were raised to know it and believe it and live it every day. Happiness is the best kind of beautiful; a beauty that can last through your lifetime. Happiness is within our control and is not dependent on how much money we have, how our bodies fit the current styles, which boy thinks we are cute, or what clothes we are wearing. Beauty is within us all. But it’s not enough for me to say that! I have to teach that to my daughters and in order to do that I have to live it and show it and believe it myself!  

So here’s how I’ve started with my daughters:

  1. I smile everyday! Seems simple. But some days I find myself having to be extra conscience of it and try extra hard. I have to turn off the computer or put my cell phone way out of reach in order to make that smile happen. I try to share positive thoughts from each and every day. I work at telling a story about something that made me smile that day. I smile at dinner. I smile in the car even though the last thing I want to be doing is picking her up from her millionth activity that week. I allow myself to belly laugh and snort over a joke or a funny story. Let me tell you, neither of these girls thinks the belly laugh or snort is OK, especially in public! The embarrassment is visible. But I do it anyway. I want them to see passion and freedom to express happiness in its full glory! Our days are busy and chaotic and sometimes it’s hard to find the reason to smile. But I do it anyway. And I hope that they can find a reason to smile and laugh everyday too.
  2. I put on some fun, happy music! Music has proven to affect mood. I’m going to assume happy music leads to more happiness. My favorite way to share music together is in the car. They are a captive audience! Mostly we listen to what they like to listen to. Mostly they sing and I pretend not to notice. But I hear which songs are their favorites. I listen to funny debates about who’s got the lyrics right. Once in a while I make a comment about the words and their meanings. And once in a while I bust out my own play list and rock out to songs that I love. More often than not, we have a laugh about the song or artist! We have even been known to get home and the girls will look up one of the songs we sang, mine or hers and she reports some fun fact, some crazy hairstyle or outfit and interesting detail. Music connects us together and keeps us talking.
  3. I am a curious person and I am intrigued by people. I can people watch and be amused for hours! But my daughters watch people differently. They watch to be sure no one is watching them. They are aware of who is around all the time in an insecure, embarrassed sort of way. Instead of seeing a person from their school and saying ‘hi”, their teenage reaction is to dive under the clothing rack and hide until they are gone! I need to change that! I need to teach them to hold their head high and look that peer in the eye and say, “hey”. I want my daughters to go anywhere and be anyone they are meant to be and not worry about what the world thinks about them.  Building confidence in my teens in not proving to be an easy task. So I try to carry myself with confidence. I try to look people in the eye, smile and have a conversation. My teenagers don’t love that I talk to EVERYONE, but I’m determined to show my girls that they matter. They have something to say. They have something to offer the world. They are valuable. They need to smile and say “Hi” and not EVER feel like they need to walk the other way or hide!

My girls are watching me. I just hope that someday they see a confident person who has given them the gift of happiness. Because right now they just see a lunatic who is singing off key and constantly talking to strangers!!

 

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