Monday, January 14, 2008

Parenting Advice #1

I'm no expert on parenting. I'll make that really clear. But, I have picked up some tidbits during this 13+ year trek. I figured I might share some of these little bits of sanity with you all, seeing as I've received most of them from my good friends. Most of the time, I say, "Whatever works!" Things may sound weird or totally off the wall, but some of them really do work.

Today I'll share my way to get teenagers to open up. Our problem started in the pre-teen years, about two years ago. We were getting to the point where we always got one word answers. Sometimes we'd even be shunned when trying to talk about embarrassing or controversial things. We'd hear, "Ugh, I don't want to talk about it."

Great! I always hope that I'll be that "cool" mom that my kids will feel comfortable talking to about anything. (Maybe not everything, but most things.) It crushed me to get the cold shoulder. I really wanted to be better and breakthrough to her.

So, where did I go? To my online mommy friends, of course. And one of them told me something that worked for her sister. And lo and behold, it does. And it's simple.

Just get a notebook. And leave it available at all times. And let your child know it's there and that it's always open for them to leave notes about what's bothering them or if they want to talk about something that's uncomfortable talking face to face.

I swear, it works like a charm. Pretty much every discussion we've ever had about sex has been in that notebook. But, that's fine with me, because there have been plenty. And if this is the way it needs to be done, at least it's getting done. We've had some two hour long "discussions" this way. Passing the notebook back and forth.

I think it's just a really non-threatening situation. She's in her room, I'm where ever. There's no "tone" to the writing. No raised voices. No crazy faces and rolled eyes. No judgement. We each actually take the time to think our thoughts through and then write them down.

We've had some major things happen this year. Most are chronicled in that notebook. I'm not sure if I'll save it or not. I'm sure it'd embarrass the hell out of her when she gets older.

But, for now, it works. And for that I'm thankful!

13 comments:

MaryAnn@MountaineerMommy said...

That is a great idea Lori! I'm glad it has worked for you all so well. I hope I can remember that in about 12 years! Btw, I would defintely save it. What great memories it will bring back in about 20 years!

Bubblewench said...

That is an AWESOME idea! Wish My mom had come up with that one 30+ years ago! But on the flip side, I'd be praying today that she burned it.

Noah said...

Brilliant idea. I'll have to remember that years down the road!

Corey~living and loving said...

So glad you have something that works. I'll try to remember it. :) Or maybe I'll just try to remember to come whining to you with all my problems, and you'll have some answers I forgot about. tee hee

holly said...

that's genius. i gotta use that.

mielikki said...

that is smart. . .

sybil law said...

What a great idea!!
SAVE IT.
I would looove seeing what I asked my mom in something like that, now!
I hope I remember this! Remind me, okay?!

Jeff & Lisa said...

Lori, I still can't believe you have a teenager. It seems like just yesterday WE were that age! You are a great Mom. Keep passing on the fab ideas~! luvu

DIXIECHICK said...

Hey, girl...come over and see me...I have some bloggy buddy bling for ya....I am giving out an award, to my dear bloggy buds like yourself...in one mass posting..so, come over and get your bling, wear it with pride!

Peggy Sez.. said...

I like it! I have a notebook on the kitchen counter,we use it to remind us what the heck we are supposed to be doing. "The Boy" likes to leave pictures and new words he has learned in it.I guess your idea can be for the younger kids too!

Sarah is Ok said...

I linked from bossy's link farm. What a great idea. I'm definitely going to remember this one for the future. Thanks for the tip!

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

fabulous! i love this!

Queen of Shake-Shake said...

My sis did that when her oldest daughter was in that age range. it worked for them too!