One Step at a Time

April 26, 2017 at 7:31 am (General)

“Mom, don’t put that on the internet.” It was a statement made by my son one afternoon about two years ago. While I don’t remember the details of the situation that prompted it, his request has been on my mind ever since.

It was something he didn’t want public. It might have been something unpleasant that happened at school that day, or even a hilarious story that he just wanted to keep between us. Whatever it was, he asked me not to share it, and I listened. I didn’t write about it on the internet. I didn’t share it on Facebook, the blog, or even with friends. I realized that my children have a valid need for privacy while they grow up.

Needless to say, it’s been a while since I logged in here! Though my children’s request for privacy certainly spearheaded my blogging hiatus, I also welcomed the break as our family headed into some transitional years. Our interests and activities started to go in new directions. Gradually, we moved into the tween years, and I just wanted to be there for them–no camera always in-hand, no blog title or topic always at the front of my mind, no wondering, “should I write about this?” and what the response might be on social media. I wanted to be simply present with my kids.

Now, at 10 and 12 years old, they face new challenges in growing up, and we face new challenges in helping them get there. Issues like…

  • Being self-sufficient in the mornings
  • Making thoughtful choices about food (what to eat, how much, when)
  • Understanding what makes a good friend
  • Putting in effort to do high quality work: from cleaning to handwriting to sports practices
  • Planning and budgeting money
  • Self regulating video game time
  • Preserving family time
  • The Great Cell Phone Debate
  • Balancing friends, activities, and school work
  • Time management
  • Developing confidence
  • Speaking up for what you need
  • Staying close while developing independence

And yet, despite the evolving challenges of raising tweens, our priorities haven’t changed one bit: connection first. We hold on to each other. We aim for problem solving, communication, and working with our kids’ natural development. We talk. We hug. We preserve the relationship above all else. No matter what “logistical” challenges arise as our kids grow, these will always be the founding principles of how we approach them.

So here we still are! Things have changed, but ultimately not so much. I have no idea what twists and turns the teen years will bring us, but I trust we’ll figure things out one step a time. Together.

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