Hello friends. A few weeks ago, my friend Anne and I launched a new blog, How to Homeschool High School. We’re still working out the kinks, and it isn’t as pretty as we’d like it to be yet, but today I posted this:

How to have a conversation with a teenager:

It’s a hard thing, growing up.

I ache for my kids sometimes as I watch them struggle with difficult things. I cheer for them, and I rejoice with them in their victories. I cry with them, and I pray for them.

One of the things that brings me the greatest joy over the years, is talking with them. I hurt for moms who say they can’t talk to their kids. As I navigate the teen years with my kids, here are a few things I’ve thought about.

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Five tip of the iceberg tips for having good conversations with teens:

1. Have lots of conversations with them before they are teenagers.

Obvious, but so important. A relationship is built on time and experiences. And conversations flow out of relationships.

As a homeschooling mom, time has never been an issue. I spend my days with my kids. But experiences are made. Experiences either present themselves and ask you to take advantage of them, or they are created. Either way, they require the effort of attention.

I’ve always read to the children, usually scripture at breakfast, and history or a novel or whatever at lunch. There are times when we’ve read together and then just carried on with the day. Life is like that sometimes. But most of the time, some kind of conversation is generated by the reading. It’s fun. It helps us remember. And, it’s good conversation practice.

Once in a while, I take one of the kids out for coffee or lunch. We go to the nice cafe in town, order a treat, and visit. One on one, in a different setting, makes for some interesting and memorable conversations. I treasure the memories of these times, and look forward to more.

The joy I reap, now that I have two teenagers, is that they still like to do this with me. The other night, when I had an event I had to attend to which I didn’t want to go alone, I asked if anyone would go with me. I love that my seventeen-year-old son unhesitatingly answered, Sure, I’ll go with you, Mom. He didn’t care about the Christmas music festival we attended, but it makes me happy to know he cares about me.

…if you’d like to read the rest of the post and check out the new blog, please do. Hop on over and say hello!

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