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It's a New School Year!
Today is the first day of our new school year here at the Gregoire household. This year, unlike last year, I'm only homeschooling two kids. My nephew has gone back to school, so I just have my two daughters.

What's amazing is how far they've come. They've in grades 7 & 10 now, and homeschooling is so much easier. I can assign them work, they go and do it, and then we take it up and talk about it. I don't have to stand over their shoulders all day, and I can actually get some of my own work done!

We love homeschooling. A couple of years ago Rebecca really wanted to go to school, and I felt like perhaps I was denying them something important, but they've totally changed their minds after looking at the work their friends are doing. They feel like a lot of school is "busy-work", and at home we don't waste time. We just do the important stuff, and then they can get creative with piano, or with writing, or with drawing. My one daughter I know is working on a novel.

But it's not really only with schooling that I've been noticing a difference. It's with everything. The girls are growing really responsible. I'm starting to relate to them on a different level now, because they're not just children. It's a whole lot of fun!

So many people dread the teen years, but I'm finding them exhilirating. I remember talking to a man about seven years ago who told me that the teen years were his most fun years of parenting. They weren't that bad at all. And I'm finding that's true, too.

Now certainly they can be bad, and who knows what my girls will choose to do in the next few years? But what I've found is that when you draw strict boundaries when they're little, then they begin to internalize your lessons and learn them. They develop their own relationship with God, so that it's not just you telling them what to do. And then as teens, we can let them spread their wings a little more and learn how to do this thing we call life.

I think most of the readers of this blog have younger kids than I do, and so I just want to write you a bit of an encouragement. Ten years ago life was all about preparing snacks so we could go places, planning our lives so we could be home for naptime, changing the sheets when someone wet the bed, and putting the potty in the living room in the hope that someone would think of it before they let go, if you know what I mean.

I was tired. Katie came into my room in the middle of the night because she wanted to sleep with me. You had to give them a bath every night. They needed you constantly. They don't share, they throw tantrums, they fight, and they whine.

It's exhausting. But if you love your kids during those years, and take time to teach them how to behave (not just to yell), you'll find that life gets steadily easier. When you don't take time to train them, it gets harder, because while temper tantrums are a pain when they're two, they're downright infuriating at 9, and dangerous at 15. Take care of them at 2, and life is a lot better.

Some kids, of course, will be more difficult to raise than others. Some kids will always need a firm hand, and will always need you right on their backs. But the fact still remains: the more time you spend with them when they're young, training them and mentoring them, the more fun you will have with them when they're older (and the less worrying you'll have to do).

So I know it seems exhausting now. I know it feels like it will never end. But don't believe all those people who tell you how terrible the teen years are. Don't get sidetracked by Oprah and Dr. Phil with all those problem kids on. Your kids do not need to turn out that way. You love them and train them, and you just may find the teen years are your favourite years of parenting, too.

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At 8:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

Thank you for the encouragement! It was much needed today. I have a 2 1/2 year old son, a 16 month old daughter and am due with my third in just 5 short weeks! Some days seem VERY challenging! It is so nice to hear that all of this work and training will pay off in the teen years!


At 9:08 AM , Blogger LAURA said…

I think you just described my life in a few paragraphs! I have two little ones... almost three years and one and a half. It's refreshing to hear some one be positive about kids growing up. I get tired of hearing everyone say "you think the two's were hard!? Wait till the three's!" or "Just wait till they are teenagers!" I like to think like you do... that if we teach them and train them when they are young that just maybe it won't have to be so bad. But I often feel like I am the only one thinking that way. So thanks for the encouragement!!

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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