Consideration for others ought to be a no-brainer as something to teach kids, but in this day and age, it seems not to be. Our teens may need some reminders about what that looks like.
And frankly, maybe parents, do, too. Listen for why this is perhaps more important than you realize and some ways to make it happen that you might not have thought about.
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This episode is sponsored by CTC Math.
Have you tried CTC Math yet with your child? Here is a testimonial from another happy homeschool mom:
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Episode 92: Is Your Teen Showing Consideration for Others?
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Ann Karako: Hi, this is Ann Karako and you are listening to episode 92 of the It's Not that Hard to Homeschool High School Podcast.
Welcome to another episode of It's Not that Hard to Homeschool High School, the podcast for real people so that you can confidently, competently, and yes even contentedly provide the high school education that is best for your teen and your family. I'm your host Ann Karako from notthathardtohomeschool.com.
Hello everyone and welcome. Today we have the final topic in our care and feeding of homeschooled teens series. It's one that, I'll be honest with you, I didn't think of it when I was writing the e-mail series on this same topic last spring. It came to me a couple of months ago, and I just jotted a note down. Now that I'm actually putting it together, I wonder if it's even worthy of a podcast episode, but since it's been planned for a little while I'm going to go ahead and dive in, and we'll see how it goes.
First I'd like to do a little housekeeping if that's all right with you. It is December as this is being published. As you know I usually publish podcast episodes on the first and third Fridays of the month, so this is the first Friday of December. I do have a guest podcast scheduled for the third Friday of December which would be, I think, the 16th, and so we'll go ahead and publish that. There will be no other content published during the month of December, so nothing written on the blog and no bonus podcast content on the 5th Friday of December.
To be honest with you, I might very well take January off too, at least for the podcast. I tend to do that because January, then, gives me a time to get planned up for the rest of the year. I don't want, frankly, to have to work over the holidays, so I don't do my planning over the holidays. I enjoy the holidays, that's what I do, and so then in January is when I start to plan and really get things geared up for the rest of the year. If you don't see me back here on the podcast until February, don't give up on me.
All righty, so let's jump into today's topic. To do that, I'd like to tell a story. As you know I live just outside of Branson, Missouri. My one daughter, when she was still in high school and early college years, she worked for one of the tourist attractions in Branson. It was the type of thing where you had to measure the people that were going to get on the ride to be sure that nobody was too short, safety reasons you know. The kids had to be over a certain height in order to be able to get on this ride.
She got so frustrated because there were so many times where the kids would get angry when she measured them and told them that they were not tall enough to get on the ride. If that wasn't bad enough, the kids are angry and frustrated with her and making it very clearly known, their parents were backing them up. Their parents were also angry at my daughter even though the measuring stick was an objective instrument, and it had nothing to do with my daughter.
She came home to me, one time, and just said, “Mom, I am so glad you homeschooled us.” Isn't it wonderful when your kid says something like that? I'll be honest, she might be the only one that actually spelled it out like that. I haven't actually asked all of the kids, “Hey, are you happy you were homeschooled?” Maybe I didn't want to know the answer, I'm not certain. We made the best decision we could, and I'm fine with it. I don't really need to know if my kids were happy about it or not, to be honest with you. She actually said to me, “Mom, thank you for homeschooling us because we learned how to be considerate of others.” I love that.
Now it's true, I have no clue how the homeschooling relates to the being considerate of others, but in her mind it does. I think it's because she felt like it was a bunch of public school kids that were coming to this ride and giving her grief, whereas when she found out a family was a homeschooling family I don't think she got the same kind of grief. I don't know to be honest with you why that is, but in her mind, there was a huge difference between the homeschooled kids that she came into contact with, and the public school kids that she came into contact with.
All that to say, when it comes to the care and feeding of our teens let's teach them, let's be certain that they do know how to be considerate of others. There's a lot that goes into this, especially during the teen years. You may be like, “Oh, that's a no-brainer,” and I agree with you it ought to be a no-brainer, but it isn't always. Let's talk about some examples, some situations where it's a good idea for a teen to know how to be considerate of other people.
What about when somebody else wins something that your teen really wanted, or somebody else is being praised and your teen is not, how do they respond? Somebody who is thinking of the other person is going to be able to support their friend wholeheartedly. Or the winner even if it's not their friend, they're going to be able to support them wholeheartedly without holding back, without being begrudging, without being angry that they're not the one getting picked or getting the praise. That is something adults even struggle with. Am I right?
When we can teach our teens how to lose gracefully by supporting the other person, that's big. Teens can tend to be a self-absorbed lot, can't they? There is so much going on in their little lives, and they can be very self-focused sometimes. This is why it might be a good idea to be dialoguing about some of these things and showing examples of how to be considerate.
Here's another one. What about recognizing somebody else's hurt or discomfort and seeing if they can help? This applies amazingly with younger siblings, am I right? Are they helping their younger siblings work through their hurt, their discomfort, their big emotions, or are they just getting frustrated and walking away or getting angry at them? Having their own little temper tantrum. It's wonderful when an older sibling can help a younger one work through stuff.
Actually, I got to see this over Thanksgiving. One of my daughters helped her younger sister through something. I don't even know what it was. I just know that they had an opportunity to talk and they closeted themselves away for a little bit, and then they came out and I didn't actually hear anything about it. I love this, when siblings turn to one another for help and advice. I mean, I'm just the old fogey mom, what do I know, right? This is awesome stuff. It starts earlier, it starts when everybody is still at home. Can your teen help their younger siblings through these difficult times, or do they just get frustrated too?
I just want to take a quick second to let you know that this episode has been sponsored by CTCMath. I have used CTCMath in my own home school. As a former math teacher, I can highly recommend it as a solid math program. Have you tried CTCMath yet with your child? Here is a testimonial from another happy homeschool mom. Amber said, “I'm absolutely thrilled with CTCMath. It's a rare find that I've used with my children for more than six years now. I have six children using CTCMath and each child has found it easy to navigate and very applicable. I love seeing them enjoy this math program and grow in their mathematical journey. Thank you so much for all that you are doing and for providing quality math lessons for my children.” If you're looking for a great online math program visit ctcmath.com. That's ctcmath.com.
One of my biggies has always been respect for people that work in stores, or people that work in restaurants, let's be polite. One thing that teens can learn as they start to become more independent, and maybe now they're going to restaurants on their own, is to be generous tippers. For a long time, I was a not generous tipper and I'm making up for it now by being overly generous, because I feel so guilty for all the people that I was very tight with for so many years. I'm trying to pay it forward at this point in hopes that it will make up for the times that I didn't do that.
We can teach our teens how that works. Are they becoming generous tippers, or are they counting their pennies? I do think that the universe makes things right in both directions, something to think about. What about driving courteously, woo, yes. Take some time to ride along with your teen after they have their license and see if they've gotten into any bad habits and maybe take some time to dialogue about that. We work with them until they get their license and then they're on their own and we have no idea truly what driver they are. Every once in a while just ride along. Let them drive even though you're in the car and see how that goes. Driving courteously is safer.
Here's a big one. This is something that I've also learned fairly recently in my life and I wish now that I had spent some time especially with my teens working through this issue, dialoguing about this issue, helping them with this issue then. Now they're adults and they may have to learn it on their own, because even if I share my own learning with them, that doesn't mean they have to listen. They're on their own track at this point, we're not sharing tracks as much anymore.
What did I learn? Well, guess what? Our happiness is not dependent upon other people's behavior. What do you think about that? I am learning that I have a choice to be happy regardless of how other people are behaving. I can take responsibility for my own happiness regardless of what other people are saying and doing around me, even if it's hurtful. To me this is a big one because teens in particular are very sensitive. If we can teach them that they have a choice how to respond and that they can choose to still be happy in spite of what's going on around them. That they don't have to blame others, they don't have to blame circumstances.
This is huge for life success in their relationships at the workplace. General satisfaction of life. Are they learning how to take responsibility for their own happiness? What does this mean? If you've heard me talk about self care at any of the conferences I was at last year and I'll be talking about it again at the ICHE conference in May. That's the Illinois Christian Home Educators of Conference. I'm looking forward to that, it's going to be a great time, I will be there in May, so hopefully I'll see you there.
Self care part of that is doing things for ourselves that make us happy. Doing things for ourselves that fill our little thinks so that we are not as easily sensitive. We're not as easily angered because we've already taken the time to take care of ourselves. This is different than being self-absorbed. This is self care. I know I need to take care of myself rather than expecting somebody else to make me happy. When I take care of myself, then I'm a better person to everyone around me. That's what this is about.
Are you giving your teen strategies for self care, whether that'd be getting enough sleep, taking a nap, making sure they're eating well, eating right, eating regularly, but then are they finding the ways to cope with life's difficult circumstances? Which sometimes means finding a distraction. What are the things they like to do? What things help them get over their big emotions? Are they journaling? Do they do paint by numbers? Do they like to read? There's some activities that they always enjoy doing that can help them get over a rough spot? Is there certain friends that they can talk to, or are they constantly expecting other people to adapt to them in order for them to be happy?
I think about the younger siblings, oftentimes a teen can be very critical of their younger, more immature siblings and expect those siblings to behave as maturely as the teenager does at all times. Then when that's not happening, the teenager gets frustrated and unhappy rather than being able to take it in stride, they're blaming their younger siblings for their own unhappiness, and this doesn't need to be. Teenagers can also blame their parents for their own unhappiness, and this does not need to be.
When we give our teens the tools to create their own happiness, that's not dependent upon people or circumstances, then we have truly prepared them for a much more stable balanced life. I didn't learn that till recently. How this falls under consideration for others is you're not blaming others. You're not trying to get others to change for you. You're allowing others to take up their own space, to have their own foibles, to be imperfect because you're not dependent upon them for your happiness. That makes relationships much better when we can allow others to be imperfect just like we are.
Again, I'm not even certain that this was worthy of a podcast episode but I felt like I wanted to say it. Oftentimes what I've learned, I want to pass on to somebody else in hopes that they don't have to learn it the hard way like I did. All of the things that we've talked about on this series of care and feeding of homeschooled teens are really just general parenting principles. I've just been around the block on that five times and my youngest turns 20 next week, y'all. Which is crazy to me, absolutely crazy. I will not have a teenager in the house anymore.
If we work with them during the teenage years, if we don't give up, if we keep communicating, we keep loving, we keep training, we keep working on their care and feeding, we keep working on that relationship then the relationship when they are adult children is just that much better. We had a wonderful time as a family over Thanksgiving this past week. You can too when your kids become older. I know this is hard right now. I have so been there. I hope that this series has been helpful to you. I hope this podcast is helpful to you.
There will be show notes for this episode, don't worry. You know how to get there. Go to podcast on the top menu at notthathardtohomeschool.com and then click on podcast and scroll down until you reach episode 92 because you might be listening to this later.
If you're listening to this in December of 2022 it's going to be towards the top. But later than that you might have to scroll down a little ways and then click on the episode and scroll down to get to all of the related articles and information that I will post there in case you're interested. I will see you in three either January or February, I'm not sure which yet. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season. Thanks for being here. See you then.
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