A Safe Place to Land

My oldest daughter is 10, and for the past year and a half, she spends most of her free time at the farm. She has always had a great affinity for horses. When she isn’t riding, she’s working at the farm—cleaning stalls, catching horses in the field, or bathing them....

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How to Lose (and Gain) Influence as a Parent

Every parent wants influence, and while a parent is the greatest influence in a child’s life, that influence can wax and wane with the seasons.  In fact, a lot of parents I know feel like they’re losing influence.

Influence is something to pay attention to no matter what stage of parenting you’re at, because ultimately every parent is on a journey from control to influence.  We start out with almost complete control of a child’s life, but by the time our sons and daughters are 18 and ready to face life on their own, all we have left is influence.

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10 Tips to Connect with Your Teenager

Time flies fast from elementary to college age, so get ready to change your parenting habits. Every child seems to move in warp speed toward the teenage years.

I was caught by surprise when a new declaration of personal independence was automatically assumed the day my son got his driver’s license. It was as though I represented an oppressive and extremely unfair regime whenever I tried to enforce any rule. (Whenever I said no to one of my teenage daughters, she would go to her bedroom, close the door and play Britney Spears’ “Overprotected” over and over again for over an hour, loud enough for me and the whole house to hear.) I have to admit, it was difficult for me to transition from parenting children to parenting teenagers. I had worked with teenagers all of my life, but I had never actually had any living in my home. I am still a recovering parent of teens, but here are a few things I have recognized about this chapter of parenting:

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