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My best friend Katelyn and I have been discussing Twilight for a couple months now. Twilight was THE teenage romance series, while we were in middle school and high school. It is also a perfect example of emotional abuse, which, by the way, sets a great stage for physical abuse. Wind Goodfriend Ph.D. does a great job of naming a few of the thousands of examples of abuse Edward displays: He stalks Bella He encourages Bella to have as little interaction as possible from anyone outside his family He preys on her low self esteem He damages her vehicle so she can’t get away Before you go on assuming he was doing this to protect Bella, I just want to point...
I am a thirty-something year old “Older Millennial” mom. I have a side part and wear skinny jeans. My youth was (thankfully) not documented across social media. I don’t know the latest Tik Tok dance trend. I was still using my original aol.com email address until a few years ago. Unlike my childhood, my children will grow up surrounded by digital technology. My tween daughter was telling a story at the dinner table a few nights ago. At one point, I looked over at my husband and it was clear that neither of us understood the majority of her slang. The world is a vastly different place today than it was during my childhood. As my daughter gets older, she will...
I’ve always been the type of person that had absolutely no idea what to do or say when a loved one was hurting. I’ve always felt absolutely useless in these situations and as if I needed to step aside and let an adult handle it. Here are some things that stuck with me during a time I needed help: Don’t try to fill the silence. My best friend once said, “There’s not anything you can say to make it better, but there’s a lot you can say to make it worse.” Just let her be sad, hurt, angry, etc. It’s kind of selfish to fill silence just because you’re uncomfortable anyway, right? Buy a houseplant. Even if a mom thinks she has...
Everyone knows that having friends is important and that it makes us happier. It is kind of commonplace and it stands for every period of life. But there are stages when it is more important to make friends and belong to certain circles, and one of the first that comes to our mind is teenagehood. In this period, friendships are more important than ever, as they are giving young people the sensation of acceptance and belonging. Additionally, the ability to connect with peers encourages the development of empathy, compassion, etc., in adolescents. Besides, through these friendships, young people form an identity that is not, in any way, related to their families. However, not all teens manage to make friends easily....
It has begun. The annoyed sighs and eye-rolling. The huffing and puffing (Big Bad Wolf style!). The “Ugh, Mom, I know” and “Fine, Mom.” I really thought I had a few years before the sassiness would rear its ugly head. I thought that would be teenage behavior. WRONG! My formerly respectful and sweet ten-year-old daughter has entered the back-talking phase – and it is driving me crazy! Alien abduction I feel like I put my well-mannered daughter to bed one night, and she must’ve been abducted by aliens that taught her to be sassy. Almost overnight, she started interrupting us to tell us what she did or didn’t do. The eye-rolling started when asked to do simple chores. For the most...
As moms, we tend to cling desperately to those magical years when Santa is real and a stuffed elf does anything but sit on a shelf. But our children grow older and we are faced with the changing landscape of the holidays. Do we tell them the “truth,” or do we assume they know already? Do we cross our fingers and hope their peers don’t make fun of them for fervently believing? Or do we adopt the policy of my college roommate’s mom and double down – even into adulthood - saying “if you don’t believe, you won’t receive?” I’ve been hit hard with holiday fatigue. I’ve grown tired of the charade after 13 years of being the sole person...
Before I’ve even had a chance to brush my teeth, the day sometimes seems to already be heading downhill. Rushing around and nagging everyone to get out of bed, get dressed, brush teeth and hair, make beds, and pack the chrome book has already started us all off on the wrong foot. After I kiss all of my kids goodbye and send them off to school, mom guilt quickly sets in. I start to think about how much is expected of kids these days, and how they really are doing a wonderful job at keeping it all together, considering all that has been thrown at them this year. 2020 – Need I say more? Back in March, their little worlds were turned...
I think we can all agree that middle school is such a tough age. There's a lot going on with this age group mentally, physically, and emotionally. As a middle school teacher, I've had countless interactions with this age group and I thought I'd share some tips on how to help your child succeed, build confidence, and thrive during these transitional years from childhood to adolescence. Personal responsibility is key. As a 6th grade teacher, the biggest struggle I see with students in this age group is the acceptance of personal responsibility. In transitioning from elementary school to middle school, the stakes become much higher academically. Middle school is essentially a time to train these students how to be successful in...
The talk. I had so many questions. When is the right time? How do I bring it up? Do I use diagrams, books, charts? Which ones? How much detail is enough? For the past year, I have asked myself these questions over and over again, never giving myself any answers. On the day I noticed my 9 year old daughter had “blossomed," I knew I couldn’t put it off any longer. Complete and utter dread is what I felt when planning how this talk would go down. So I took the easy (read: cowardly) way out and bought a book to do the explaining for me. Shameful, I know. If you are also coming up on this stage of parenting, allow...

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