Monday, June 19, 2017

And So I Rock Her

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It's late at night. You're rocking baby while your partner sleeps soundly. At their moment, you are alone in the world...
You feel isolated.
You feel a bittersweet frustration.
You feel smothered and nurturing simultaneously.


Have I ever told you that I don't remember the last time I rocked my son (now 8.5 years old) to sleep? I don't. I've no recollection of the last time I held him. And now, in his burgeoning boyishness I've no memory of when I last held his sweet little body, folded perfectly onto my frame. And it saddens me. It breaks my heart for the boy-baby that he used to be and has grown out of.
 
And here I am now... with a 3 year old who still nurses to sleep and does not sleep alone for longer than 2 hours at a time. Like many moms, after bedtime is the only time I get to myself all day. It's when I decompress, get projects and blog posts done, and just get a moment for me, in general. And so often this time is interjected with long hours spent holding Sunny while she sleeps. And there are so many nights when I just want to be able to put her down.

And when I take the time to think about it I feel like a failure. I feel bad for both sides of this situation. Regretful that I've not helped her learn to "self-soothe" and sleep independently by this point in her life. Guilty that when she needs me in those sleepytime hours, I'm clambering for my space. It's a double-edged sword that cuts my momma heart in two. 
 
 
But it is what it is.
 
These days go by so quickly. She's turned from a snuggly little burrito baby into a gangly toddler seemingly overnight.  And someday, she'll be too big to be nestled against my chest. Someday, she'll think it silly to snuggle with Mom. So for now, I have to cherish these moments... savoring each one. Because you never know something is happening for the last time until it doesn't ever happen again.
 
And so I hold her.
And so I rock her.
And so I be the comfort she needs in the night.
I am her safe place.
And that is okay.
 



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Friday, June 9, 2017

The Truth About Miscarriage: Mourning Before We Rejoice

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They tell you not to announce a pregnancy too soon. Who "they" is, I don't know. I just know the ill-explained societal rule that you don't publicly announce until around 12 weeks. But when I got the positive pregnancy test, I couldn't help but tell a handful of close friends... my virtual momma tribe.
 
Because I couldn't contain my excitement.
Because I wanted those close to me to share in the baby magic.
Because I needed their support.


Two weeks after I found out I was pregnant, the support of my closest friends was what kept me afloat during one of the heaviest times of my life. It's taken me a week to write about it. Partially because nothing I can say can begin to touch the pain, and partially because hitting the publish button makes this all real...permanent.
 
By the time I gave birth to my son, I had two miscarriages.  They were heartbreaking, but that was back before the days of social media. So I was stranded in my sorrow, unaware that other women were dealing with the same grief I was. Then I had my first baby. And a few years later, another one. And the darkness of that pain was diminished by the light those two little ones brought to my days. But still... I felt unfinished. Like I was meant to be a mother to more....

Fast forward to three weeks ago. I felt different. My little nursling, Sunny, said that her "nummies" tasted different. And even before the positive pregnancy test, I was pretty sure that I was pregnant.  Sure enough, I took a test, and...


And in an instant, I foresaw all that was in store for me. I saw that baby's face, felt that little hand upon my face, and heard that little voice call me "momma" for the first time. I was on cloud nine, ready to welcome the next little one into our family. Then last Thursday, I woke up and discovered I was bleeding.  I knew in an instant what was happening. A trip to the doctor's office for an hcg blood test, a pelvic exam, and an ultrasound told us what we needed to know. 

And then I was sent home for my body to do what it needed to do while I pretended that nothing was wrong around my littlest two kiddos. I had to put on a happy face for my daughter's birthday party. My body hurt, my soul ached, and I was heartbroken. And I felt alone, because only a handful of people actually knew what was going on.

That first morning, when I woke up and realized I was miscarrying, I vague-booked... posted a status asking for prayers. But I wish that I'd had those prayers from the second I found out I was pregnant.  Because so many women feel awkward or silly announcing in those early days of pregnancy. But isn't that precarious, delicate, scary time when expecting mommas need their support system to circle the wagons and send prayers and super sticky baby juju?

Instead, we stifle the joy of having life grow within us because society says we aren't suppose to get excited too soon. And for a small minority of expectant mothers, that means harboring the grief of their loss alone.

Too many of us mourn before we rejoice.
 
Three of my babies have seen Jesus before they've seen me. This is the comfort I've found... the peace I can hold onto with my empty arms. Because unlike other losses, there won't be a funeral. How do I deal with this loss without a formal way to say goodbye?
 
A well-meaning friend tried to console me by reminding me I'd only been pregnant a few weeks. No. No. No. No. Something that other loss mommas may relate to is that you can ask any one of us how old our angel babies would be right now, and we can tell you. Mine would be 17 years, 14 years, and I would have a baby due in January 2018. Though their lives maybe brief, we remember their presence... on those milestones, our due dates, on the anniversaries of their expected births.
 
 
I'm handling this publicly because there should be no shame. No longer should we have to hide our grief. And perhaps another loss momma will find some comfort in my words.
 
I'm here if you need me or want to share your story to honor your precious lost little one. Many blessings.
 



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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Moments Matter: Photo Prompts for Moms

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Last month, I shared a new Moments Matter monthly photo challenge.  I feel like I'm just passing time as I move through my days. So the idea of the photo challenge that focuses on the small details of my days and helps me connect with my loved ones is very appealing.  Because it's in these little moments that life happens, love is shared, and memories are made.  With Mother's Day coming up, I've decided to revisit this challenge as a gift to myself.  I thought I'd share it with you all in case you want to join in.  As moms, sometimes we are rarely in pictures, I encourage you to be in the picture as much as possible.
 
There are several ways you can join me in this project:
  • Use the photo prompts to capture moments in your day that fit them.  Join me on Instagram and share them or keep them for just you and your family to enjoy.
  • Use the topics to hone your photography skills.
  • You can also use the prompts as inspiration for activities for you to do with your children. 
  • If you can’t participate every day, no worries.  Just post when the prompts speak to you and relate to the moments in your day.
  • Share whatever photos you like with the tag #momentsmatter to share the special moments in your day.
  Here are the photo prompts for this month:
 

 
 
Don't forget to use the hashtag #momentsmatter when you share!  See you on Instagram!
 
 
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Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.




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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program

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Barnes and Noble has a great summer reading program that allows kids in grades 1-6 to earn free books!
 
 
Here's how kids can earn a free book:
  1. Download a summer reading journal from Barnes and Noble.
  2. Encourage your child to read any 8 books over the summer and journal about them.
  3. Take the completed journal to any Barnes and Noble between May 16th and September 5th.
  4. Then your child gets to pick a free book from the list in the back of the journal.
Source
Kick off summer reading with any of these great picture books or chapter books!




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Monday, May 15, 2017

Fire and Ice Candles {preschool melting experiment}

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Making a candle with wax and ice is an activity that I did over 25 years ago in Brownie Girl Scouts.  {How's that for dating myself?}  My version of it sat in my mom's curio cabinet for many, many years.  It's a simple project with few materials needed, but the products are so cool and so different depending on how you do it.
 

You can use store bought candle wax or just melt down an existing candle, like we did.  To prepare the candle to be melted down in the microwave, I dug out the metal wick plate in the bottom of the candle so I could pull the wick out. {metal and microwaves don't mix}
 
 
Then we placed the candle in a microwavable bowl that I didn't mind tossing after we used it.  We covered the bowl with a piece of tupperware to catch splatters.  It took about 15 minutes for the whole candle to melt down.
 
To give the candle its shape, use a waxed cup.  The wax liner will allow for easy removal by peeling the cup away.  Insert the wick, then fill up the cup with ice.  For this project, I would suggest using crushed ice.  Regular-sized ice cubes are too big and will make for a crumbly candle.   Bear put as much crushed ice as he wanted in the cup, then I poured the melted wax over it until the cubes were completely covered.

Both of us thought it was interesting to watch the immediate reaction that occurred when the hot wax and ice cubes met.  We checked back frequently to look at the progress on the melting of the ice cubes.  I should note that you may want to occasionally gently tip the cup over the sink to drain out melted water. 

I waited about 6 hours to make sure all of the ice was fully melted before I peeled the cup off of the candle.  The result is exquisite.  All of the little nooks and spaces that the ice left in the wax are so beautiful to see.
 
 
I think that the best part about this project is that it's educational and productive at the same time.  These would make for great Mother's Day gifts if made with scented wax.  This one is going to Gramma's house so it can sit in the curio cabinet for many, many years just like mine did.
  




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End of the Year Teacher Appreciation Gift: Book for Kids to Make

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We're coming up on the end of the year, which means a mad dash to get those year end teacher appreciation gifts done.  Something that I do each year for Bear's teacher is make a photo book filled with student interviews and pictures.  The teachers have just loved these gifts because they capture the personality and perspective of each child. So I thought I'd throw together this little printable that you can use to create a class book for your child's teacher. 
 
This post contains affiliate links.
 
These books can be completed one of two ways.  The sheets can be sent home with the students where they will fill out the below questionnaire, glue on a picture of themselves, and return. Then you can laminate each page and secure them with binder rings or spirally. Place it in wrapped shirt box or gift bag and it's ready for teacher.

Or you can do as I did and enter all of the information into an online photo book and have them professionally printed. The later is what I've done in years past because I've sent the questionnaire via email to the parents. Each student gets a two page spread, one side has their picture, the other has their interview answers. This is how I laid it out:
 
The download below contains printable pages with both male and female pronouns for either Mr. or Mrs./Ms./Miss teachers. Just click the link to download the PDF file from Google and you're on your way to creating a one-of-a-kind end of the year teacher gift.
 
 
Click the link below to download 

What are some end of the year teacher gifts you’ve given?


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Thursday, May 11, 2017

25 Summer Activities and Free Printable Calendar {free printable}

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It's about to be summer vacation and I'll be honest in that I'm panicking a little bit. This is the first summer that both kiddos have been old enough to do activities pretty much all day long. I'm starting prep early, using a hard copy calendar to plan activities for each month. See below for activity ideas and to get a free summer calendar printable to plan activities for you and your kiddos.


The days and weeks of summer can go by slowly if you don't have an activity list to fall back on to keep everyone occupied.  Here is a list of some of the activities that you can plan to create a fun and memorable summer.
 
Sign the kiddos up for swim lessons at your pool or YMCA.
Check to see if nearby community colleges offer college for kids.
Take a tour of your police or fire station.
Collect old blankets for a local animal shelter.
Have a picnic with friends at a park.
 
Make your own pizza at a pizza place.
Attend summer programming at your local library.
Decorate your own pottery at a paint-and-bake pottery store.
Go on a scavenger hunt at the zoo.
Get some friends together and have a bubble party.
 
Check out your local museum and the programming they have to offer.
Have some cool fun at the splash pad.
Go for a hike at a local state park.
Visit local stores and tape quarters to the trinket machines for other kids to find.
Set up a lemonade stand and raise money for a charity.

Sign up to sponsor a child with The Raining Season and skype with them monthly.
Collect canned foods for your local food shelter.
Attend Vacation Bible School at your church for some fun, spiritual activities.
Check with your local high school for summer sports clinics.
Participate in a Flat Me project and watch your Flat Me tour all around the country.

Tie-dye t-shirts for a family get together or the Fourth of July.
Collect socks, underwear, and stuffed buddies for a local foster care program.
Take a tour of a local factory or food processing center.
Sign up for free summer bowling and hit the lanes to have some fun.
Do a postcard exchange with friends around the country to get mail every week

Now. Here are the calendars that I created to plan our summer activities. Click the link to download them for you own planning purposes.

 
 
Click the link below to download 





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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Daddy Honk Honk Review and Giveaway

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Right now, Sunny is loving books with animals, so when Penguin Books offered to send us a copy of a new book from Rosalinde Bonnet, called Daddy Honk Honk, we were thrilled.  The book did not disappoint. It's the story of how a tiny little gosling adopts an unknowing fox as its daddy. As a parent in a blended (and pending adoption family) this book really hits home because it teaches children that the meaning of family can be unconventional, surprising, and not genetically tied.
 
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Daddy Honk Honk via Penguin Books.
 
Aput the fox find an egg that has been abandoned. To his surprise, it hatches and a darling little gosling pops out. Throughout the book, the little gosling says "Daddy honk honk" numerous times.  This is my daughter's favorite part and she likes to "read" the part of the gosling.  As the pages turn, Aput learns from the other animals what he needs to do to be a good dad. At the end, readers can see Aput following his fatherly instincts and taking care of his baby.  I'm not going to lie.... The ending brought me to tears.

 
Father's Day is coming next month and this book would be a delightful gift for the father in your life to read with their little ones.
 
And here's a bonus! Penguin Books is going to send one of you an amazing Daddy Honk Honk package that includes:
1 set of four magnets
1 button
4 prints (2x9”)
1 deluxe print (2x9”)
1 book


To enter, use the Rafflecopter entry below.  Contest is limited to U.S. only. Entries close on May 15th at 12 am. Winner will be announced by midnight on May 17th.


 



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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Daddy Honk Honk via Penguin Books. All opinions are mine. The received a copy of Daddy Honk Honk in exchange for an honest review. Giveaway items are supplied by publisher.

Friday, May 5, 2017

15 Home Teething Remedies

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Aside from sleep issues, I have to say that I think that teething is by far, one of the hardest things that parents of babies/toddlers go through. The teething phase with my youngest two were vastly different. Bear was inconsolable, in pain for days at a time.  Sunny, on the other hand, didn't bat an eye. I never even knew when she was getting a tooth. The difference? With Bear, I mostly used Hylands teething tablets and Orajel, products that have both come under fire as being dangerous for teething babies. With Sunny, I was more informed,  much more naturally-minded, and utilized natural home teething remedies.

This post contains affiliate links.

Though there is some deviation from child to child, there is a general timeline for teething that most babies follow. Below is the diagram that I followed with Sunny to anticipate when teeth were coming in. Teething symptoms can usually start around 4-6 months of age.
 
Source


Teething symptoms can vary from baby to baby, but some of the most common symptoms are:
  • Drooling: Who has turned on the faucet in your baby's mouth? It seems like overnight, a switch is flipped and there is just an EXCESS of droll coming from your baby.
  • Mild facial rash: Due to an increase in droolage, a rash around the mouth and on the chin can be normal as the excess moisture causes chafing and chapping of the skin.
  • Excessive fussiness: Is baby harder to console when he/she is upset?
  • Gum bulging: Sometimes you are able to see the pearl of a tooth underneath baby's gums.
  • Biting/chewing: Have you hit the stage where anything your baby gets a hold of ends up in the mouth?
  • Elevated temperature: Sometimes teething can cause low grade fevers (lower than 101) in babies. This phenomenon is disputed among the medical community, but there is serious evidence that teething can cause fevers in some infants.
  • Pulling on ears: The gums share nerves with ears, so oftentimes babies will tug at their ears when experiencing gum discomfort.
So what can we do to help our little ones deal with the pain and discomfort caused by teething pain? Here are some of the natural home teething remedies I used with Sunny that seemed to limit her teething discomfort. As a note, anytime your baby is chewing on something, they should be fully supervised.


Amber Necklaces
The theory of how amber necklaces actually work is that body heat warms the amber and releases succinic acid which then alleviates teething discomfort.  We weren't always sold on amber. Until once, when Sunny was in the midst of teething, I broke her necklace. She turned into the grumpiest pickle baby. I chip-clipped her necklace on her and within 10 minutes, she was back to her normal happy self. If you choose to try an amber necklace to relieve your little one's teething pain, there are a few important things to know. Make sure you have real amber. Amber is more effective when it is raw and lighter in color. Get a necklace with individually knotted stones and that has a tension release clasp that will release the necklace if too much pull is placed on it (prevents choking). And always, always, ALWAYS remove your baby's amber necklace before putting them down to sleep.
 
Frozen Fruits & Veggies
Freeze 3 inch sections of bananas, carrots, or slices of apple and place them in mesh fresh food feeders. Baby can chew on them without getting section of fruit that is too big to chew or swallow while enjoying the cool, solid comfort.
 
Wet Dishcloth
Pretty straightforward. Wet a dishcloth, leaving a portion dry for baby to hold onto once it's frozen. Roll it up so that the dry portion is not touching the wet. Place in a plastic bag to preserve cleanliness. Freeze for a few hours.
 
Silicone Teethers
Silicone teethers can be used at room temperature or after being chilled. This fruit shaped teether set has textures that can soothe aching and help baby break those teeth through the gums.

Teething Biscuits
If your baby can sit unassisted, then providing teething biscuits to help with teething is a viable option. You can purchase premade teething biscuits or make your own.



Nurse on Demand
Nursing moms can help teething babies and toddlers by letting them nurse on demand. Nursing can help comfort littles when they're dealing with discomfort.

Teething Necklaces
Like silicone teethers, silicone teething necklaces can yield benefits warm or cold.  The added bonus to this that moms can wear them and look fashionable while helping their babies with teething.
 
Chilled Teething Rings
Traditional chilled teething rings are classic soothers for teething gums. They're inexpensive and easy for baby to use.

Wooden Teethers
Wooden teethers, like this fun set of four, provide a firm surface for babies to num num on. Wooden teething toys relieve parents of concerns regarding possible BPA in plastic teethers.

Gum Massage
You can massage baby's gums with thoroughly washed hands or get a gum massager and use it. Either way, small circular motions using gentle pressure can help alleviate teething discomfort.



Frozen Pacifiers
Pop a pacifier in the freezer and let baby have it.  This is especially helpful for front teeth as that is where the pacifier will come in contact with the gums.

Cold Spoon
It gives me the eebs to think about gnawing on a metal spoon. But the cold metal of a chilled teaspoon can do some good in alleviating gum discomfort.

Vibrating Teethers
It might sound weird, but they make vibrating teethers that I've heard do wonders for sore little mouths. The vibrating sensation provides relief for teething much like a massaging chair would do for a sore back.

Distraction Techniques
Teething pain can be consuming for little humans, so any distraction we can offer them is beneficial. This can come in the form of playing with dried pasta in a bowl, sensory bottles, or water play. Pretty much anything that suits baby's interests and can get them focused on something other than teething.

OTC Pain Relievers
Okay, so this isn't necessarily a "home remedy". I will admit that I like to reserve over the counter pain meds such as Tylenol and ibuprofen for extreme circumstances. But when your baby is in pain and nothing else is working, there's no shame in using pain relievers to help them.


Are there any other ways that you relieve your baby or toddler's teething pain?





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Disclaimer: The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only. You are encouraged to confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

"My Girl" Birthday Party Theme

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Before Sunny turned 1 year old, I decided that I wanted her party theme to be one that was not so common and a bit off of the beaten path. I decided to base it on a song. Naturally, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "You are My Sunshine" were ones that immediately came to mind. Instead, I decided to go with a theme that went with the song "My Girl" by The Temptations.
 
For the tablecloth, I used a vintage floral one that belonged to my great-grandma. I got some brown craft paper letters to spell out the word "one" and covered them with scrapbook paper that coordinated with the theme.  We also used these letters for Sunny's one year old photo shoot.
 
 
On the wall above the table, I hung Sunny's 3, 6, 9, and 12 month pictures mounted on cute, coordinating scrapbook paper. I purchased little bee accents and metal bird accessories to add to the tablescape.
 
 
Painted $1 mason jars from Target with twine bows and fresh daisies sat on top of a vintage orange crate.
 
Overall, it was a very fresh, vibrant theme for our little ones' first birthday. It couldn't have gone better!
 


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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Moments Matter: Photo Prompts for Moms

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A few years back, I shared a new Moments Matter monthly photo challenge.  The concept of the photo challenge is to focus on the small details of our days and to connect with our loved ones in the midst of our hectic lives.  Because it's in these little moments that life happens, love is shared, and memories are made.  With Mother's Day coming up, I've decided to revisit this challenge as a gift to myself.  I thought I'd share it with you all in case you want to join in.  As moms, sometimes we are rarely in pictures, I encourage you to be in the picture as much as possible.
 
There are several ways you can join me in this project:
  • Use the photo prompts to capture moments in your day that fit them.  Join me on Instagram and share them or keep them for just you and your family to enjoy.
  • Use the topics to hone your photography skills.
  • You can also use the prompts as inspiration for activities for you to do with your children. 
  • If you can’t participate every day, no worries.  Just post when the prompts speak to you and relate to the moments in your day.
  • Share whatever photos you like with the tag #momentsmatter to share the special moments in your day.
  Here are the photo prompts for this month:

 

Don't forget to use the hashtag #momentsmatter when you share!  See you on Instagram!
 
 
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Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.




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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

When a Mommy Friendship Ends

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I just recently lost a friend.  There was no notice of a problem.  One day things were fine, and the next, she had blocked and unfriended me on Facebook.  I couldn't deal... Couldn't process what had caused such a major step.
 
 
The feelings surrounding a friend breakup are just like those experienced in a romantic breakup. When a friendship ends, it’s so personal in nature.  Here’s a person I’ve shared my concerns as a mom, my frustrations as a wife, and my struggles as a woman with.  And she’s freaking rejected me.  As naked and vulnerable as I could possibly be, I was with her through whatever.  Through all of her struggles, all of her crap, all of my struggles, all of my crap,  I tried to be there. This pain is real and fresh.  It gnaws at my heart as I go about my day.  Mostly because I have no answers, no reasons, no knowing what I did wrong to cause what I thought was going to be a lifelong friendship to be over.
 
I feel duped. I feel betrayed. I feel anxious about whatever I could've done that caused this fallout
 
And how do I explain all of this to an 8 yr old who wants to know why Mommy is so sad?  How do I tell him that sometimes people turn away from us and we never know the reason? 
 
The sadness over losing a friend is real and deserves to be validated.  That’s why I won't use the silly cliché “why would you want to be friends with someone who doesn’t want to be friends with you?” on my son.  Because we can’t control who we feel connected to… who we perceive as a kindred spirit. 
 
Instead, I have to tell him this…
 
Everyone has a story.  Something they’re going through or have gone through.  We don’t always know what others are thinking and feeling or why they do what they do.  So all we can do is be kind and loving to them, even if their actions or words wound us. And we miss that person and their presence in our lives.  And we can pray that they’re happy with who they spend their time with and that their new friends love them just as much as we do.  And maybe things will change and they’ll want to be friends again.  Maybe not.  But at least if we end on a loving note, they’ll know that door is always open.




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Monday, April 17, 2017

How to Know if Your Teen is Ready to Drive

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Is your teen nagging you to get their learner's permit or to practice driving?  I started to feel like a mean parent when people asked her, "Are you driving yet?".  My poor girl would get red in the face and let out an embarrassed "nope" from her mouth. But we had some stipulations that she had to meet in order to get those keys.
 

Learning to drive is a rite of passage for teens, but I'm a firm believer that just because a teen turns 16, doesn't necessarily mean that they are ready to take on the responsibility of driving a motor vehicle. In order to even get her learner's permit, my seventeen year old daughter, Pip, had to:
  • have A & B grades
  • have $500 saved {our deductible}
Her grades were fine and she was working her way towards saving the money.  We decided that she could take her time as I was not ready for her to drive.  But was she ready?  Which leads to the question:

How do I know my teen is ready to drive?

To get fully comfortable with her being behind the wheel, I asked myself the following questions:

Are the choices they make in high pressure situations appropriate?
Reaction time is vital in preventing automobile accidents.  Split-second decisions can help to prevent damage to property, injuries, and death.  Judging this ability can be something as simple as their reactions to a glass of spilled soda on the table.  Upon asking them to quickly go get a towel, does your teen freeze up, run to grab the towel by the sink, or go down the hall to the bathroom to get a towel out of the linen closet?
 
Do they generally follow household rules?
If your teen struggles to follow the rules of the house (i.e. no friends over when a parent isn't home, obeying curfew, etc), chances are there will be issues will following your rules while they're on the road. 
 
How do they respond to peer pressure?
A teen's response to peer pressure is an integral part of judging their readiness to operate a 3,000 ton vehicle. Their ability to stand up to peers when asked to do something that is unsafe, illegal, or against the rules could be the thing that saves their lives.
 
Do they say they're ready?
This is an easy one.  Though it is definitely more convenient for us as parents to have our teens be able to handle their own transportation to school, work, and social events, it's also imperative that your teen is ready for such a big step. Which leads to the next question...

Are they confident and comfortable behind the wheel?
There's no point in even addressing whether or not your teen should drive is they don't feel comfortable behind the wheel. They should log plenty of practice hours prior to testing to get their license. This can be scary, no doubt. But many schools offer Driver's Education classes and there are many local driving instruction schools.

Do they obey traffic laws and family rules for driving?
Wear your seatbelt. Don't mess with your phone while the car is in drive. Follow the speed limit. Stay two car lengths behind bikers.  There are so many rules, both written and unwritten that drivers should follow.  Make sure that your teen is fully cognizant of your expectations for them. Some families even opt to create teen driving contracts.
 
Ultimately, there's not finite list to be crossed off in knowing whether or not your teen is ready to start driving. Using the concepts in the above list and your own knowledge of what your teen is capable of, you have to make the decision based on what's best for your family.





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