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Patti Chadwick, SAHMs of Teens: Tips on successfully parenting adolescents as a SAHM from the founder of Parents and Teens and History's Women.

Out With the Old and In With the New
By Patricia Chadwick


As your kids grow into teens and your teens begin maturing into young adults, the way your family celebrates special days is bound to change. When the kids were little, I'm sure you had definite plans and traditions when celebrating Christmas and New Years along with a host of other special days. But what do you do when your little ones aren't so little anymore?

My teens range from 13 - 17 and since my youngest has entered the teenage years, I'm really beginning to find that we need to modify our family traditions. Customs that used to be wonderfully fun just don't seem to be working for us anymore.

This really hit home for me this holiday season. Every Advent we use an Advent wreath and devotional in our daily family worship and my kids have always enjoyed being the "honored" one who got to light the candles for the day. The same with our Advent calendar. My kids used to practically fight over who would get to read the selection for the day found in the pocket of the calendar.

This year, however, it was different. No one seemed to care who lit the candles or who got the "goodie" out of the Advent calendar for the day.
Many days went by where no one even looked in the calendar pocket. And as far as the Advent wreath & devotions, my oldest asked me this year, "Do we have to use that same old book again? We've used it ever since I can remember."

*Sigh* What's a parent of teens to do? Should we let go of the traditions that were so meaningful when our kids were little or should we hold on to them with all our might? Maybe it is time to examine our family traditions and review them in light our current family structure. It might be best to let go some of the old and welcome some new family traditions.

With Christmas over and the New Year just beginning, I've decided that I really need to talk to my kids about our family traditions and the way we celebrate holidays together. They are young adults and I really want their opinions. If changes need to be made, we will make them. If some traditions are out-dated or too "young" for them, we will shelve them for a future date, when they have young families of their own. Some traditions, I'm sure, will be "keepers" and we will relish in those as well as add new traditions that will meet the needs of our growing family.

I can be sad right now as I ponder our "Family Meeting" that will take place this month to discuss how we should change the way we celebrate. Or I can find joy in the fact the my kids are growing into fine young men and women who will, before long, be having families of their own and developing their own family traditions. I choose to enter this phase of our family life with joy.

This article may be re-published as long as the following resource box is included:
Patricia Chadwick is a freelance writer and has been a stay-at-home mom for 15 years. She is currently a columnist in several online publications as well as editor of two newsletters. Parents & Teens is a twice-monthly newsletter geared to help parents connect with their teens. Subscribe at History's Women is weekly online magazine highlighting the extraordinary achievements of women. Subscribe at

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