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  1. Jen:) Feather says:

    Thank you for all your posts like this! πŸ™‚ They help a LOT!

  2. Thank you for this post! As a mom of little kids this helps me to stay focused on this time with them when they do let me cuddle them as much as I want!

    I also wanted to add that when I was a teen, at least once a week when I came home my mom would have a game of double solitaire set up for us to play. (It also helped that she usually included tea and some cookies!) It was so much fun and a great way to unwind from a day at school and the best part was that I had her FULL attention. I still remember that to this day as one of my fondest memories of my childhood and one I want to replicate with my kids.

    1. I absolutely love that memory, Leah! Thank you for sharing! I actually love solitaire and I’ve never played double with my boys, so you just gave me a new idea to try with them! πŸ™‚ ALOHA-

  3. This one is tied to food, but add it to the list if you can swing it!

    Ofttimes I arrived home after a practise or rehearsal after supper had already been served. Mom always saved my plate, warmed it and either her or my Dad or both sat with me as I ate…..Like they stopped doing what they were doing to visit and share in the ups and downs of my day. I realize now that it was probably not that exciting for them to hear about which silly girl said what to whom or what killer drill we ran in basketball practise but they listened anyway.

    And now, as a 42 yr old mother of 4, I still talk to my parents everyday. I tell them it’s because then it won’t be weird as they age and I have to phone to check up on them, but I think they are on to me πŸ˜‰

    Great post!

    1. That just gave me goosebumps!! πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for sharing, Deirdre! Love it and love your relationship with your (clearly very cool) parents! Aloha-

  4. Just to confirm one of your items above…. I do periodically put notes in my teen daughter’s lunch box. Not long ago, one of the other girls at the table grabbed the note, and my daughter assumed that mocking would ensue. But instead, the girl said, “That’s nice. I wish my mom would do that.”

    1. so great Jennifer! I love to hear that! πŸ™‚ Keep it up– aloha!

  5. great reading thank you!!!

  6. I have two teenage girls (15, 14), a 12y.o. girl, a 10y.o. boy plus a 6y.o. girl and a 2y.o. boy. Despite all the hectic days and nights, I try to be real with my kids. I let them know when I’ve made a mistake and try to apologize and make things right when I do. I also try to let them know when they’ve done things right! I remember thinking as a teen that I just could never do anything right so I do my best to “catch” my kids doing the right thing, saying the right words, going the extra mile and showing love and support to their siblings.

    I love to ask their opinion whenever possible, pray over them before one of their music performances, let the teen girls run into the store for a few groceries for me so they know what it feels like to be like a grown-up, go clothes shopping with them and, especially if they are paying for it with their own money, give them a chance to choose and pay for their own clothes (within reason….no showing belly buttons or cleavage), even if I don’t really like some of their choices.

    I love being with my kids, especially during “private time” (usually involves food) and chatting with them about their interests and opinions on life, not being afraid to chat with the older ones on topics such as politics, religion, sharing the gospel, peer pressure, relationships in marriage (respect, communication, etc.), where they are in their faith and reassuring them that they don’t always have to agree with what I think but they should know why they disagree and learn to defend that opinion with logic and truth.

    I’m never perfect and I FAIL all the time but my kids are so awesome and extend such grace to me that most times it’s easy to be a mom to teens, tweens and also to the youngers.

    Thank you so much for this great article….I was very encouraged!

    1. Thank you Tulip for sharing from your family! I love to hear from other parents doing their best (and never perfectly) as it totally encourages me in my own parenting! Sounds like you’re doing an amazing job. I too love the chats as they get older when you can really get into “real” subjects. It’s awesome to see them growing into adults like that!
      Keep it up and keep in touch! aloha-

  7. I have two boys and each one opens up to me a different way. My oldest 17 is more open and he really opens up if I take him out to eat!:) But he hates questions so I have to let him lead a bit. My youngest 15 is not so open and keeps his emotions more to himself. I have found a great way to connect with him. Every Tuesday we do a camp out on the couch and turn on movies and he starts the talking. Its like water coming out of a Dam, non stop information and a peek into his life. If I want to know anything going on with him it is at this time where he talks. If you can find that one thing that works stick with it:)

    1. Great advice and I love how you’ve figured out both of your boys! Well done, momma! That is super encouraging, Much aloha, thank you for sharing–

  8. Awesome and insightful post!! Thank you!! As a mama of two teenage boys and a preteen, I’m always searching for encouraging words!! πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™

  9. These are some great tips and I am happy to say that I’ve used some of these myself on my 15 year old. My middle girl is on the cusp of being a teenager and I’m sure I’ll need plenty of tips for her… girls are a whole different ball game. My boy definitely appreciates food and feeding him and his friends. I try to oblige as much as I can. πŸ™‚

  10. Love it! I have a 22yr old son and did all of these things (including the back scratches). It makes my heart glad to know I did what I needed to even though it wasn’t always convenient. e.g. late night chats when i wanted sleep!! It was all worth it. Thanks so much for putting it all into words in this post. Its inspiring for me, and with another son coming into the teen years, I know what I need to do and Im looking forward to all of it!!

  11. Anne Palmer says:

    Just wonderful!!!!! Needed this! Sharing with all my village peeps! xo πŸ™‚ Mahalo~ xo

  12. Hi Monica, thank you for taking the time to share your gift of writing( blogging) with us! I have one teenage boy and I appreciate the wisdom and encouragement you share on the topic of raising boys. I just wanted to share a book that I’ve been reading by Dr. Gary Oliver and his late wife Carrie Oliver. It’s called, Raising Sons and Loving It! ( Helping your Boys Become Godly Men) Gary Oliver has such a heart for the Lord and he is a very dynamic speaker! If you’re not familiar with him, look him up! He has a modern day Job testimony. He’s been truly blessed with the gift of wisdom. He is a Christian psychologist very rooted in Gods word. I’m enjoying this book beyond words! Blessings!

  13. I always enjoy reading your posts and sharing your wisdom. I wish it would have been available while I was raising my teens. Sure hope moms take to heart your advice for their comfort and to help guide and teen into adulthood. A challenge indeed. πŸ™‚

    1. OH Grandma Mare–So nice!! I have a feeling you did a great job on your own! πŸ™‚
      I’m not perfect but love sharing the journey with others! Much aloha to you! XO

  14. I sit down and watch my son’s favorite TV show with him. I’m totally not into zombies but it means a lot to him that I show interest, ask questions about characters/plot and spend that time with him. In return, I notice that he sits down and watches The Voice with me and even adds performance comments πŸ™‚

    1. Way to go Renee! You’re reaching your son where he is at, and if it includes Zombies then you’re a seriously great mom!! πŸ™‚
      Well done. Aloha–

  15. This is so helpful! My ten year old is just starting a bit of the moods and this comes at a great time for me. One minute he wants space and the other he wants me to come sing a song to him before bed. Thanks Monica!

    1. Love it! You’re in good company around here. It’s not always simple or straight forward, but you’ve got this!! πŸ™‚

  16. This is fantastic Monica. I love every single post you write! Your teenagers are a blessed bunch! Have just sent you an email πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much! You are a big encouragement!! πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for getting in touch!! Aloha- πŸ™‚