If they’re not doing anything dangerous, illegal or immoral, let them be. Give them space and independence. (Just first define dangerous/ illegal/ immoral. Then remind them that you are here and would love to hear about anything they want to share.)
Kindness is key. Practice being kind even when you don't feel like it. Let's all encourage each other to be kind always. (Or learn how to take a walk or go to our room when we just can't be kind in that moment.)
A useful opening line in a conversation (personal, parenting or professional) is “What should I know about ...”. It shows you understand you have something to learn, and it makes people feel valued. “What should I know about what’s going on at football practice?”
The secret to getting sinks and surfaces to shine is to dry-buff them after you clean them. Keep a soft clean rag or washcloth around so you can dry fixtures and sinks and counter tops.
(They should be cleaning their own bathrooms by this age.)
I wish you had known my father he was such a good man gentle and loving. One early memory I have of him is that one night in our neighborhood I was hit by a bike - a boy was riding his bike and road up on the sidewalk and ran right into me. The bike hit me in the face with the handlebars and I was knocked down before I knew what happened. My father scooped me up and carried me back home. I was crying the whole time. the funny thing is I don't remember the pain, but I very clearly remember being in his arms and hearing the clip clop clip clop of his shoes. It was an after dinner walk - he was still in his suit from work and he had his loafers on and made a clip clop on the sidewalk I will never forget the feeling of being carried in his arms as he hurried back to the house to take care of me. I was in pain but I knew I would be OK.
I miss him very much and I wish you knew him.
My love for you will never run out - neither will God’s love / patience run out. I will always instruct, discipline and give consequences for bad behavior- because it’s my job to teach you. But there’s nothing you could do to lose my love. Remind them daily.
Take the family on periodic “spending fasts.”
As an exercise, go a day, a weekend or a week without spending any money. Make due with what you have.
Encourage participation. Tie in spending fasts with holidays, lent or in support of a cause.
They’re very teachable at this age. When behavior is bad, send to their room for a brief “time-out.”
Then go get them by sitting and putting him/her on your lap. Talk (1-3 sentences) about why we don’t behave that way and how I expect you to behave instead. Then hugs and kisses.
If the offense is really bad, introduce consequences (which have to be immediate, they wont understand missing out on something hours from now, won’t make the connection.)