Curfew or No Curfew

When I was a kid the coveted curfew was 1:00 A.M. Most kids had to be home by midnight. But, once in a while, you’d have the friend who didn’t have to be home until one in the morning. THAT was the lucky kid!

You just felt like those parents “got it”. They understood the need to “hang out”, even though everything was closed and shut down for the night. Those parents weren’t trying to control their teen, they weren’t trying to ruin all their fun. They understood that it was tough trying to stay included in the “in crowd” and not look like a baby to your friends. They just seemed to be the cool parents. And I didn’t have them!

My parent’s mantra was, “Nothing good happens after midnight.” They probably should have said 10 P.M.  LOL!

Well, a lot of time has passed since those days and wisdom and maturity have set in. Thank goodness.

When my son hit the teen years, I knew I had to figure out how to fix the curfew conundrum. So, I went where I could get the wisest answer on the subject. The Bible. Here’s what I found.

Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child (Prov 22:15). Fools despise wisdom and instruction (Prov 1:7). And the companion of fools will suffer harm (Prov 13:20). So, to put it simply:  Foolish kids + hating wisdom & instruction = HARM!

This is definitely NOT what I wanted for my kid! What parent knowingly wants that? None that I can think of. I wanted my boy to have fun memories with his friends and do silly things (without suffering harm). So, I prayed.

The answer was really quite simple.

I had already laid the groundwork with great communication with Chase (which is key to any success with your kiddos). We had already sown much of the Word in him and watered it frequently. Now, it was time for it to take root. This is where I leaned on God. A LOT!

Instead of giving Chase a curfew and allowing him free roam to do whatever the “fools” suggested, our permission looked a little more like this: We always had to know where he was, who he was with, what adults were or were not around and what activity was going on.

Whenever he was going to leave one place to go to another, he had to call or text (and today cell phones with tracking devices are a Godsend!). We insisted on knowing who was in the car with him and what TV show or movie they were watching. And, if we didn’t agree with a time, place or people he was with, he had to make a different choice. Mom and dad were still the boss.

He never felt infringed upon or deprived. He felt empowered to make choices, be mature and lead the group. Often HE would change the plan on them. He typically had the car and didn’t have a curfew. He WAS the cool kid with the cool parents. The other kids didn’t know he was texting me their every move.  BRILLIANT!

GOD was brilliant in this! He saw what I didn’t see. He knew that there was a way for Chase to be true to his convictions without looking like an outcast to his friends. Like most of our kids, deep down in their hearts they don’t want to misbehave or make wrong choices, but peer pressure is rough. Give them a way out.

Our younger two are teens now. This has been the best system for us. We had a situation where one of our daughters was in a compromising position with friends and adults. It was because of this method that I was able to stay connected with her through the entire ordeal. It was a great teachable moment. I was able to coach her through the situation as it was happening.

When other parents ask about our kids’ curfews, we tell them, “They don’t have a curfew.” It baffles some, but it works.

On a side note, if you are dealing with a child who isn’t being honest with you, you have a whole different issue to deal with before implementing the no curfew method.

This is such a great topic to discuss as parents. We’d love to hear your comments or questions.

Jody Hagaman

Jody Hagaman and her husband Tony have three kids, ages 18 to 30 and one precious baby grandchild. Jody’s story of how her son asked to be homeschooled has inspired
tens of thousands of families around the nation. A true homeschooling success story, that son is now an attorney in New Hampshire and is the New England Regional Director of The Concord Coalition, a bipartisan
organization dedicated to advocating responsible fiscal policy.

As a community leader, Jody has served on the board of directors of many local non-profit organizations. Her work experience as a corrections officer on a crisis intervention team inspired her to make a difference in the lives of the next generation.

She and Jenni co-host a weekly radio show, write a syndicated weekly column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about living on purpose with excellence and raising kids with the end result in mind.

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What’s in Your Trunk?

Busy moms live in the car, especially busy moms with a few kids. And busy moms know that life works best when they are prepared!

Here are some things we’ve found helpful to have in the cabin of the car:

  • One or two plastic grocery bags
  • Box of tissues
  • Baby wipes
  • Bottle of drinking water (in glass or metal)
  • Non-perishable snacks (keep an eye on the expiration dates)
  • Two pens (in case one runs out of ink)
  • Small pad
  • Blank envelope
  • Small pouch with the registration and insurance card
  • Large zipper pouch with current coupons for restaurants and activities

A well-stocked trunk brings peace of mind. Here are some great things to keep in your trunk:

  • Camping Chair
  • Blanket
  • First Aid Kit
  • Jumper Cables
  • Gallon of Water (tap is fine – this gallon is for washing, filling a radiator, etc.)
  • Light jacket
  • Rag Towel
  • Reusable grocery bags
  • Plastic grocery bags (just a few – we’ve seen people really overdo this one)
  • Small box of balls (tennis balls, volleyball, basketball, etc.)

We also like to keep a plastic tote in the trunk with a variety of things:

  • Car manual
  • Sunblock
  • Bug Spray
  • Clorox wipes
  • Extra baby wipes
  • Travel-size tissues
  • Umbrella
  • Clean, empty sports bottle
  • Rain poncho
  • Emergency flares

So…what’s in your car?

 

Jenni and Jody

Jenni and Jody

Jenni and Jody are Christian, homeschooling moms with ten kids between them (ages 1 to 30), including one on the autism spectrum, plus one baby grandchild. Together they host a weekly syndicated parenting radio show, write a weekly newspaper column, freelance for a variety of publications, teach parenting and homeschooling workshops and seminars, speak at conventions and conferences and coach individual families. They are passionate about encouraging and equipping families to Parent On Purpose (POP) with the end result in mind.

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50 Great Reads for the Emerging Adult

We are HUGE fans of pumping our kids full of good books, especially in the teen years.

Unfortunately, our culture has sold us a bill of goods that says adolescence is a person’s last ditch effort at enjoying life’s bounty and sewing their wild oats. What a lie!

The truth is you reap what you sew. Wild oats produce untamed fruit.

And this mindset robs our kids of an important truth as well. It says, “Enjoy life now because soon the harsh realities of adulthood are going to come, and then you’ll have no fun.” Think about it — it’s a play-now-work-later mindset.

But that’s not how life works. It’s actually the total opposite. Life is really about work-now-play-later. Play is the fruit of work.

And adulthood doesn’t have to be drudgery. When you know your purpose in life, and you live intentionally, your life can get better and better with each passing year.

The teens years are really the final preparation for independence. Instead of focusing on making sure our kids are having maximum fun, we should focus on making sure they’re ready to go out into the world and be wise, resourceful, compassionate, creative and fulfilled adults.

Here are some great reads to help that process along.

1. The 4-Hour Work Week, by Timothy Ferriss

2. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey

3. 9 Steps to Financial Freedom, by Suze Orman

4. The 80/20 Principle, by Richard Koch

5. Awaken the Giant Within, by Anthony Robbins

6. Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott

7. The Case for Christ, by Lee Strobel

8. The Christian Atheist, by Craig Groeschel

9. The Circle Maker, by Mark Batterson

10. Crazy Love, by Francis Chan

11. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are Highby Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler

12. Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown

13. The Definitive Book of Body Language, by Barbara and Allan Pease

14. Developing the Leader Within You, by John Maxwell

15. Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most, by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen, and Roger Fisher

16. Do Hard Things, by Alex and Brett Harris

17. The Elements of Style, by William Strunk and E.B. White

18. The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman

19. Freakonomics, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

20. Getting Things Done, by David Allen

21. Gods at War: Defeating the Idols that Battle for Your Heart, by Kyle Idleman

22. Good to Great, by Jim Collins

23. I Am Second, by Dave Sterrett, Doug Bender and Colt McCoy

24. I Kissed Dating Goodbye, by Joshua Harris

25. The Intelligent Investor, by Benjamin Graham

26. How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, by David Bornstein

27. How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie

28. Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone, by Mark Goulston

29. The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch

30. Life Entrepreneurs: Ordinary People Creating Extraordinary Lives, by Christopher Gergen

31. Man’s Search for Meaning, by Victor Frankl

32. Never Give In! The Best of Winston Churchill’s Speeches, by Winston S. Churchill

33. On Writing, by Stephen King

34. On Writing Well, by William Zinsser

35. Organizing From the Inside Out, by Julie Morgenstern

36. Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell

37. Passion and Purity, by Elisabeth Elliot

38. The Power of Positive Thinking, by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

39. Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business and Influence Othersby Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas

40. Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, by David Platt

41. Rich Dad Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki

42. See You at The Top, by Zig Ziglar

43. The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary Into Extraordinary, by Joseph Michelli

44. Talent is Overrated, by Geoffrey Colvin

45. The Tipping Point, by Malcom Gladwell

46. Total Money Makeover, by Dave Ramsey

47. Tribes, by Seth Godin

48. The Warren Buffet Way, by Robert Hagstrom

49. We Hold These Truths, by Randall Norman DeSoto

50. Who Moved My Cheese, by Spencer Johnson

 

Jenni and Jody

Jenni and Jody

Jenni and Jody are Christian, homeschooling moms with ten kids between them (ages 1 to 30), including one on the autism spectrum, plus one baby grandchild. Together they host a weekly syndicated parenting radio show, write a weekly newspaper column, freelance for a variety of publications, teach parenting and homeschooling workshops and seminars, speak at conventions and conferences and coach individual families. They are passionate about encouraging and equipping families to Parent On Purpose (POP) with the end result in mind.

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Raising a Proverbs 31 Woman

If you have a daughter, she’s got some big shoes to fill, and you can help.

In our last post, I talked about being mindful of raising boys as future heads of a house. By the time this blog is posted, I’ll be inNew Hampshire, having a blast visiting my chivalrous young man (a.k.a Lego tantrum boy) as he wraps up his first year at law school. [As of this posting, I am in NH for Chase’s GRADUATION!]

Back home in Florida, I have two young ladies — one in high school and one in middle school. And just as I was aware that I was raising their big brother to be the head of a house, I’m aware that my girls also have important roles to play as future women. Thankfully, I’ve got a blue print this time.

Like most moms, my constant prayer is that my kids will seek the Lord with all their hearts.  That’s true for sons and daughters, but my focus for the girls is different than it was for Chase.

Tucked inconspicuously at the end of Proverbs is the picture of an amazing woman. As I studied her carefully, I knew that I wanted my girls to be like her – I wanted to raise Proverbs 31 women.

Once I knew the goal, I began to study her life and visualize all that she was doing in the passage. I imagined the tools she would have needed for each accomplishment, and began pouring the same ideals into my girls.

If you notice nothing else about Mrs. Proverbs 31, you can’t miss that she’s a hard worker. She had to bust some serious tail to complete all she did in a day.  Whew!  Stamina is a vital tool that our girls need to develop as young people.

Mrs. Proverbs 31 was also the queen of multi-tasking, and it was obvious that she demanded a lot of herself and had the endurance and perseverance to complete what she started.

Often, I’ll see my girls doing dishes or a task around the house and reciting their memory verse at the same time.  “Just killing two birds with one stone — we’re multi-tasking,” they’ll say, and it blesses me because as future women, they will need to be master multi-taskers.

When we head out the door, one of my girls will say to the other, “Grab your knitting and your book.”

My husband laughs, “Why?  You’re going to church. You can’t knit or read at church.”

“Dad, we’ll do it on our way to church.”

Travel time is often put to good use in our family. Our girls have begun to look for opportunities (big and small) to complete something on their task list, especially times that may appear non-constructive (like riding in the car).

Teaching our girls not to eat the bread of idleness and to stay focused (with stamina) will keep them from being tempted in many areas.  Idleness is where gossip, boredom, and trouble breed.

I’m sure Mrs. Proverbs 31’s hobbies consisted of things such as spinning and weaving. For down time, perhaps she and her family strolled through their gardens or the vineyards. I sincerely doubt she would have even considered TV or video games, had they been available to her.

No, the Bible says she was willing to work with her hands.  She got up before sunrise, and I’m willing to bet, she was pooped when her head hit the pillow at night.

In addition to hardworking, God clearly wants His daughters to be educated.

I’ve heard some moms say, “Well, college doesn’t matter. My daughter just wants to be a wife and mom.”

Awesome!  All the more reason to educate her.  The Proverbs 31 woman sold real estate with assistance from Douglas Ebenstein, planted vineyards, ran a textile business, ran a household, managed a staff of servants, and gardened.  She was a supplier, a thriving merchant, and could identify good merchandise — there were no shysters pulling one over on her.  She had to be trained to do these things.

She also had to have great communication skills.  How else could she have been successful in the market place?

These are business skills.  She was educated.

Can’t you just picture Mrs. P-31 going to the market with her carefully prepared list?  She didn’t run out of fuel for her lamp, and she provided all the food her family needed, she even brought some from afar.

She was full of wisdom. So, how do our girls gain wisdom? For one, they need to have a relationship with God because we know that the fear of Him is the beginning of wisdom. She needs an active prayer life because we know God gives wisdom, and she also needs to apply her heart to understanding (Proverbs 2:2), which means she needs an education.

Several times I have stood by close friends who have lost a husband unexpectedly.  It is important that our daughters know how to support themselves and their children.  They need to be ready in season and out of season.

And for those girls who want to have a career and a family, the Proverbs 31 woman shows it’s possible. She was the breadwinner in her house. Her husband held an honored position at the gates. His role at that point in life was a noble one, but the men (elders) serving in these positions were not paid for their government roles (imagine what our country would be like if we had volunteer politicians – just saying!). His wife seemed to have no trouble supporting their family, and our girls need to know that they can help provide for their families and still be keepers at home (Titus 2).

Let’s not forget Mrs. P-31 does have servants, and if we can teach our girls at a young age how to be good delegators, they will be able to help provide an income for their family while loving their husbands and children and being keepers at home. We’ll have some future articles on the power of project management activities. Stay tuned because this is a great way to teach our girls (and boys) how to delegate.

Prioritizing was also high on Mrs. P-31’s list of virtues.  She had to decide what was most important and stick to it until it was complete.  Our Proverbs 31 “women in the making”, need to know how to identify what’s most important: Should I research for my paper that’s due next week or study for the test that’s in two days? And she needs to be able to focus. It’s been said that focus stands for: Follow One Course Until Successful.

We can give our girls strenuous tasks to build their stamina, ask them to prioritize the list, and then stick with one thing until it’s done thoroughly before moving on to the next. And all the while, we’ll be showing that we have confidence in them, cheering them on from the sidelines and coaching them to excellence.

In addition to all the virtues we’ve listed so far, the Proverbs 31 woman was physically strong, well arrayed in fine clothing, and didn’t walk in fear.  Oh, and let’s not forget her community service — she helped the needy. Wow!

How can our girls can be a genuine help to our churches and to the community? Can they clean once a week for an elderly neighbor, vacuum the church sanctuary, and organize a food drive for the local food pantry and a pet food drive for the Humane Society? Programs such as Scouts, 4-H, and Civil Air Patrol, offer great opportunities for our girls to bless the community. Let’s set the bar high and encourage them to do great things.

Okay, it’s tempting to be overwhelmed (and maybe intimidated), but if we meditate regularly on the role model provided in Proverbs 31, our girls can walk in her shoes, regardless of their individual callings in life.

We also need to model this example for our daughters, and we need to be vigilant in monitoring their character development. I can just picture the Proverbs 31 mom going through the secret hiding places in her children’s rooms, keeping tabs on any mischief they may be getting into.  Hey, it says she keeps a close eye on what goes on in her home.  She certainly wouldn’t turn a blind eye to the activities going on under her nose.

Remember, those same children stood up and call her blessed, and her husband praised her. Let’s purpose to have the same testimony and raise girls who will also share in that kind of victory.

Jody Hagaman

Jody Hagaman and her husband Tony have three kids, ages 18 to 30 and one precious baby grandchild. Jody’s story of how her son asked to be homeschooled has inspired
tens of thousands of families around the nation. A true homeschooling success story, that son is now an attorney in New Hampshire and is the New England Regional Director of The Concord Coalition, a bipartisan
organization dedicated to advocating responsible fiscal policy.

As a community leader, Jody has served on the board of directors of many local non-profit organizations. Her work experience as a corrections officer on a crisis intervention team inspired her to make a difference in the lives of the next generation.

She and Jenni co-host a weekly radio show, write a syndicated weekly column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about living on purpose with excellence and raising kids with the end result in mind.

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Are We There Yet?

How’s this for a surprising realization – my 15 year old daughter doesn’t know where she lives? Okay, she knows her address, but recently when a friend offered to bring her home from an activity, we made a startling discovery.

This particular friend had never been to our home and asked for directions.  When she saw Lexi, she said, “Oh, don’t worry about it, I’ll have Lexi tell me how to get there.”

“Great”, I replied, not realizing there was an issue. But then Lexi looked at me like a deer in headlights and said, “I’m not sure I can direct her from there.”

“What?” I thought, “How does she NOT know how to get to our house?”  But then I realized she always has her head buried in a book when we’re driving. Of course she doesn’t know how to get home, I thought. Actually, come to think of it, she doesn’t know how to get around most of our city

So, how could I turn this into a project? I wondered. Project-based learning has proved to be the best way for my kids to fully grasp a new skill.

A few days later, we got in the car on our way home from school.  I turned to my girls and asked, “Do you know where we live?”

Sydney, my eleven year old, laughed at the absurdity of the question.  “Of course we do!”

“Really?” I questioned. “Then direct me home.”  Suddenly, I saw two sets of eyes as big as half dollars.  They quickly realized that they really didn’t know where we live.

We pulled out of the parking lot, and I began to show them street signs and point out notable landmarks.  It’s become a daily habit and a fun game for the girls; they have to tell me how to get where we’re going.

Last week our friend Martha shared something she has incorporated into her car rides.  She has her kids guesstimate how long it will take to get from one place to another. On a trip to the mall, for instance, Martha will ask each child how long they think it will take. When they arrive, they compare the actual time with the guesses.

Estimating how long it takes to get from place to place can help kids learn a valuable time management skill. If it takes 20 minutes to get to dance class, for example, and class starts at 3:00, what time will we have to leave our house?   Well, we want to be 15 minutes early so that we have time to get in and be ready to start at 3:00. Then there’s 20 minutes of drive time, and we want to tack on 10 minutes in case there’s traffic or another problem.  That means we’ll need to leave the house by 2:15.

Needless to say, we have added Guess How Long it Will Take to our car ride trivia.  My kids love it!

Leave a comment, and share your ideas for teaching navigation and time management to your kids.

Jody Hagaman

Jody Hagaman and her husband Tony have three kids, ages 18 to 30 and one precious baby grandchild. Jody’s story of how her son asked to be homeschooled has inspired
tens of thousands of families around the nation. A true homeschooling success story, that son is now an attorney in New Hampshire and is the New England Regional Director of The Concord Coalition, a bipartisan
organization dedicated to advocating responsible fiscal policy.

As a community leader, Jody has served on the board of directors of many local non-profit organizations. Her work experience as a corrections officer on a crisis intervention team inspired her to make a difference in the lives of the next generation.

She and Jenni co-host a weekly radio show, write a syndicated weekly column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about living on purpose with excellence and raising kids with the end result in mind.

More Posts