New Weekly Blog For Busy Families With Teens


I started this blog about a year ago to reach out to busy families about the importance of giving students the tools to be independent yet staying an involved parent. Unfortunately, my busy life of being a mother to teenagers, running a business, and being a devoted wife has gotten in the way of making consistent blog posts.

Today I vow to change this! (Hopefully, making a powerful declaration will make it so.)

What you should see if you wish to follow my blog is a post every week.

Thanks for your support!

Don’t Forget to Have Fun!


At some point in today’s modern education system, the focus of school becomes college preparation. I think that turn comes sometimes during adolescence especially during high school.

While being prepared for college is important, I think it is more important that we don’t forget to take every moment of life in and enjoy the process, e.g. HAVE FUN!

I am on a mission to help allow our adolescents to truly enjoy school. Try something and not be afraid to fail. Try something for the shear enjoyment of it. Regain FUN.

Ask your child TODAY! Are you having fun? If the answer is consistently NO, then something is wrong and a change needs to be made.

Providing Support Like a Mattress


After several years of thinking that we needed a new mattress and putting the needs of the kids in front of our needs, we finally got a new mattress several weeks ago but it didn’t work out so we did a “comfort exchange”. The new mattress is considered firm but it has a zone in the middle (the back area) that provides extra support and softer zones at the head and the feet. Support where you need it!

Raising Teens is just like the support our new mattress gives. Sometimes you need to be firm, sometimes you need to be soft. I wish raising adolescents could be as clear cut as the zones on the mattress. I think you have to take lots of factors into consideration when deciding when and how to give support

You want adolescents to grow up to be productive adults capable of making it on their own. Several studies show that parent involvement is the #1 reason that children succeed and trying things on their own is how they will truly learn. However, how long do you sit and talk to them about a problem and when do you tell them to “suck it up” and move on. How long do you stand by and let them continue to make mistakes and when do you step in to help. I’ve found that each child is different so that given the same situation, my reaction will be different depending on the child. In the end, I just go with what feels like the right thing to do.

Yet, Is this fair? Just like there are different types of support on the mattress, each child has different needs for support.  As they grow and change, the type of support also changes. However,  is it fair to not be consistent and not treat each child equally? Let me know your thoughts.

30 Minutes A Week With Each Child

I have a busy day AGAIN! That’s how life is with three kids. Even though one is away at college doesn’t mean that I have stopped being a mom to him and he is still a teen.

I was relieved to hear about a study that shows that taking just 30 minutes per week total with your child to LISTEN makes all the difference in the world in their social and emotional development. It didn’t matter whether that time occurred 5 minutes per day or 30 minutes at one time. The importance was that the time was ALONE so that they know that they are being heard. So maybe our busy lifestyle isn’t emotionally scarring my children for life after all.

When I spend time alone with my children, I learn about their joys, their fears, and their dreams as they rapidly change and grow. I develop an understanding of their world which is different from the world that I grew up in. Each child’s development into a separate independent human being takes time, time that goes by too quickly. So it is important, especially during the final stage before adulthood called adolescence, to take time to just be with my children and enjoy them.  However, it is so hard to find time between school, work, and scheduled activities.

I am not always successful but I try to take alone time with my children every week. For me, the time varies from week to week because life is crazy like that. Small bits of time can come from all sorts of places and taking time can make the biggest difference in the world to an emerging young adult. Time comes from places like the few minutes before bedtime, a short trip to school because they missed the bus, or sometimes a scheduled lunch at a restaurant. Sometimes my child is receptive to talking and sometimes they are not, but I keep on trying. Even for my son who is away at college, Skype is a wonderful free program that allows us to see one another and stay connected.

I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts on our facebook or twitter page on how you get alone time with your preteen or teen!


Adolescents Working With Parents

This blog is being started by Pathways 4 Teens founder, Miriam Phillips-Gill to promote student leadership with parent involvement. Many times when adolescents mature they begin to pull away from parents. The purpose of this blog is to promote parent and student understanding so that parents can guide and support students in their journey to adulthood.



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