Ideas For Parents in December: 10 Timely Tips

Ideas For Parents in December: 10 Timely Tips

Ideas for Parents in December

Do you have tweens or teens? Here are some ideas for parents in December! I include books, movies, and timely help for parents of tweens and teens. (October and November) Let me know what you are learning and loving so that I can add that to future posts! *This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.

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Ideas for parents in December

Learning:

Do you have a high school student? Are they starting to think about college? This is such a fun time! But, beware of the price tag for college! Help your student to be more aware of what these costs will be now and in the future.

Give you student the gift of knowledge this holiday season! Student loan debt is no joke. Here are some links to articles that will give you some help when having this conversation with your student, significant other, and anyone else involved in the education of your teen.

Most College Grads Consider Their Student Loan Debt a Life Sentence

How Will We Pay For College Next Fall?

The Truth About Student Loan Debt

Here are some things we have learned about having teens over the holidays these past years…

Loving:

Book:

Maisie Dobbs -Winspear

This past year, I have learned to love the character of Maisie Dobbs. 

Maisie’s intuitive gifts and helped her earn admission to the prestigious Girton College in Cambridge, where Maisie planned to complete her education -she began as a housemaid.

The outbreak of war changed everything. Maisie trained as a nurse, then left for France to serve at the Front, where she found—and lost—an important part of herself. Ten years after the Armistice, in the spring of 1929, Maisie sets out on her own as a private investigator, one who has learned that coincidences are meaningful, and truth elusive. Her very first case involves suspected infidelity but reveals something very different.

In the aftermath of the Great War, a former officer has founded a working farm known as The Retreat, that acts as a convalescent refuge for ex-soldiers too shattered to resume normal life. When Fate brings Maisie a second case involving The Retreat, she must finally confront the ghost that has haunted her for over a decade.

The Henna Artist -Joshi

I loved this book and learned so much about this culture. Lakshmi is a wonderful main character!

Escaping from an abusive marriage, seventeen-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone to the vibrant 1950s pink city of Jaipur. There she becomes the most highly requested henna artist—and confidante—to the wealthy women of the upper class. But trusted with the secrets of the wealthy, she can never reveal her own…

Known for her original designs and sage advice, Lakshmi must tread carefully to avoid the jealous gossips who could ruin her reputation and her livelihood. As she pursues her dream of an independent life, she is startled one day when she is confronted by her husband, who has tracked her down these many years later with a high-spirited young girl in tow—a sister Lakshmi never knew she had. Suddenly the caution that she has carefully cultivated as protection is threatened. Still she perseveres, applying her talents and lifting up those that surround her as she does.

One True Loves -Reid

This is a love story with a twist! I loved the woven loves of Emma’s life.

In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her.

Signal Fires -Shapiro

I loved the mystical way this is written. All the characters are somehow connected, and each relationship is important to the next. As the point of view changes with each character, you learn more about their perspective

Signal Fires opens on a summer night in 1985. Three teenagers have been drinking. One of them gets behind the wheel of a car, and, in an instant, everything on Division Street changes. Each of their lives, and that of Ben Wilf, a young doctor who arrives on the scene, is shattered. For the Wilf family, the circumstances of that fatal accident will become the deepest kind of secret, one so dangerous it can never be spoken.

On Division Street, time has moved on. When the Shenkmans arrive—a young couple expecting a baby boy—it is as if the accident never happened. But when Waldo, the Shenkmans’ brilliant, lonely son who marvels at the beauty of the world and has a native ability to find connections in everything, befriends Dr. Wilf, now retired and struggling with his wife’s decline, past events come hurtling back in ways no one could ever have foreseen.

Ideas for parents in December|www.parentinghighschoolers.com

Movie:

The Martian

Are you looking for a great movie to watch with teens? This is it! Whenever we see that this is on, we watch it! We first all saw it at the theater, and then bought it. It has great themes such as: survival, friendship, perseverence, problem solving, and hard work. So many great lessons and conversations have taken off from this movie every time we watch it!

Gadgets:

Christmas Tree– We ordered this one from Amazon, and I am so happy with it! The price was right, and we have needed a new one for a few years. I thought that if it didn’t work, then I would just return it. Amazon is so awesome with returns!

I love the way this looks real after I fluffed it all up. This is a huge thing for me since we cannot have a real tree because of one of my boy’s allergies.

Have you seen this thing?? It can fix lights on strands or a tree! Lightkeeper Pro

Gift wrapping Station This cart is a game-changer! You can have all your supplies right at hand with a flat surface to wrap on. My girlfriend has this, and I am jealous! This is all I want for this for Christmas!

 

Helpful term to know with teens:

HIPAA is a governmental term. The Health Information and Portability Accountability Act comes into action when your teen turns 18. Up until this point, you as the parent have signed the HIPAA form at all doctors visits. This includes dental, vision, and insurance information as well as primary care.

Your 18 year old will need to sign this form and list any adults who may be given information regarding their health. If you are not on that list, then you will not be privy to any of that information. (A really good description for an 18 year old to read about what the HIPAA means is here.)

**It is recommended that you get a power of attorney for the state that your teen goes to college in, as well as the state of permanent residence. Here is more info about each state’s requirements.

Grab both the health and financial power of attorney legal documents. We used them and printed these out for our two oldest boys while they were in college. It took less than 15 minutes to fill in the blanks, and print out!

I have heard horror stories about parents not being able to make medical decisions for their kids because this was not in place, so please do this for your peace of mind. *The cost of these forms is so much less than going to an attorney, which I checked into before doing this. And, talk about EASY!

Quote:

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love. –Hamilton Wright Mabie

Ideas for parents in December|www.parentinghighschoolers.com

Holidays:

Pearl Harbor Day (7), Chanukah (varies yearly), Christmas Card Day (9), Ice Cream Day (13), Bake Cookies Day (18), National Ugly Sweater Day (the third Friday), Winter Solstice (21), Christmas Day (25), Card Playing Day (28), New Year’s Eve (31)

Gift guides:

Need some ideas for shopping this holiday season? Here are some:

Gift Guides for Teen Girls

Gift Guides for Teen Boys

Stocking Stuffers for Teens

Great Gifts for Mom

15+ Best Gift Guides for Teens

Other timely help

25 Days For a Teenage Christmas

Help your teen with their finals with these tips!

Watch some great holiday movies!

Christmas With Teens: 11 Special Ways to Bond Over The Holidays

This post was written with summer in mind, but some of these tips would be super helpful over winter break!

I hope that you have learned some things with these ideas for parents in December!

I would love to stay in touch!

Make sure you subscribe to my Parenting High Schoolers newsletter below for a weekly dose of love from me about surviving and thriving with teenagers. Make sure to visit my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube where I share lots of helpful info for parents of tweens and teens! Thank you so much!❤️

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Ideas for parents in December

7  Helpful Ways to Help Your Student Prepare for Finals

7 Helpful Ways to Help Your Student Prepare for Finals

Right now our students are super stressed with finals. Whether they have high school finals or college finals, doesn’t matter, they are maxed out. Now if your middle schooler is anything like mine used to be, they were just stressed out about having to get up and actually go to school (insert rolling eyes). Here are ways to help your student prepare for finals.

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Help your student prepare for finals.

What can we do as parents to help our kids as they are preparing for finals? Let’s help them to have the best semester ever! Here are a few ideas…

*This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.

This blog post is a good one to read for alleviating stress of any kind for our teens with or without finals!

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Be positive!

Encouragement is great, and can go a long way to help your student prepare for finals. I find that if I nag, then we get into a fight, and that goes nowhere fast.

So, the next time your grouchy teen snaps at you, take a deep breath, count to 10 (or 50 or 100), and respond in a non-snappy way. I know, easier said than done, because I am the queen of snapping! Hang in there, deal with the current situation, then go open a nice bottle of red!

Drink wine as you help your student prepare for finals!

Ask them for ways you can help your student prepare for finals.

Maybe, for now, you could expect less from them around the house so that they aren’t having to deal with as much for the moment.

Stock their favorite snacks in the pantry and fridge for easy access. My boys like me to even serve them in their rooms on a tray–I use these plates (they are compostable, and I can write a message on them!) and cups for cookies, cheese and crackers or any other goodies. ( My boys love this mix!)

This is the only time that I do this, so it’s fun to order things that I wouldn’t normally have in the house.

Know their schedule.

Send quick texts if your kids are away at school at times you know they would be between classes. Send them a card or a pre-made finals care package, healthy and not so healthy, to ease the pain of studying. They LOVE this! Here is a post about putting together care packages!

Here is a link to a cute winter finals care package, and here is one for a fun spring finals package.

If they are still at home, planning a snack or meal when you know they have time for a break will go a long way towards a more energized student. I know my boys tend towards hangry when studying and stressed, so keeping them fed is almost a full time job:)

Help your student prepare for finals in medieval times

Make your teen take a break every now and then.

Everyone needs a break. I know one of my boys would never think to take a break, and would get mad if I even suggested it. But, make this happen occasionally, and they might just thank you later.

Watch a favorite episode or movie. Bake a batch of cookies together. Run up to their favorite fast food joint together and let them order what they want.

Even just giving a quick hug or high five can be all the affirmation that they might need. Any of these activities would be great for getting their mind off of school just for a while. These will help your student prepare for finals all refreshed.

A great gift to send to you student who is away is a gift card to their favorite fast food joint!

Post a sticky note.

Put it on their bathroom mirror or on their desk with a motivational quote or verse. My boys have often left these for months because they knew I was thinking of them!

If your kiddo is away, even out of college and in a stressful period with maybe a first job, you can do something similar. Send them a card with some encouraging words. It is always so fun to actually get snail mail, and I bet they keep it!

I still have a silly card my dad sent me when I was in college during some stressful period-probably finals. I love the fact that my dad took the time to write it (even though he mentions that my mom told him to!) It meant the world to me!

Make them breakfast.

This seems like a no-brainer, but a lot of kids skip this meal. I fix breakfast during the week for my boys for that reason alone. If you aren’t in this habit, make the time to do this until finals are over. Feed their bodies and their brains. Cooking is the way I show my love to my family. I love to cook, and it makes my heart happy to feed everyone.

If you’re not into cooking, then maybe put out some easy snack food for your teens before bed so that it’s there in the morning to grab as they run out the door. They will know you’ve thought of them and maybe they’ll eat a little something–bonus! (BTW-my boys are all great cooks, I just like to start my day with them in the kitchen during the week.)

When kids have any kind of test and especially when you help your student prepare for finals, this is the most important meal!

Fix breakfast to help your student prepare for finals

Give your student grace.

They will be tired and most likely grouchy during this time. Encourage them to get enough sleep. Make sure they are eating enough of the right things. Let them know you love them. Be patient.

This too shall pass. Every finals season, I feel like I’m taking them too because the stress is almost contagious!! Deal with it a minute at a time, then go hide in your room with your latest Netflix binge!

Hang in there, mamas, you got this! Go give your kid a hug:)

Look for more ways to help your student prepare for finals.

Do you have any strategies that have worked for you as you help your student prepares for finals? Please share!

Establishing good study habits

A post for stress relief is here. I gathered lots of info from my blogging besties for this age group -lots of great info in this post!

Good conversations to have while your teen is home for a few weeks

Grab one of these books for your young adult to read for future success

Good books for parenting teens

Teens and summer and you -tips for sanity!

Best Year Round Posts for Parenting Teens and Tweens: 50+ Titles!

I would love to stay in touch!

Make sure to visit my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube where I share lots of helpful info for parents of tweens and teens! And, finally, if you feel like this post was helpful, please share it on your favorite social media platform! Thank you so much!❤️

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Smart Parents in November: 10 Timely  Wins

Smart Parents in November: 10 Timely Wins

Smart Parents in November is a monthly post where I talk about a few things that I’m learning and loving in my life right now. This may include recipes, books, movies, gadgets, and DEALS -so be sure to read to the bottom for traditional deals for this month.

I do this sometime during each month. (Here are September and October) Let me know what you are learning and loving so that I can add that to future posts!

*This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.

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Smart parents in November

Learning:

•Did you know that there is a huge Holocaust archive? Over 30 million documents. Check out this post and video.

•There are definite benefits of playing games with your kids like increased attention span and getting to spend time with the ones that you love. With the holidays coming up, this might be a good activity to plan ahead for. Here is a link to an article about the benefits by Scholastic.com.

•Family game time is a definite plus for learning and loving!

•Another fun activity for the upcoming month is Advent calendars, order one now! Here’s the link to my post – 25+ Advent calendars!

Loving:

Book:

•Do you love a good book series? I loved the Outlander series. If you have not read the actual books, then you don’t know what you have missed! Whenever someone tells me that they are reading this for the first time, I am jealous. If you’ve watched the series, you have only had a taste.

I didn’t love the series after reading the books, so if you didn’t like the series, you could still LOVE the books. Get to know Jamie and Claire for real! Disclaimer… I have only read the first 6 books in the series. Someday, when I have time, I’d like to reread those and then the rest of the series.

Book One: Outlander by Diane Galbadon

•My son was looking for a fun book to read, and an author we came across was Carl Hiassen. I read one of his books years ago, and loved it. He is a very snarky author, and I found out that my dad loves his books. We picked this one out for Jake. I will let you know how it goes! (For an older teen, some mature themes)

Skin Tight -Hiassen

After dispatching a pistol-packing intruder from his home with the help of a stuffed Marlin head, Mick Stranahan can’t deny that someone is out to get him. His now-deceased intruder carries no I.D., and as a former Florida state investigator, Stranahan knows there are plenty of potential culprits. His long list of enemies includes an off point hit man, a personal injury lawyer of billboard fame, a notoriously irritating TV journalist, and a fumbling plastic surgeon.

Now, if he wants to keep fishing into his golden years, Stranahan has no choice but to come out of retirement to close this one last case…

The Measure -Erlick

I just finished this one, and it was so good!

Eight ordinary people. One extraordinary choice. It seems like any other day. You wake up, pour a cup of coffee, and head out. But today, when you open your front door, waiting for you is a small wooden box. This box holds your fate inside: the answer to the exact number of years you will live.

From suburban doorsteps to desert tents, every person on every continent receives the same box. In an instant, the world is thrust into a collective frenzy. Where did these boxes come from? What do they mean? Is there truth to what they promise?

As society comes together and pulls apart, everyone faces the same shocking choice: Do they wish to know how long they’ll live? And, if so, what will they do with that knowledge?

The Dictionary of Lost Words -Williams

This was a recent read of mine, and I had such a hard time getting into my next book because I was so caught up in this one!

Esme is born into a world of words. Motherless and irrepressibly curious, she spends her childhood in the Scriptorium, an Oxford garden shed in which her father and a team of dedicated lexicographers are collecting words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary.

As she grows up, Esme realizes that words and meanings relating to women’s and common folks’ experiences often go unrecorded. And so she begins in earnest to search out words for her own dictionary: the Dictionary of Lost Words. To do so she must leave the sheltered world of the university and venture out to meet the people whose words will fill those pages.

Set during the height of the women’s suffrage movement and with the Great War looming, The Dictionary of Lost Words reveals a lost narrative, hidden between the lines of a history written by men. Inspired by actual events, author Pip Williams has delved into the archives of the Oxford English Dictionary to tell this highly original story. 

**Note: College admission counselors and future employers might ask your teen what they are reading…

Movie:

10 Things I Hate About You This is a great movie to watch with your teen. The whole cast is great including the late, great Heath Ledger. It has all the elements of classic high school drama with humor throughout. Sibling rivalry, puppy love, cliques… I love the dad! Lots of great discussions to be had with this one. The 10 Year Anniversary Edition is available here.

 Game:

‘Tis The Season Christmas Trivia Game We have had this set of cards for years. They are fun to have out while you are just hanging around or after a holiday meal. We don’t ever really set up a game board, although I am sure that you are supposed to! We just have fun seeing who can come up with the most right answers. Here is a great list of games to play with your teens.

Recipe:

Gomer Pyle’s Chili (aka my mom’s) This recipe was published long ago in some magazine that my mom used to get. She cut out the recipe, and made it one fall night. We all loved it, and now it’s our one-and-only chili recipe.

My college boys insist that I make too much on purpose, so that they can come get a portion. Here’s a picture of my recipe card. This is so easy to make, and delicious! (All cans are 15 oz.)

Learning and loving a hot pot of chili in the month of November!

I loved watching Gomer Pyle when I was younger!

Gadget:

3-Outlet Surge Protector with 2 USB ports  Can I tell you how many places I have these?! We have one for each bathroom and our master bedroom. The kitchen and family room as well. I got one for each of our college boys to have as well.

Holidays:

Daylight Savings (1), Dias de Los Muertos (1-2), National Nacho Day (6), Book Lover’s Day (first Saturday of the month), Veteran’s Day (11), Sadie Hawkins Day (13), World Peace Day (17), Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday), Advent begins (29)

Quote:

It was November, the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind -songs in the pines.” – Anne of Green Gables

Term to know:

Net Pricewhat you actually pay for college, almost always less than the published price. Ask what they can do for more merit aid. Be prepared with updated resume, test scores, and unofficial transcript in hand.

Deals:

If you do holiday cards, it is time to get those ordered. Great deals here… and here are some unique choices.

Huge deal on Kindle Paperwhite

Does your husband (or you!) need any new power tools -great deals right now!

Looking for a date night in for the holidays, or anytime? Gift cards are an option, as well.

Great stocking stuffers here! My boys love getting these throughout the year!

Advent calendar with the cutest cookies

And, here’s an Advent calendar with hot sauces!

Thanksgiving face masks

Timely Posts:

Fun Movies to Watch With Your Teen for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas

Things to Know About Amazon for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

How You Can Support Your Teen During Finals

Budget Friendly Ideas for the Holidays!

Best Year Round Posts for Parenting Teens and Tweens: 50+ Titles!

I would love to stay in touch!

Visit my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube. I look forward to seeing you again!

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Smart parents in November

15 Best Gifts For Dad That a Teen Can Afford!

15 Best Gifts For Dad That a Teen Can Afford!

Father’s Day and Dad’s birthday can be tough. Here are the best gifts for Dad that a teen can afford, AND that Dad will actually use and appreciate!

Best gifts for dad -he would always love a hug too!

What do you give to Dad??

Most men that I know go out and buy what they want or need on their own. But, our teens need to honor dad’s day, whether it’s a birthday or holiday, and purchasing a gift for dad is always a good thing! Dad birthday gifts and Fathers day gift ideas can be difficult to come up with, so read on for some cool gifts for dad, including gifts for the dad who has everything!

Almost all of these gifts for dad are less than $25 dollars. I did include a couple of more expensive items so that siblings and/or mom could chip in -still less than $50! *This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.

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Best gifts for dad

 

Wallet Ninja -this little tool is great! I gave each of my boys these in their stockings a couple of years ago!

 

Geekey -This is a new one to me, but what a great idea!

 

Peeps -and, no, this isn’t the candy! These clean dad’s glasses!

Screenklean -made by the Peeps people for cleaning larger screens like ipads etc. I need this!

Soul insole – Does dad work on his feet all day? These are supposed to be amazing for reducing and maybe even eliminating foot pain!

Stankstix -Speaking of feet… Does dad have stinky feet? Or does he have stinky gear of some sort? These look pretty cool!

Yeti tumbler -This 26 oz. size will be great for no refills, no sweat exterior, keeps dad’s drink warm or cool… These are great!

Whisky and cigar tumbler -I gave this to my dad for his birthday last year! It has a groove in the tumbler for his cigar -he loves it!

Beard care -There are so many things for a guy’s beard! If dad has a beard take a look at this kit!

Money clip -For the dad who likes to carry cash, a personalized clip is a great gift!

Power charger -This thing can charge a lot of devices. For the dad on the go who might forget to charge his phone, this is the best!

 

Waterproof portable speaker -This is one of the best gifts for a dad who has it all! He can take it fishing, to a game, or just hang it near his hammock!

Does dad love socks? Here are some great choices!

Digital photo frame -This is the one gift that is over the $50 limit I set for this post. Maybe mom can chip in! This is an everlasting gift that any dad would like to have on their study or office desk!

Best gifts for dad if you have a little bit more to spend…

If you have a little bit more to spend, or like the idea of an ongoing gift, here are some subscription gift ideas for dad.

If dad is a foodie

If dad loves socks

If dad loves sports

If dad is a nerd

Giving gifts is a great way to show thoughtfulness

One thing that we have really encourage our kids to do over the years, is to think of others. Gift giving is such a fun way to show someone love. Your teen doesn’t need to spend lots of money to give their dad a thoughtful gift. They don’t even have to spend anything!

Some of the best gifts for dad can be funny homemade cards or coupons for jobs or things that they can do with dad over the next few months.

Encourage your teens to think ahead… to know when their dad’s birthday is, to know when Father’s Day is, to acknowledge their love for their dads even if things are rough in their relationship right now. This is one thing that can be hard for our teens to do because dads can be gruff, and come across as grumpy at the end of a long day.

As moms, we need to find those times when they are getting along, and really help both sides to see that they really DO love each other, it just can be rocky sometimes. Help those dad and teens find ways to connect and bond!

Here is one more place to look for some reasonable priced gifts for dad!

Other related posts:

Best Gifts for Mom ( I do include a few ideas for dad in this post!)

7 Helpful Ways to Help Your Student Prepare for Finals

Best Graduation Gifts!

The Best Books to Give At Graduation: 29 Great Choices

Teens and summer and you -tips for sanity!

Some Really Great Reasons to Shop on Amazon!

I would love to stay in touch!

Make sure to visit my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube where I share lots of helpful info for parents of tweens and teens! And, finally, if you feel like this post was helpful, please share it on your favorite social media platform! Thank you so much!❤️

 

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Best gifts for dad!

5 Steps to Avoid Losing Your Cool With Your Teen On Break!

5 Steps to Avoid Losing Your Cool With Your Teen On Break!

My good friend Shannon Hale at www.skiptomylife.com has kindly written this guest post letting us know how to avoid losing your cool with your teen. She has some great ideas!

And, bonus, these tips would be helpful over winter break as well, just tweak the timing and conversations! *This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.

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Avoid Losing Your Cool with Your Teen!

…It’s tough to remember exactly where the burning sensation started. Perhaps I mistook it for a hot flash. Before I knew it, I was excusing myself from the room, muttering something to my husband about this being HIS son.

When your darling teen comes home from college…

What could my rising freshman possibly have said to stir such emotion, just moments after hugs and welcome-homes from his first year at college? I’m going to tell you. Because even though I’m not usually a betting kind of gal, I’d be willing to place cash on the barrel that you will hear some version of these two sentences come from the lips of your sweet child in the coming weeks:

“You never knew what I was doing when I was away at school. Why do I have to tell you where I am now that I’m home”?

How to avoid losing your cool with your young adult

Whether you’re launching a graduate or welcoming a teen home this summer, the routine you’ve settled into over the school year is sure to change in the coming days. And, surprise! The dynamics between you and your young adult may have morphed more than either of you are expecting.

Learn from me, friends, and top off the volcano of unrealistic expectations before it erupts. Just a little planning on your part and a short discussion with your student can make the difference between a frustrating summer and one you’ll cherish for years to come.

Don’t worry; I’ll walk you through this process step-by-step.

Living with young adults feels a little like walking a tightrope over the Grand Canyon. It takes a lot of balancing to trust our kid on one side while requiring their personal responsibility on the other.

That balancing act can leave us, as parents, a bit wobbly. Add to this the fear of major repercussions for slipping too far to either side, and we are quickly set up for a very stressful summer.

Avoid Losing Your Cool with Your Teen

Avoid summer slump

“Summer Slump” is the term coined to describe the post-semester blues that result from a combination of factors:  change in daily routine, distance from friends, and unforeseen conflict in family and romantic relationships. About 1 in 3 students described themselves as depressed as a result of this phenomenon.

Quote:  “Without our rigid schedules where our days are planned down to the minute, we begin to feel like we don’t know who we are anymore.” (Post-Semester Depression, Kaitlyn Skye Hipple, Odyssey, May 3, 2016)

As the busyness of the school year comes to a screeching halt, don’t be left frantically navigating how your teen will fill their summer days. (These tips are all true for winter break as well!)

Take just 30 minutes to talk through some simple strategies and set a plan in motion, and you’ll see major pay-off in the coming months. Here’s how you’ll spend that half hour.

5 tips to avoid losing your cool with your teen this summer

1. Get out the calendar

Young adults are notorious for misunderstanding time constraints. Pull out the calendar and start by figuring out just how many weeks are unaccounted for this summer. It may be fewer than you, or your student, think.

Next step:  post any dates that are already scheduled, such as family vacations, weddings, deadlines and social events. These events will serve to break up the perception of monotony of the months stretching before your student.

Click here for a free printable summer planner.

2. Give your teen time to dream

Give your student permission to dream about what they’d like to do this summer. During my son’s last summer before college, he and his cousin organized a cross-country road trip to see their favorite band.

Although I was tempted to say “absolutely not” when he first presented the idea, the planning and responsibility he showed won me over. Put a lock on your lips and just listen. You may be surprised to see a new side of your kid.

How can you avoid losing your cool with your teen this summer?!

Once they’ve had their say, it’s time for mom and dad to share their dreams for the summer. This might include something as simple as visiting the local snow cone stand or as epic as a major bike ride. Your summer will be so much more fun if you don’t lose your cool with your young adult!

3. Discuss boudaries for your teens

Learn from my mistakes, my wonderful friends. Don’t assume your student knows what you expect from them this summer. You are making the transition from parenting to coaching, from living with your child to living with another adult.

It’s tough. It’s awkward. But, we can do this. Setting simple expectations about household chores, curfew, communication, use of car- will keep you from so many rolling eyeballs and slammed doors.

Remember that they have, indeed, kept themselves from dying over the last several months. Give them credit and very generous limits.

I grew up in a home with one bathroom. Not one full bath and one half bath- one toilet, one sink, one shower. So many battles could have been avoided and so many tears could have been saved had we just sat down and figured out a schedule. But then my sisters and I wouldn’t have near the stories to tell, right?

4. Provide summer ideas for teens

In the event that your teen’s answer to question 2 is “play video games on the couch”, here’s some help. You, dear parent, will come to this conversation armed with some ideas for summer options. Here is the beauty of taking 30 minutes to have this planning session in early summer versus waiting until mid-July.

Avoid losing your cool with your teen this summer!

As you probably know, but your teen may not, now is the time to apply for and pursue a summer job, schedule an internship, or sign up for summer classes. I know, I know, you’re afraid this revelation will push your already-overwhelmed kid into overload. But here’s where your pre-work will pay off.

Show them support by offering to temporarily take something off their plate so they can have a couple of hours to fill out an application online or schedule a meeting with a local business owner.

**If it is holiday break, they can use this time to scout out summer jobs -this will give them a head start over their friends who won’t be thinking about this until later in the spring. Line up jobs now!

5. Celebrate and model self-care

Summer is a great time for students to catch up on sleep, get into better eating habits or start an exercise program. But we can’t very well encourage them to do those things if we’re not doing them ourselves.

Choose a few goals you’d like to work on this summer. Your son or daughter will be more motivated by your actions than by nagging. Plan to celebrate reaching a weight or fitness goal as a family.

Now that another school year is in the books, push the easy button and set aside some time for summer planning with your student. You’ll be glad you did when fall rolls around and you’re waving goodbye once again.

A tool to help:  how to avoid losing your cool with your young adults 

Shannon created a  free printable summer planner that will walk you through the 5 steps above.

Thanks to Shannon for all the great ideas for ideas on how to avoid losing your cool with your young adults. This is our first summer that our boys are NOT coming home, and that is a whole other story!

Another tip for summer or holiday break…

 **It is recommended that you get a power of attorney for the state that your teen goes to college in, as well as the state of permanent residence. Here is more info about each state’s requirements.

Grab both the health and financial power of attorney legal documents. We used them and printed these out for our two oldest boys while they were in college. It took less than 15 minutes to fill in the blanks, and print out!

I have heard horror stories about parents not being able to make medical decisions for their kids because this was not in place, so please do this for your peace of mind. *The cost of these forms is so much less than going to an attorney, which I checked into before doing this. And, talk about EASY!

Related posts: 

Great Books to Read With or Without Your Teen

27 Great Books For A Young Adult to Read For Success

You Have An 18 Year Old: Be Aware Of These Little-Known Facts

7 Things to Know If You Love a Teenager

Great Games to Play With Your Teens Anytime

Best Year Round Posts for Parenting Teens and Tweens: 50+ Titles!

I would love to stay in touch!

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Avoid Losing Your Cool with Your Teen!

 

25+ Advent Calendars That Teens Will Love!

25+ Advent Calendars That Teens Will Love!

“Advent calendars that teens will love” has been so much fun to write!

I was wanting to write a new holiday post, and I realized how many fun advent calendars there are available! I decided that this would be a fun post, and my boys and a couple of their girlfriends helped me to find advent calendars that teens will love.

I am always updating this post beginning in late July. Order soon because there are only a few of some of these left, and I had to delete a lot off of the list! I am looking for new ones to add, but it takes time!)

Is there an advent calendar for teenage boys that they would like?

Yes! My boys still love the velcro advent calendar that we have and when they are all around they still do rock, paper, scissors to put on the next figure. 

Officially, Advent is the period of four Sundays and weeks before Christmas (or sometimes from the 1st December to Christmas Day!). Advent means “coming” in Latin, This is the coming of Jesus into the world. Christians use the four Sundays and weeks of Advent to prepare and remember the real meaning of Christmas. *This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.

I like to think of it as anticipation for a special event! There are now advent calendars for having a baby, for Hannukah, and even for your dog! And, I could not help but add this Covid Advent calendar of fun activities -this is not your traditional Advent calendar- but a great idea!

Be sure to check out my other gift guides below!

Advent calendars that teens will love!

AND, my friend Monica over at How2WinScholarships.com has put together an advent scholarship activity! This is a fun way to get your teens motivated to apply for some of those pesky scholarships that are so helpful when paying for college! ( She usually updates this around October or November.)

There are so many different kinds of advent calendars that teens will love, take a peek at the 25+ calendars below! Each calendar has its own theme for so many different interests… and, don’t forget to order soon since most of them are 24 day calendars starting December 1.

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Advent calendars that teens will love

This is the advent calendar that my kids grew up with, so I had to include it on this list. Even though it’s for younger kids, my boys still put it up (as teens and older!), and add a character each day, and I love it!

Nativity Fabric Advent Calendar

Here we go with advent calendars that teens will love!

•For the DIYer, here are 24 cute holiday boxes with sticker for you to put together your own version!

DIY Holiday Boxes -these are reusable!

•Have a little tree for your apartment, dorm room or bedroom? This Advent calendar has 24 tiny ornaments that you could use.

Christmas ornament calendar

•Marvel movie lovers?

Marvel advent calendar -almost 30 surprises over 25 days as you count down to Christmas. Here’s another Marvel advent choice by Funko.

•Any jewelry lovers out there?

Bracelet advent calendars

•Do you know a crafter? 

24 Handmade Arts & Crafts Ornaments & Decorations 

•Have a chemist in the house?

The Crazy Scientist Advent Calendar – 24 Cool Science Experiments

•Does your teen love Harry Potter? This is a great advent calendar… And, here is a countdown calendar with not HP, but really funky “Cabinet of Holiday Curiosities” -great items for the 24 days!

Funko Advent Calendar: Harry Potter – 24 Vinyl Figures

•Have a horse lover? I am leaving this one on here as of July, 2022. There is only one left, but hoping there will be another release!

Breyer Horses 2022 Holiday Collection

•Here’s another Funko advent calendar…

Funko Advent Calendar: Dragon Ball Z Pocket Pop! – 24 Vinyl Figures

•Do you have a lover of all things origami?

Make your own origami advent calendar -These are not different shapes, but origami boxes that someone would make, then put a tiny gift inside. If you have a hardcore origami artist.

There is a German version of an origami book with all sorts of Christmasy designs. Written in German, but I am guessing the pictures show it all anyway. If you have a teen that tries this, let me know how it goes!!

 

•Want a do-it-yourself version?

24 reusable burlap bags for advent calendar -so many choices! I will share the picture of my favorite one. Here is a version that has pockets.

•Here’s another brain teaser advent calendar…

24 Brain Teaser Puzzles Wire and Plastic Puzzle Advent Calendar

 

Have a kid ot teen who like diamond painting? New driver?

Diamond Painting Kits – Make Your Own Gem Keychains

•Know someone who loves The Office?

Funko The Office Advent Calendar

•Know someone who loves baths?

Spa life “Fizzle All The Way” Bath Bomb Advent Calendar -12 days, not 24

•Know anyone who loves Fortnite?

Funko Advent Calendar: Fortnite

•I have seen it all! This one is for crossword lovers!

Mindmade The Advent Calendar for Crossword Lovers

•My boys love The Nightmare Before Christmas!

Here is an advent calendar and pop-up book with this theme!

 

 Here are some advent calendars that teens will love that I do not have images for, but they are worth mentioning here!

Badvent calendar -Krampus Christmas (24 naughty characters to find),

Movie advent calendar with holiday flicks -this is one that I might have to do this year!

12 Days of Potato Chips Advent Calendar

Christmas Activities Advent Calendar (re-usable)

24 Days of Cookies -yum!

And, here are some Star Wars countdown calendars

Advent calendar with hot sauces and here is another advent calendar with hot sauces

 12 Days of Noodles Mandarin Style Advent Calendar

Tea advent calender -There were a bunch of these! Here is a link to a couple more. These would be great for a girlfriend!

So many Lego advent calendars!

I hope that this gives you great ideas to find an advent calendar that teens will love!

Related posts:

Great Games Your Teen Will Love!

Gift Guide for Teen Guys

Gift Guide for Teen Girls

Stocking Stuffers for Teens

Budget Friendly Ideas for the Holidays

147 Jolly Holiday Ideas to Enjoy with Your Teens

49 Awesome Holiday Movies For Teens: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas

15+ Best Gift Guides for Teens

Best Year Round Posts for Parenting Teens and Tweens: 50+ Titles!

Advent calendars that teens will love!

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Thank you so much!❤️ 

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Advent calendars that teens will love!