Posts Tagged ‘teens’

Teen’s First (Real) Summer Job


The picture above sums up the past few weeks in my household. Trying to get my sixteen-year-old to understand the importance of getting a summer job, at times, seemed like a full-time job for both my husband and me.

I could hardly believe my ears when my teen yelled, “You don’t need the money! I don’t need the money! So why do I need a job?! It’s pointless to make me look for one!

Where, oh, where had the drive to earn his own money and not rely solely on allowance gone? Surely, this kid’s memory of summers’ past hadn’t been erased. We used to pay him for cutting the grass and he was ever so proud of his accomplishments and earning potential. Especially, after a neighbor hired him to cut their grass for the entire summer.

Despite his resistance, my husband and I stood our ground, lectured frequently, and even issued an ultimatum that our teen didn’t take seriously. Given that we say what we mean and follow through with most it, it’s a wonder that we had so much opposition.

While the battles were intense and emotions sometimes got the best of us, all is well that ends well. You see, after submitting just one application, placing a follow-up call to the employer (at my insistence), and refusing to apply for any other other job on the face of the planet, my teen landed an interview. Just one day later, he heard the four words that we’d all prayed he would hear:






The scowl that I thought had been permanently etched onto my handsome boy’s face had vanished. Despite our worst fears, he hadn’t blown the interview on purpose. He presented himself in the best light possible and impressed the interviewer who, in turn, put in a good word for him with the head manager who ultimately made the decision to extend a job offer.

Sure, it’s not a humanitarian role or a graduate school appointment, but we’re still proud. At sixteen, our teen has gotten his foot into someone’s door and he will soon realize that the sky is the limit.

Praise God for opening a door that my teen didn’t want to pass through and praise Him for breathing optimism into the life of a kid who didn’t think he wanted to enter the workforce as have many of his peers.

The big day at work is Monday and we will continue to pray that this experience will be positive and enriching in purpose.

Love to all!


Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV)


My oldest son is away on a weekend retreat and ski holiday with two dozen high-schoolers and a handful of adult leaders from church. I’m sad that he missed out on the family trip to the car show, but I’m happy that he’s away with his peers for a time of retreat and getting closer to God. I am thankful to all of the people who make these trips possible and make them the great successes that they always are.


Thank you for providing the opportunity for this current teen retreat and all of the other church-related activities in which my children are able to participate. I feel blessed that they are able to learn about You not only while in church, but during fun getaways as well. I pray that all of the teens and adults are drawn closer to You and to one another this weekend. I pray for traveling mercies as they make the trip back home tomorrow. Please be a shield of protection around each of the vehicles in which they’ll travel. I pray these things in Jesus’ name, Amen!



Etiquette for Children and Teens, Part 2

Part two of a two-part series on etiquette for teens and children.

The second part of this series focuses on appropriate telephone etiquette, theater behavior, and table manners.

While telephone etiquette is always a matter of great importance, this topic would be rather lengthly if I included all scenarios. Therefore, this article will focus on appropriate behavior when calling someone. If I had a dime for every time a child called my home and asked, “Who is this?”, I’d be able to fill the tank of my van – even at today’s prices. Whenever I am the victim of such bad manners, I have no problem taking the opportunity to teach the child something they may or may not have learned at home. When calling a phone number that is shared by two or more people, the polite thing to do is to introduce oneself and ask for the person with whom you wish to speak. For example, “Hello, this is Sarah. Is Cindy available? If so, may I speak with her?” This approach works best for someone with whom the child is not familiar. However, if the child knows the person who answered the telephone, an appropriate greeting would be, “Hello, Mr. Smith. This is Jackie. How are you?”, or some other pleasant chit-chat. When the time is right, it is OK to then ask to speak with the primary person with whom you wish to speak. Don’t forget to offer “please” and “thank you” for the time that the other person took to respond to your request.

The next topic of etiquette can result in flared tempers, because it requires having to approach someone publicly. Movie theaters should be treated like libraries (quiet) and not living rooms, phone booths, raceways, or trash cans. Before your next trip to the theater, go over these simple rules with your child or teen:

  • Do not kick the back of the chair in front of you.
  • Silence your cell phones, so as to not disturb others. If your phone vibrates and you must take a call, take it outside of the theater.
  • Do not treat the aisles like runways by running up and down them, because you are bored.
  • Place your trash into receptacles generally located at various places near the exit.

Following these few simple rules will allow your fellow movie-goers to enjoy the film that they paid good money to see. It’ll also likely keep you from being tossed from the theater.

Finally, teach your children that proper table manners are important. Believe me, this is a constant battle in my home, so I know it’s not an easy one to win. This advice will focus on dining etiquette when eating outside of the home, but there’s no place like home to practice. As a former restaurant hostess, I’ve seen it all. Parents who let their children empty condiment containers onto tables, treat restaurant workers disrespectfully, throw trash on the floor around and under the table, have loud conversations, and disrupt the peace of other diners by tugging on their hair or clothing from the other side of the booth were constant concerns. Helping your children exhibit good dining behavior is quite simple. When you see any of the above behaviors (or gasp) or something worse, address the immediately. Don’t wait until the manager or an angry guest has to approach you.

Think about how you’d want to be treated when having a conversation, watching a movie, or dining outside of the home. If you see your child behaving unpleasantly, do something. Don’t sit back pretending not to see an issue and force others to do your parenting for you.

Have any stories of unbelievable bad behavior? What did you do to address it?

Let’s chat!


Other Resources

Rude Busters

Family Education: Manners for Kids (and Parents)