Sarah and I have both had babies since launching Best of Both Worlds three-and-a-half years ago. Many listeners/readers find us during those hard early years of trying to figure out how to build a career and a family at the same time. So we cover little kid issues a lot!
But both of us are entering the older kid years. My oldest three kids are 13, 11, and 9, and so, as we discuss in this episode, I’ve been trying to figure out how to enjoy the teen/tween years and support my kids as they figure out their place in the world. I am pretty far from a helicopter parent (I’m actually not type A in much of anything…I just sometimes play one professionally). My current philosophy is to spend one-on-one time with the older kids whenever I can, and keep the lines of communication open. I try to help them figure out ways to solve their problems. (And there have been problems! Grades, virtual school attendance…I won’t go into specifics because my kids are their own people, but I don’t want anyone to think all is perfect or that my family has everything figured out.)
All this has been shaped by the pandemic. I’ve definitely enjoyed getting to eat lunch with my older kids most days. On the other hand, there has been a lot of screen time. It’s quite possible my children have watched all of Netflix. In this episode, we talk some about screen time/device rules and freedoms, and how that is evolving. Chores, allowances, keeping kids interested in the future…there’s a lot in here. So please give the episode a listen and I welcome advice from parents of older children!