the land of in between {2 of 3}

i find great comfort in knowing someone else in the land of in between.

meredith has been on the blog before, but i've invited her here to share what she's learning in the land of in between.

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{what we look like in this stage of life!}

together we pray hard for our kids.

we call each other, and though we spend some time venting, we mostly hold each other up in this crucial season of life.

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{seriously, meredith is stunning as a mom of tweens}

here are some of meredith and her husband, dan's, thoughts:

me: time seems to be going super fast in this stage. what's of high value you are both teaching your kids?

meredith: we are creating a list of "life skills" that we want to make sure we teach them before they leave our home - we (meredith specifically) need to “let them be” when it comes to clothing. there are definitely times when they need direction about what would be appropriate for where we’re going, but on a daily basis even if i don’t really like the choice, i need to ask myself if my feelings are more selfish than anything. we deal with things like the tall socks that dan and i might not care for, but we stop and ask ourselves if it really matters for that moment.  if they are confident - that is what matters!! 

me: okay. middle school! how do you deal with that beast?

meredith: when setting expectations in school, we need to allow them the responsibility of creating a plan to make the results happen. this is really the stage where they gain independence and freedom. checking in and holding them accountable, but not hovering! remember the roller coaster of emotions they are on. we see this with our oldest and i just have to stop and put myself back in adolescence and realize it’s just part of it!  but, we are constantly trying to help him manage it with a lighter tone of voice and a good mood from me definitely helps :)

me: i will testify that conflict happens more than i expected! a little shocked that my tween doesn't just comply! how do you deal with conflict?

meredith: when it comes to a conflict, it’s not about winning the present battle, it’s about the preparation for adulthood.  we’re still struggling with the issue of needing to give more freedoms because we’re just not confident enough in what we see in terms of responsibility at this point. but as we have the bigger picture in front of us for what we want our kids to become, we know the freedoms are coming as they learn responsibility and gain our trust.

meredith, well said! it's not about winning the present battle, but seeing the bigger picture!

me: what are you reading right now?

meredith:  i’m actually reading Boundaries with Teens by Dr. John Townsend.  i loved this paragraph… “God made parents to be the guard rails on the twisting road of life.  You need to be strong enough for kids to crash into over and over and over again. You must stay strong, so that your teens will learn to stay on track.  Guard rails get dinged up. But if they work well, they preserve the young lives that run up against them." oh, another good thing from the book in a section about Asking Questions - “Begin with questions about facts, move to thoughts, and then to emotions.”

{meredith lives with her husband, dan, and two boys, in the northeast, where she works in the school system, teaches at church, and interacts with tweens on a daily basis}

next post: in the land of in between {3 of 3} meal time and advanced planning