What percent of the cost should teenagers (ages 13-17) pay for their own cell phone and service?

Blog Purpose

Raising children is a full-time, life-time endeavor, and just because your children leave the nest, your role and influence continue. However, many challenges (generally uninvited ones) appear from time to time.

This blog is designed to informally explore both the joy and possible adversity that accompanies the raising of a family, and by doing so, provides some possible solutions to improving family relationships. It started with the idea of trying to be more self-reflective on my own experiences as an imperfect parent, but I thought others could benefit and share ideas on the topics as well. Although the focus in on parenting, most of the postings apply just as well to any relationship, including siblings and especially those who are dating. Visitors are invited to share their thoughts and opinions on the topic.

Posts are moderated only to filter spam and unrelated/inappropriate content, but all opinions on the topic of this blog are respected and invited.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Getting Things Right and Healing

Perfection isn't always to be when trying to say things just right in all you do. People tend to say the first thing that comes to mind, not the second, and not being judicious in what one says can have a rippling and collateral affect on others. This is true in family and in friendships. Keep in mind that when you attempt to give advice, the advice might not be wanted or warranted, and even if it is, unsolicited comments often don't go over very well.

So, let's say you DO stick your foot in your mouth, or someone has made comments for which they regret. Give people an opportunity to apologize and allow the person to be forgiven . . .  and allow the even to be swallowed up and forgotten is part of the forgiveness process. No one should feel that in spite of 1,000 acts of kindness, service, and love to repair any damage or heartache that their efforts are in vain.

We all make mistakes, and being allowed to move on without the constant shadow and reminders of past deeds can greatly facilitate the healing process.

Friday, March 9, 2012

"I love you!"

"Dad, you're the best father in the whole world. Let's talk."

Uh-oh. I can feeling something coming . . . "Okay, what do you want?"

I shouldn't always assume that my children have some pre-planned agenda when they come and lavish praises on my such as these, but I am often correct in anticipating that something is coming. My kids often don't mind trying, realizing that my answer will often be "no."
  • "No, I'm not buying another family car."
  • "No, I don't think everyone needs an iPad."
  • No, I'm not going to take you out to dinner tonight."
  • "No, I won't do your chores. Just because I won't clean the bathroom for you doesn't mean I don't love you."
This said, there are many times when we can and should say YES:
  • "Yes, you can come and talk to me any time of day or night."
  • "Yes, I made a mistake, and I'm sorry."
  • "Yes, you are right, and I am wrong."
I often have to suspend judgement before I leap to a conclusion on why my kids tell me they love me. I many cases, they simply mean it. 


Randall




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