Tilly, age 14
Awhile back when I asked what type of posts you readers enjoyed the most and what you wanted to hear more about, parenting teens was at the top of the list. Back when I started this blog, I didn’t have any teens. I now have four living in the house and have gone through the teen years already with Keziah, Ezra and Boaz.
I suppose I haven’t written more about parenting teens specifically because I don’t feel like I have much to say.
Adalia, age 17
My teens are seriously awesome. They are obedient and respectful (for the most part). They help with our family and around the house. None (by the grace of God) are rebellious. All are hard workers. This, I imagine, is a direct result of us not having the money to give them an allowance. If they want money they first need to find a job and then earn the money. This tends to make them very responsible when it comes to spending that hard-earned money.
Devon, age 16
Devon isn’t my daughter of course, but she spends plenty of time with our family and my kids spend plenty of time over at her house.
Enoch, age 13
I guess if I have any philosophy on parenting teens it’s this: pour time into them when they are young. Read to them. Go on walks and hikes and adventures. Involve them in every aspect of your family life. Let them know you care. Be there to listen. Talk to them. Let them know you see them as individuals. Don’t be afraid to discipline. Be their parent, not their friend. The friendship part comes later. I am now seeing the fruit of this with Keziah (20) and Adalia (17).
Judah, age 15
Adalia, Cameron, Enoch, Connor, Judah, Tilly and Devon all dressed for the Starlight Northwest Prom.
Starlight has been such a blessing to our family. Starlight provides activities for families with seriously ill children. Living with a medically needing sibling is draining on the whole family. What I loved about the prom was it gave our teens and Devon and her siblings a chance to attend with formal event even without their medically needy brothers. This was an evening for them to shine. The girls got their makeup and hair done (down in Seattle, so after these photos were taken) and got to feel beautiful. As homeschoolers, they were thrilled to get to attend a prom. Well, Devon’s brothers weren’t thrilled. Rumor has it they only attended because Judah and Enoch were going.
Adalia, Devon, Tilly and I have been attended our local SPIN (Serving People in Need) dances for months now. It started with Adalia going as a project for her Psychology class and has grown into an event we all look forward to. The SPIN dances are monthly community dances put on for people with developmental disabilities. I am so proud of these three teen girls who look forward to spending an evening dancing with these amazing members of our community. Let’s be honest, it can be awkward to be around developmentally disabled adults who don’t have the same boundaries the rest of us do. But they go. Not because they are trying to “do a good deed” but because they love the dances. Each month has gotten a little easier as the people become familiar to us.
After attending the Starlight Prom, Judah and Enoch decided to come along to this month’s SPIN dance. It was amazing to see them there. Uncomfortable at times, but ready to go back next month.
Yes, I’m proud of my teens, but I can’t say I have specific formula for how to produce them. If so, I’d write a book and be rich.