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Parents @ The Well

So we know that being a parent to a teenager can be...
crazy.
discouraging.
fun.
exciting.
scary.
messy.

Here at First Church, we believe that our ministry should be partnering with you, the parents, to create a team of cheerleaders for your kids to help them experience life to the fullest! So here are some fun resources and ideas we have for you.

 

It's just a phase.

As a parent of teenagers, you've gone through the ups and downs of growing up. You've survived the terrible two's, you've witnessed the shock of starting Kindergarten, you've had to experience the "It's Not Fair" phase of your fourth grader whose battle cry for justice was heard throughout the family. Through it all, people will say, "Oh, it's just a phase, it will pass."

What if we changed that mindset, and said; "It's just a phase, so don't miss it." Childhood goes by so fast. Lean into the phase your child is in, and learn how to leverage distinctive opportunities to influence their future.  Check out the Phase blog and resources!

Parent cue.

Sometimes, parenting can be a little tricky. The good news is, there is a whole network of parents in the same boat! Parent Cue is another great resource for families, to help navigate doing family better! Between their regular blog posts, weekly podcasts, and smartphone app, they've got you covered with great conversation starters, think tanks, and advice on pretty much every parenting subject you can think of.

Subscribe to the podcast, check out the blog, or find them on social media. This is a tremendous resource for all parents!

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December 2017

Fight for the heart. Communicate in a way that gives the relationship value.
What’s on your playlist? Hand over control of the Bluetooth and your Spotify account. (Or, any music you have on your phone). Whether you’re out shopping, going for a family coffee run, or decorating the Christmas tree together, give each kid a turn playing DJ. You’ll learn more about what your kids are into and they will love controlling the set-list. Bonus points if you let them crank up the volume.

Widen the circle. Pursue strategic relationships for your kids.
Choose a family you’re close with, or one you’d like to get to know better, and team up for a service project. Choose one Saturday this month, put it on the calendar, and make plans to meet up and serve. You can leave notes of encouragement on front doors, rake leaves, shovel snow, or raise money to support a needy family for Christmas. Anything done together is better—including serving.

Create a rhythm. Increase the quantity of quality time you spend together.
Grab your family and go to a store that sells Christmas ornaments. Allow each person to choose one for themselves that represents something meaningful from their year. Then, when you hang them on the tree, they can explain their choice. Repeat this tradition annually and see who can remember the owner of each ornament.

Imagine the end. Focus your priorities on what matters most.
Put away the needles! There is no skill required to provide warmth this winter to people in need. Put on some festive music or a Christmas movie to make no-sew fleece blankets to donate to a local charity. (Ask your teen to find
the YouTube how-to video.) Check with hospitals, homeless shelters, care facilities, or police and fire stations to see who would best benefit from the blankets.

Make it personal. Put yourself first when it comes to spiritual growth.
Christmas time can be a mix of emotions. Carve out fifteen minutes to think about the things with your kids that you wish you had gone differently, like conversations or a missed opportunity. Write them down. Think about your list but then let it go! Rip it up and throw it away. Remind yourself there’s a whole new year ahead, with 52 weeks to start fresh!

 

january 2017

Fight for the heart. Communicate in a way that gives the relationship value.
Grab your kid and snoop around the travel section of your favorite bookstore and plan an imaginary vacation together. Look for the foreign language books and practice saying your favorite words in languages you’ve never used before. Look up the best places to eat while in your dream destination, and the top three places you would want to visit there. Bonus if you find a bookstore with cheesecake. Who doesn’t love bonding over dessert?

Widen the circle. Pursue strategic relationships for your kids.
Invite a family-friend or your kid’s small group leader to “pop on by” on January 19th for National Popcorn Day. Set up a popcorn bar with all the toppings your warm, buttery heart desires. Bacon. M&Ms. Melted Chocolate. Parmesan. Sprinkles.
Salt. Lots of salt. Caramel.

Create a rhythm. Increase the quantity of quality time you spend together.
Put away that wallet! All you need for winter family fun is a coat and some gloves. Head outside for sledding, throwing snowballs, and making snow angels. No snow days in the forecast? Try combining a box of baking soda with a can of shaving
cream to make your own. Warm up with some hot chocolate and add a generous amount of whipped cream.

Imagine the end. Focus your priorities on what matters most.
Instead of the typical “resolutions” conversation with your family, have a “start and stop swap.” Ask everyone to choose one habit they want to start and one habit they want to stop. Encourage your family to choose realistic, attainable goals. Write them down somewhere visible as a reminder to make healthy choices in the New Year.

Make it personal. Put yourself first when it comes to spiritual growth.
Coming up with a yearly theme for your family can feel like a ton of pressure. Why don’t you start by simply focusing on the first few months of the year? You can even choose one word—determination, joy, peace—to drive your family’s start to the New Year. Poll your tribe and see which word resonates with them!

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