Teen Years and Off to College- Mom's Panel Tips

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 We are on tour through the 40 minute Mom Panel presentation that I and 5 other ladies are a part of locally!

If you jumped on mid ride, check out these previous posts to catch up. This is what we do, and then don't miss yesterday's tips for raising toddler and elementary aged children HERE.

Today's tidbits  are for those TEEN YEARS and COLLEGE YEARS.

Julie, our panel Mom who has all boys, one about to marry and the youngest a senior in high school, shares her tips for TEEN YEARS.

1.  Use the phrase "Help me to understand..." instead of "Have you lost your mind!?" or the infamous "What were you thinking??!!" This phrase encourages real dialogue instead of arguments. You'll use it a lot.

2.  There is typically nothing that will happen in their lives that 2 years or even 2 months won't solve. Many things can seem so devastating at the time, but when I had my children think back to 2 years before, whatever was bothering them then had been resolved. This helps them put things in perspective.

3.   I've learned to host events in my matter how expensive or painful that is! I could learn more in one evening hosting an event than in a year's worth of conversations. Get to know the kids who are influencing your child. Then you are better equipped to guide your teen on friend choices and give insight when needed.

4. Don't sweat the small stuff. Pick your battles. Is it a heart issue? Deal with things involving the heart immediately, but everything else, bite your tongue unless it's critical for their safety.

5. I've learned not to overreact or jump in too quickly. I need to respond vs. react. Unless it is life or death, I try to take a few minutes to collect myself before responding to any sort of conflict involving my child.

Dorea, also a mother of all boys, the youngest of whom is a senior in college, shares her tips about parenting during the COLLEGE aged years, or as she says, having "adult" children, who are growing into their new role.

1.  Each child is different, there's no cookie cutters in life. They will each have a different experience. Don't place your own expectations on their growth and maturity.

2.  Let them choose the place, the classes, the course of study. This is part of their learning process! Hold your tongue. They may change their mind multiple times. That's ok. Let them learn it themselves.

3.  You've had them 18 years. It's too late if you haven't taught them to make their bed, choose friends wisely or manage their money. Sink or swim, let them. Don't nag.

4.  Encourage them. Communicate in their style, whether it's texting or tweeting, learn it. Send prayers or scriptures or encouragements. Cookies and notes sent to college early on mean a lot, but don't over do it and embarrass them.

5.  They'll probably be dating, trust them. They must live with their choices. They know your values already. Have open communication. Be careful what you say- remember that person they are dating could be a member of your family one day!

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