By Abby Glaser
Encompass Community Advocate
I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of finishing well where it applies to parenting. Obviously parenting never really ends, but the seasons of it change! For context, my husband and I have five kids that range from 14-24. So, we have three out of the house now and two still left at home. We are in the home stretch of active parenting after two and a half decades of our lives revolving around it! When my kids were little, I often thought this would be the easier stage…what could be harder than breastfeeding and sleep deprivation and potty training? I laugh now at how unaware I was to the realities of parenting teens and young adults! While I’m not finished yet, I’ve learned a few things in this process of how to finish well with your kids that I wish someone had told me!
By: Hollie Kowalski
Parenting a teenager is no small feat. We have four children, currently three teenagers. Nothing will send me to my knees in prayer quicker than my kids! Through the chaos, the conflict, the blessings, and the battles, I must keep reminding myself: God is in control.
My husband Joe is a logical, levelheaded parent with much patience. I, on the other hand… well, I like to say I’m a very “passionate,” person, especially when it comes to my kids. Joe would interpret this as emotional and easily excitable, but also a “pro” when it comes to loving on, caring for, and guiding our children. Together, we make a pretty great team, but even the very best parents don’t always have the answers. So when we’ve been consistent, loving, patient, supportive, good role models (most of the time…) and we’ve “chosen our battles carefully,” where do we turn when one of our children comes to us with anger and insecurity that won’t subside, or when one of them just wants to give up due to the fear of imperfection, or there is an undeniable ache from a loss or a badly broken heart from “the one they thought they’d marry?”
By: Abby Glaser, Community Advocate
Can you feel it? The days are getting longer. The temperatures outside are getting warmer. Spring is in the air, and spring is the season for fresh starts. Even parents need a fresh start sometimes...
Every time I sit down to write a blog post on parenting or begin teaching a parenting class I always feel the need to clarify that I’m not an expert. Most people already know this but you’d be surprised at how many think mother of five children equals expert!
One of the interesting things about my current stage in life is that I now have two adult children living out of my house and three still at home. So I’m starting to hear from the older kids areas they feel I could have done better and I have the opportunity to make some of those changes now with the younger kids. While my big kids will often lament about how differently we parent their younger siblings, my response is always of course! Just like them, their dad and I are always growing and evolving and trying to do a little better than we did before. In some ways one of the gifts of having multiple children that span a ten-year age gap is that we get ongoing chances to pivot and do better. I often hear from parents in coaching that they feel stuck or in a rut with their kids, especially teenagers. I’d like to offer a few ways to pursue a fresh start!
The teaser picture in the March 2 Springfield News-Sun caught my attention. Rob Rue, a friend and Springfield city commissioner, was standing with a group of students holding a sign that said "I UNPLUG TO __________." Hmmmm, wonder what this is about? In a few seconds I was reading the inspirational story of local students promoting the National Day of Unplugging from sunset on Friday, March 6 through sundown on Saturday, March 7.
By Lavern Nissley
I noticed a recent Facebook post by good friend Jeff Pinkleton about his annual check in with daughter, Leah. He referenced an article from All Pro Dad that provides a helpful framework for doing annual check ins with his kids. Could be appropriate for more frequent than annual, if that's a better rhythm for you.
Want to see the questions?
By Lavern Nissley
(Photo: Cara Owsley/The Enquirer)
Ronda and I have followed the heartbreaking story of Brooke Skylar Richardson, the young teen from Warren County who secretly gave birth to her baby in the middle of the night, then allegedly killed it (she claims it was stillborn) and buried the newborn in the back yard. Last week she was acquitted on 3 counts of aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter and child endangering. She was convicted of abuse of a corpse and sentenced to three years of community control and seven days in jail.
Did any good come out of this horrendous story? Or was it pretty much all terrible?
Between 2010 and 2015 the number of teens reporting feelings of uselessness and lack of joy increased 33 percent in large national surveys. Teen suicide attempts increased 23 percent while actual suicides between 13 to 18-year-olds increased 31 percent. A significant trend. What could account for such dramatic increases?
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.