My Battle Call | Raising Good Humans: The Tween and Teen Years
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Raising Good Humans: The Tween and Teen Years

As You Navigate Middle School, I Have A Few Things I’d Like You To Know: Not everyone will get you. Be patient. You will continue to find your people. Even if you aren’t a natural athlete…

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To teach our kids kindness and to be includers: encourage them to seek out the new kid and introduce themselves. Explain how it is awesome to have a circle of friends but excruciating to be on the outside of it…

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“What grade is your son in?” a mom at the gym asks. “My daughter is in 4th,” I casually replied. I assure the poor woman there’s no need to worry. When this kid was a toddler…

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To my teenage son, Here you are. Standing on the doorstep of total teenage-ness. Brace yourself, buddy. . . They don’t refer to them as the years of angst for nothin’. There will be irrational emotions that arise in your heart and plummet into your gut without warning. There will…

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A few things I want to share with my kids as they head back to school: Find strength in your gifts and humility in your weaknesses. Choose being courageous over being perfect. Admit your mistakes. Take responsibility, apologize, and move on. Give credit, where credit is due. Share your lunch…

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Boys will be boys. Boys will be empathetic. Boys will be kind. Boys will be brave. Boys will be good listeners. Boys will be intelligent. Boys will be love. Boys will be good friends. Boys will be good brothers. Boys will be good sons. Boys will be good boyfriends. Boys will be…

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Dads can arguably be the most important man in a girl’s life. Through him, she will learn what right looks like. And a good Dad usually will do these things. A good Dad will send spoken and unspoken messages to his daughter. She will learn what…

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My Wish for you, Daughter, May you always see the beauty in nature: oceans, trees, and mountains. May you always know your body is a temple, designed perfectly and beautifully. May you always have a friend who understands you and accepts you for being you.

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It was a new neighborhood, a new school, and I had the new kids. We nervously arrived on the first day of school, immediately passing a group of chattering moms taking photos of their kids wearing freshly pressed shirts, with newly shorn haircuts to boot. It seemed everyone…

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Be the kid who uses please and thank you. Be the kid who has a firm handshake. Be the kid who is quiet during the National Anthem. Be the kid who doesn’t boast about his achievements. Be the kid who invites the kid sitting alone to join him. Be the kid who treats others with respect…

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I experienced an epic parenting FAIL yesterday after my son handed me his geometry quiz, needing a parent-signature. Instead of looking through the test to see his work, review what he got correct and incorrect—I went straight to the score at the top. An 87…

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I’ve wondered what I will say to my kids the next time there is another senseless act of violence against innocent people in our country? I don’t know. And here we are again, trying to understand another shooting that’s left more than a dozen dead. In explaining these senseless acts…

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She had a project in history class where they had to participate in a mock interview for a job as an archeologist. This is the ensemble she chose. She carefully selected the belt, shoes, shirt. She rolled the pants in a specific manner to accentuate the pop of color in the socks…

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I’m not gonna lie…the idea of having the house to myself for a few days, with the absence of lunches, laundry, pick-ups and drop-offs, homework-free, schlep-less-free, bickering-free afternoons, did appeal to me. Then. I entered the house. Once all the shoes and other…

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Rituals. Every morning we do this thing. My daughter plops down on my lap while I sip my morning coffee. Today, was no different. My daughter asked the rhetorical question asked every morning, “Mom, will you brush my hair?” Handing me the brush without waiting for the…

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“Talent wins games, but teamwork wins championships.” I’ve spent countless hours in gyms, fields, and stadiums. It’s hot; it’s loud. Sometimes it is electric. Other times there’s chaos. There are victory cries and tears of defeat. I wholeheartedly believe sports have the ability…

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WORKING HARD; EATING HUMBLE PIE; AND EMBRACING THE SUCK…Here are a few things about life playing sports can teach: Never give up. Even when you are down with seconds to go, it ain’t over till it’s over. If you fight until the final buzzer, sometimes it goes…

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A Letter to my Middle School Son.

Friends of My Battle Call. Boys will be all these things. And more. Boys will be love.

These are a few things I want my kids to know. I wrote this after one the recent school shootings. Feeling helpless, I wondered what I could teach my kids about being kind, humble, hardworking, imperfect while understanding their unique gifts. I hope that if we instill principles like these…

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This is an excerpt based off one of my most shared blog pieces. I wrote it for my son as he prepared to enter middle school. I wanted him to know a few things. And, despite the bad rap, I find teenagers to be strangely amazing.

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Teenagers are strangely amazing. The thing is, many of them don’t realize it. They don’t call it the years of angst for nothing. I wrote this to my son as he was entering middle school. And through the eye rolls and grunts, I hope some of it sinks in. Teenagers are weird.

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Mr. Rogers said his mother told him to look for the helpers. I designed this piece after another school shooting. It struck me. The helpers. Were my kids being raised to help or hurt? What were the tangible things we could talk about that ensured they were choosing to help rather than hurt?

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I had a rad, Dad. Sadly, he died way too young, but when I think about what he might try to teach my children, his grandchildren, these are some of the things I think he would instill. I imagine my Dad sitting on our favorite lake fishing or walking along the beach with my kids…

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Aren’t teenagers strangely amazing? They really are a unique creature, of sorts. Requiring little, they need basic things in order to survive. I observed these strange behaviors over the recent summer break. I was surprised to find a smorgasbord of snacks stashed in…

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As my daughter was preparing to enter middle school, there were so many things I wanted her to know: the moods, drama, staying true to herself. Of course, when I shared this piece with her, she rolled her eyes and thought it was corny. But, perhaps some of the…

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