Surviving High School With Your Introverted Child

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An enthusiastic cheerleader’s voice boomed through the loudspeaker over our heads and echoed down the shiny, tile hallway. Our little group paused until it was over.

“Sorry about that. Big game tonight.” The assistant principal said with a smile. He then motioned us toward a doorway marked “125”.  Inside, students were huddled together over papers and chrome books, talking and writing. They looked up at us briefly.

“This is one of our history classes. The students here are working on a group project,” he explained.

We watched for a while, then continued our tour. We were new parents and students, getting informed and oriented before the next school year. The following thirty minutes were spent moving from one spot to the next, as students pushed past each other in the hallway, reached across each other in the cafeteria, and talked over each other at classroom tables. It was a loud, busy place.

Personally, I loved high school, and happy memories washed over me that day. The energy of games, clubs, and social activities fueled me through my academics, and I thrived in it all.

But now, as a parent, I was seeing things through my daughter’s eyes. With her in mind, even this short tour made me tired.

She is extremely introverted person, and I realized I had to do some very intentional parenting for us both to survive until graduation day.  Continue reading

Our Effin’ Summer Plan (It’s not what you think…)

A couple of people have asked me to post this. I hesitate for fear of people thinking I’m a parenting expert in any way. THAT IS NOT THE CASE. At. All.

However, I have tried various ways to keep my teens active, learning, helpful, and growing over the summer. About four years ago, I came up with this plan, and it stuck.

Enough set-up. Here’s what we do. Not perfectly. Not without grumbling. But it seems to keep us out of trouble… Continue reading

Sunday School Lessons I Wish I Never Taught

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As a Sunday school coordinator, and as our session is ending, I’ve been thinking a lot about what our students have learned this year.

We studied parables, Old Testament prophecies, the significance of the Passover, and The Great Commission. I expected them to learn these things, and I’m glad they did. But as I observed, taught, and listened, I realize they also learned some lessons that we didn’t plan, lessons that might end up hurting them – and the church – in the end… Continue reading

We Need To Call A Parent-Teacher Conference

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Dear Schools,

Our dinner conversation is mostly about my kids’ school day, but it’s rare that they can report much about what they are learning in their core subjects. However, they have many words about the school-wide diet/exercise program, or about the video they watched on how to be safe in the kitchen, or about the activities that they did to learn their personality type.

And it occurred to me, no wonder we spend our evening doing your job… you spend your day doing mine. Continue reading

That One Kid

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As a teacher, I used strategies in the classroom to help distracted students pay attention. I sang, rang a bell, even stood on my chair, occasionally, to get their attention. And as a mom, I use similar strategies at home. I praise and reprimand my kids hoping that their siblings will also get the hint: “I really like the way Josh let everyone else go first…” I put my hand on my daughter’s shoulder to silently remind her to say thank you to her grandparents. And to really make a point Continue reading

Twenty Years

As of last month, it’s been twenty years since my first-born was placed into my arms. It seems like yesterday, and so long ago at the same time.

I look at his tiny body in the picture and can’t believe that he is now a man: strong, talented, intelligent, sensitive, and godly.

And I look into the face of the young version of myself and remember. She is clueless about being a mother, but Continue reading

Friendship on Purpose: A Letter to My Daughters

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Dear Daughters,

As you get ready to enter new schools in the fall, it’s normal for you to be anxious for things to go well.

We’ve thoughtfully planned your core classes, electives, and extra curricular activities.

We made a list of supplies and will scour the stores for just the right binders, backpacks, and notebooks.

We’ve budgeted and will shop carefully for outfits that are practical, appropriate, and expressive.

You are pretty much ready, except for one thing.

We haven’t done anything to prepare you to sift though a big, new group of people in the hope of making godly friends. Often, the friendships that you have in middle school and high school can influence you so much more than your classes, supplies, and clothes. Therefore, I’d like to offer some advice and encouragement, to be just as intentional about getting ready for this part of your new school year. You can begin now to prepare to make friendships. You can do this…on purpose. Continue reading