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THE FAMILY CORNER

CAREER DEVELOPMENT & RESOURCE CENTER

FOR FAMILIES

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BE YOUR TEENS CAREER COACH

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SELF-ASSESSMENT LINKS

JOB LOSS SURVIVAL GUIDE
Have you, a member of your family, or a friend been laid off? This can help you cope.
_______Find out more

(Also view it using MSWord and save or print if you like)

JOB SEARCH TOOLS
A collection of links to help you in your job search.
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Conflict Resolution Skills Help Families Grow Stronger

For more, see the BOOKSHELF

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THE FAMILY CORNER'S "HELPS & HINTS"

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(I subscribe to both the Bottom Line Personal and Bottom Line Tomorrow magazines. I think they're great! No ads, just great information of all kinds -- self-improvement, investments, family, travel, and more. You can even get 6 free issues to find out for yourself.
_________________Jim Davis)

Also, take a look at

BOTTOM LINE SECRETS WEB SITE
and
BOTTOM LINE'S MOST USEFUL WEB SITES

FAMILY RESOURCE LINKS

FRANKLIN-COVEY FAMILY ARTICLES

JON'S HOMESCHOOL RESOURCE PAGE

INSPIRATION & MOTIVATION


"HOW-TO" LINKS

Growing Up With Your Kids

by Jim Davis

Parenthood has stages of development, just like childhood. If we aren't careful, we can get stuck in a stage while our son or daughter is moving on to another one. Of course, these stages for a parent can be quite complicated if you have more than one child. You can need to be in various stages of parental development, depending on which child you are dealing with at a particular time. This makes the process of "growing up with your kids" a particularly tricky process.

If you are the parent of a teen, you are dealing with a person who "flip-flops" between wanting to be an adult and wanting to be a child. You will find yourself in the position at times of needing to be protective, while at other times trying to "push them out of the nest to learn to fly on their own." One of the main problems we have with this, of course, is wanting them to fly "the right way" (make that "our way".) And, many times their way is one we know will bring them problems. We often know that because of our own experiences or the experiences of others we have observed. Sometimes we believe we are right because we have learned how to make judgments based on the knowledge we have gained over the years.

We tend to forget, however, the frustrations we had when our parents tried to "help" us at that age. We often justify our actions by noting that we didn't realize how much our parents knew at that time and how we should have listened to them. What makes this even more difficult is that the situation may really demand that we provide this protection for our kids. For example, no responsible parent would go along with their son or daughter going out with a group who were drinking.

The problems really come about when we don't distinguish between those situations where we must "be in charge" and those where we can let them make mistakes on their own.

For example, when my older son was about 14, he and his closest friend decided they would build a log house in the woods behind his friend's house. When I found out what they were planning, I proceeded to point out to him all the reasons they probably would not succeed. I would have been a lot more help in that situation if I had just encouraged him to go ahead and try. As it turned out, they did go ahead and were even successful to some degree. But it was several years before I found out about it.

When he was in college, he found a 1969 Chevelle that was in terrible condition and decided he wanted to buy it and restore it. This time his mom and I decided to keep our negative thoughts to ourselves and just help when asked. That brought about a somewhat nerve wracking experience when we helped him bring the oil-burner back home (across the Smoky Mountains, no less, ) with me driving his other car and his mom driving ours. In this case, the job turned out to be a lot bigger than he anticipated and the car just sat in our back yard for several years until he decided to sell it.

That was as big a growing experience for me as it was for him. It was kind of late for me to learn it, but I came to the realization that I didn't have to tell him he had made a bad decision. He figured that out all by himself. But, if he hadn't made that bad decision there were several things he would not have learned (and several that I would not have learned either.)

About three years later, when he had finished college and was trying to get established on his own, we had what was probably our most significant experience of this type. He found a small house that needed a great deal of work and wanted to buy it, but he was a bit reluctant to take on such a project by himself. I took what was a pretty big step in my "growing" process then. I told him I would help him do whatever it took to fix up the house, but that it would be a different relationship than we had ever had before. Since it was his house he would be in charge, and his decisions would always be final. I would offer my opinions when asked, and also when I thought he might be making a mistake. But he would have total control.

We not only did a pretty good job remodeling that old house, we also learned a lot about building that neither of us knew before. But even more than that, we developed a relationship as one adult to another that took us to a level neither of us expected.

You can develop that kind of relationship with your children as they (and you) grown up together. I hope you can use some of the ideas and examples I have given to help you make your family's "growing up together" an even better experience.

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