Dear Ashton: As a parent when do you decide that you’ll let your kids “quit” something? Something you know they’ll succeed in and love, but have to learn to deal with the initial pains of adversity or discomfort? How do you determine that something just isn’t for them, or that they need mental toughness and need to stick with it? My son started a new activity today and was excited to do it. But once he saw a certain kid was also involved, he says he lost interest and no longer wanted to do it. How do you determine the difference and when to really let them “quit” something? Is there ever a right time to let a child “quit”? Thanks!
– To Quit Or Not To Quit
Dear Ashton: As a Christian, it is easy for me to put God first in my life, but after first place I struggle with second and third places… my spouse and my kids. My husband puts me before the kids, but I struggle with putting him before our kids. How do I keep the right order i.e. 1st – God, 2nd – Spouse, 3rd – kids?
— Mrs. Family Order
My nine year old son recently told me that he was ‘trustable.’ I chuckled when he said it because, honestly, I did not think it was a real word. To my surprise, it was real!
Here’s a little back-story… we were having a conversation and he felt like I didn’t trust him to take care of his headphones. He was right, because his track record for breaking them was strong. However, when he said that to me with sincerity, I stopped and realized I was conveying the wrong message to him. I was trying to make him behave more ‘trustable,’ but was actually making him feel less ‘trustable.’ I was making my negative expectations clear – I expected him to break the headphones. That is the opposite of what I wanted. I wanted him to take care of them. How had the lines of communication gotten so twisted? Easy – and it was my fault! (more…)
Dear Ashton: I can’t seem to talk to my teenage daughter anymore. It’s as if she resents me or has something against me. If I say anything to her it immediately becomes a VERY tense situation, and sometimes hurtful things are said. I don’t know what caused this, but we hardly talk, spend time together, and she seems to be very content with just letting our relationship die. I don’t get it, and it hurts me deeply. How can I find common ground with her to try to rebuild that loving mother-daughter relationship that we once had? I’m at a loss!
— Desperate Mother