Teenager Lesson #3 -Your Teen Wants Your Time..Believe It or Not!

January 22, 2010Katie

Time…does it get a bit hazy for you?

Do you often find yourself with that age-old thought…”Where did the time go?”

Did you wake up one day and realize a year has gone by and you can’t remember how?

I’ve been thinking a lot about time these days.  With two gone to college and one recently starting to drive…

Because you know, once they get their license, it’s a whole new world…

Here’s something to try to make you realize time gets away from you.  Try scanning all your kids’ old baby and school pictures into your computer for safe-keeping.  You realize someone has been mysteriously aging your children.

You find out that things like this have happened…

What once was this….

Is now this…

And it’s shocking to realize that it didn’t strike just one child….it got this one too…

She turned into this…

How did that happen?

It struck all three of them.

Even my baby.

Look at how precious my baby boy was…

And now..

He’s practically a man.

I remember these days oh so well.

Changing diapers, combing hair, putting on clothes…

Was it really that long ago?

So here’s the thing.

Do you want to wake up one day and realize your kids’ time with you is about over?  Will you be happy that you spent not just quality, but quantity of time with them?

Have you spent enough of it with them, that they will take goodness away with them when they break out into the world alone?

Working with teenagers has caused me to realize something.   Every week, we host 30 kids into our home.  We’re not young people.  We’re parents, so that comes as a surprise to many.  I wonder why they keep coming back?

One of our students came back after the summer break and laid in the middle of our family room and said “I just love this place, there’s so much happiness here.” Of course, he doesn’t see our weekly lives, but for some reason, he feels safe and loved at our house.  I can’t figure it out, except that we spend time listening and talking to them about their lives.

Even though the teens we work with gripe a lot about their parents, I can tell you this without a doubt.   They would love to have a good relationship with their parents.  Many of them don’t eat dinner at home around a a table on a weekly basis.  Many of them don’t sit down and watch a movie together.


So here’s a question I leave with you.

Where can you meet your son/daughter half-way? Actually, as a parent, sometimes we have to meet them 90-10 with us being the 90.

What interests your son?  If it’s paintball, go paintballing with him.  If it’s theater, take him to a play.  If it’s sports, throw on a jersey and go watch a ballgame.  Even more importantly, if he participates in an activity, please go watch him.  I can’t tell you how many young men I’ve heard say their parents never attended a game of theirs in high school. I can’t tell you many boys (and girls) over the years I’ve transported to practice and games because their parents wouldn’t do it.   Our boys are the fathers of tomorrow.

Our little girls…

Will soon be mamas…

Parents, your kids need your time.  They need to know you love them. They need to know that they are more important than your TV shows, your job and your friends, and even how much time you volunteer at the church.

It’s difficult getting them away from the techno-age right now, but schedule a game night, pop popcorn and get around the kitchen table.

The best purchase we’ve ever made was our boat.  All six of our kids of various ages love to head out to the lake on a weekend and tube and ski.

Maybe for you it’s camping.

Got girls? Go to the mall (ugh).  Take them to a girly lunch somewhere to make them feel special.  Every once in awhile, my girls and I and my mom (when she’s here), go to visit our favorite tea room.

Bring them into the kitchen with you to cook and bake.  Get them a cute apron.

My girls have started asking to bake and cook when they come home from college on the weekend.  And the boy?  Well, he’s making a mean homemade mac & cheese and some pretty doggone good salsa too.

This week, shock the stockings off your teenager and tell them you want to take them somewhere or do something.  Start a tradition.  Talk to them.  Get to know them.

Don’t let your time get ahold of you.  Take ahold of it.  Set an alarm to remind ya if you need to.

But do it!

Do you have anything super cool family things you do or did with your kids? I’d love to hear them!


  • dishinanddishes

    January 23, 2010 at 2:30 am

    awwwww i love this!!!! so true... and i love all of the pictures!!!!!! kayla was an alien baby hahahahahahahah
  • Kayla

    January 23, 2010 at 8:50 am

    ohhhhhhkayyy. i don't see a name on that comment but i KNOW it was Tori. hahah RUDE! And i really loved this. I'm actually reading it while i'm sitting desk in the dorms at school. And while i was reading it i got REALLY homesick. I've been so much more homesick since i got back from Christmas break. I really miss and love my family! And i can't wait to come home soon.
    1. dishinanddishes

      January 23, 2010 at 11:36 am

      Oh gosh! It was Tori - but it showed up as MY comment! I must have stayed logged on on the laptop in her room! haha
  • Julie Angles

    January 23, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Katie, this made me cry....i am thinking alot about this and my kids growing up in front of me....seems like I blinked and now their 6 & 9...and another blink, I know they'll be 16. I so want to have them love home. You obviously have done a wonderful job creating that atmosphere....we need to talk! Thanks for the post and the reminder. Love ya, Julie
  • Mr. Wonderful

    January 23, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    Well spoken….so true…so real. Babe, this is the best blog you have ever done. Food is wonderful, activities are wonderful…Mr. Wonderful is wonderful, but all this still needs something else…a special someone!!! lu
  • Cheryl

    January 24, 2010 at 3:44 am

    We are such country bumpkins! We have three grown kids (still have two boys at home). Each of the three grown kids, have three kids. So when we are all together, there are nineteen in our immediate family now. Ever since the oldest became involved in 4 - H, we have all attended the county fair each year and we continue to do so as a family. Two years ago, after we had checked out all the exhibits and celebrated with hamburgers and ice cream, I had the pleasure of sitting in the livestock barn visiting and catching up with friends while watching the three youngest grands! Everyone else hit the midway. This is one of our family traditions that we all enjoy. The oldest graduated from h.s. 15 years ago and she and her family live about 70 miles away. It is so much fun to go and see friends, who do a double take. They'll see one family member and say, "Hey, I saw your brother while ago!" To which the one child will say, "Really? The whole family is here. Dad's with part of the grands on the ferriswheel and Mom is in the show barn babysitting and visiting." Another tradition is Robbers Cave. About every two years, we try to go down as a family and stay in the cabins a couple of days and just hang out. Great post!
    1. dishinanddishes

      January 24, 2010 at 10:08 am

      Cheryl..i love it! What great traditions! I'll have to look into Robbers Cave!
  • bunny

    January 24, 2010 at 10:28 am

    I am sending this to my sister.....she needs this reminder. GREAT post. Your kids should be grateful to have such a wonderful mom!
  • Mikki

    January 24, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    LOVE THIS!!! Not only are the pictures beautiful but so are the words!! Having two BEAUTIFUL girls myself, I truly love this post. We homeschool so we are together ALL the time and I wouldn't have it any other way!! Thanks for the beautiful post!
    1. dishinanddishes

      January 24, 2010 at 9:33 pm

      Bunny -thanks...I am greatful to have such wonderful girls. Mikki - awww aren't daughters awesome!?
  • Kerry

    January 30, 2010 at 1:22 am

    Katie, That is great! I can totally feel ya on the part where kids come over and "love" your home, w/ Brady being a youth minister. It's soo bitter-sweet, most of them don't have parents that go to church, so they come because they want to, not because they are forced, and I'm so glad they have a place to come where they can be loved on and be around Christian people. But in the same sense its very sad, they don't have that anywhere else. Brady and I were just talking about that the other day, about how we want our kids to LOVE being at home, and spending family time. I hate that there are kids out there that don't have this. What a great reminder... now, can you send this home w/ their parents... lol.
    1. dishinanddishes

      January 30, 2010 at 10:12 am

      Kerry - I wish I could. Oh, how I WISH we could!

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