If you live in the Texas Hill Country right now, you’re aware of the fact that we’re in the heart of bluebonnet season. This time of year it’s not uncommon to see families taking pictures in the bluebonnets along the side of the road or to encounter random patches of bluebonnets growing on otherwise perfectly manicured lawns. People have even been known to travel great distances just for the chance to catch a glimpse of this blue beauty.
Do you ever feel like you work hard to give your kids everything they could ever want or need, but somehow they don’t seem to appreciate it?
If we’re honest, I would venture to guess that a majority of us have felt like this at one point or another. We sacrifice our time, our health, and sometimes even our families themselves, yet it never seems to be enough. We run ourselves ragged and come away with nothing to show for it. This leaves us frustrated and unfulfilled and also leads to discord in our families.
A New Perspective
A little over two weeks ago, my grandfather passed away, and a little over a week ago, we were saying our final earthly goodbyes to him. As a result, I am approaching this Easter with a grieving heart. Though this has been a difficult period, it has provided me with an entirely new perspective on the entire Easter season.
I recently was blessed with the opportunity to interview my friend Patty Scott about her new book Parenting Your Teen Through Chaos & Crisis. Here Patty opens up about what propelled her to write on such an important topic, and she also shares some of her best parenting advice. Enjoy!
Q: I know that you recently wrote the book Parenting Your Teen Through Chaos & Crisis. Would you mind providing a short synopsis of what the book is about?
A: Yes, thank you. The book grew out of a desire to bless moms of teens. I realized, as a mother of my own teen, that we can fall into various patterns of thinking and reacting. I wanted to help women release the guilt we sometimes feel as moms and to replace that with healthy ways of seeing ourselves and interacting with our family. In the book I show parents how to move into a role of effective influence in their adolescent’s life. I talk about how to allow and choose consequences that will make a difference. The book also covers how to have a healthy relationship by remaining appropriately connected to your teenager while simultaneously letting them go so they can grow. I close the book by emphasizing the importance of having systems of support in our lives as moms and give examples of good places to find that support. I share a number of simple and practical approaches throughout the book. The book is written with a spirit of hope, encouraging moms that they can survive and even thrive through this stage of motherhood. I wish I could sit face to face with each of the readers, hearing their story of motherhood. Short of that, this book is my way of sitting down and sharing friend to friend.
The Truth About Technology
Though the great majority of this post will be about how to set healthy technology boundaries for your family, I want to start by stating the fact that I believe technology gets a bad rap. In fact, most people would argue that technology has greatly improved the world in which we live. However, because we live in a fallen world, technology is a tool people use to commit sinful acts. This misuse of technology has the ability to affect us as an individual, as a family, and as a society. As a result, we can embrace all that technology allows us to accomplish, but we must also be aware of the pitfalls it can provide.
The Axis Gen Z Faith Summit is an incredible opportunity to hear from “over 40 of the most influential authors & Christian thought leaders to help you know your teen’s culture, develop their heart, and lead them into lifelong faith in Jesus Christ.” (genzfaith.com) The best part about the summit is that it’s free. Four pre-recorded session are released each day, and you have 72 hours to watch them before they go behind a paywall. You can also purchase an All-Access Pass if you want to be able to watch the sessions at your leisure. The summit runs through Saturday, March 3rd, so it’s not too late to sign up for a free pass and catch the remainder of the summit. I promise you will be blessed!
Here are my top 5 takeaways from the summit so far:
As I have been listening to all of the sessions, I’ve been looking for some common themes. The summit itself covers the general topics of sexuality, technology, and growing up. However, the following advice seems to permeate each session regardless of the topic:
Guest Post by Deanne Welsh
One of the greatest lessons God has taught me over the past several months is the power of community. None of us have all of the solutions to the issues we face in our lives, nor do we possess all of the knowledge about topics that have the ability to change and enrich our lives, but when we work together in community, we can make great strides towards growing into the people God would have us to be. I am blessed to say that Deanne Welsh is an integral part of both my writing and parenting communities. She is a tremendous source of knowledge, wisdom, and inspiration. I want to personally thank her for sharing this powerful post. Enjoy!
I call it his dictator power.
He knows what he wants and declares it loudly and boldly. If he is met with opposition, he digs in and demands, cries and forces his way forward. He is an unstoppable force.
I do my best to stand strong, reminding myself that I am the mother and thus in charge. Reminding myself to be gentle, he is little even though his willpower is not.
At night I fall into bed, exhausted by the constant battery of demands having repeated the mantra in my mind, “stay strong, stay consistent” hundreds of times along with, “it’s not personal, take a deep breath.”
I hope my attempts at consistency are enough to raise my child.
A Chance Encounter
I barreled through the parking lot with a shopping cart full of groceries and my three children in tow. Though I was glad to escape the huddled masses inside our local Wal-Mart, I was eager to get everything loaded up so I could get back home. I hurriedly opened the back of my SUV, only to find it filled with backpacks and book bags. I sighed and quickly tried to devise a plan for getting all of my groceries into my vehicle.
As I frantically began stashing bags here and there, I suddenly noticed an older lady sitting in the van facing us. She sat quietly watching all of the commotion. There really was no expression on her face, but as she sat almost transfixed, I began to see a little twinkle in her eyes. She never spoke nor acknowledged that she was staring, but I felt like those sparkling eyes of hers were telling a story all their own.
The Christmas Gift
This past Christmas my husband and I decided that instead of giving our children several small gifts, we would buy them a Nintendo Switch. Even though this was a gift our children would share, it was still quite a financial investment for us. So, you can imagine how I felt when my son came home this week declaring that his friends really wished we would have gotten him an Xbox One instead of the Nintendo Switch.
The Importance of a Solid Foundation
I think most people would agree that the most important part of any house is the foundation. Though it is not readily on display like other parts of the house, it is literally what supports and holds the rest of the house together. If the foundation begins to shift and crack, so do the other parts of the house, sometimes to the point of becoming unstable. This same principle applies to our families. If we do not build on a stable foundation, our families become unstable and eventually fall apart.