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July 10, 2008


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I believe in this same parenting philosphy. I believe kids crave boundaries. I'm glad things are going well and I hope it continues! Take care - Kellan

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!

I will drop off Laura at 7:30 AM and pick her up at age 22.


Kalynne Pudner

And I'll be pulling into your driveway right behind Cheri, with five more for you.


How awesome of you to be helping your BIL & nephew. You're so right about the clear expectations, stability, etc. It lets kids know they're cared about so they can really thrive. I hope all continues to go okay.


I was a single mother for the better part of my son's first 18 years and sometimes it just wasn't possible to offer "routine, stability, safety, and clear expectations" at every turn. That was the standard I was striving for and according to my son's subsequent evaluation, I did well.
I might add that the same policies work very well with my students who are between 12-16 years of age. Sighing and dragging of feet is common, but it's obvious they like to have rules to abide by and expectations to live up to.


Wow, Jenn, that's wonderful! Fifteen is a really tough age under the best of circumstances. Wishing you, your nephew and BIL continued success and much happiness...


Oh, I'm so glad you are keeping us updated! I think it's wonderful that your BIL and nephew are spending some time in your house.

I agree with your parenting philosophy 1000%. Yes, a thousand. Kids crave structure! They push against it, but they're supposed to. They subconsciously feel more secure when it doesn't yield.


Umm..I was actually serious when I mentioned previously that you should write a book. You really have this stuff down and I'm taking notes.

Fantastic news on GB! I can picture the moaning and groaning, but know that he feels cared for by you - for noticing him and expecting him to participate.


Ya gotta feel sorry for the kid; I'm glad you're there to nudge him in the right direction. He didn't even know there were supposed to be rules. Now he does.

But get that gansta stuff OFFA HIM. lol.

Melanie @ Mel, A Dramatic Mommy

Good for you for taking on the responsibility! And for making him read!


Oh, that's wonderful. To have stability after a life of instability and wild curve balls being thrown at you on a daily basis must be a dream come true - I'm betting the moaning is definitely all for show - GB IS a teenager, after all. Let's hope the baggy pants and 2XX shirts are next to go - I really HATE that look *sigh*
You and your family and GB's father are blessings in his life. So keep on keepin' on - and let us know when he finishes his first book!

Jennifer H

Forget finding people on a farm...I'm sending my kids to you! If you can get my son to eat PB&J, I'll never forget it.


Jenn, you are an amazing and inspirational mother and woman...keep up the good work...the look can be sorted out in good time.

manager mom

I think you are dead on, and you are giving GB some much needed stability. I agree, kids need rules and routine, so they can appreciate the power breaking both once in a while.


This sounds to me like HUGE progress!
Hooray for united fronts and reasonable expectations! I totally agree with you.

First the schedule & the food, then reading a good book, and soon (maybe with DB's influence?) a better clothing style.
Perhaps when GB is better acclimated to life with you & your family, he will understand that his current mode of dress was inspired by prison life: the poor fit in clothing that couldn't be saved by belts.

Mary Alice

I am glad you are able to offer this sense of stability and hope to this family. Research shows that is the most effective child rearing technique. Children, though grumbly, thrive under the conditions you have laid out. It is really very simple - effective child rearing...tiring because it requires so much consistency on the part of the parent...but essentially simple and effective.

Honestly, so many people are looking for a magic pill, to make life as they want it...without the work. You can't lose weight without reducing your caloric intake. You can't get fit, without regular exercise, and you can't raise well rounded kids on inconsistency. It's not magic. It's called work. And you, my friend, are one of those that know that and are so good at applying it to life. Your understanding of this will make a huge difference to every student you come across in your years teaching as well.


(Jenn, I suppose if I was a slick politician in a tie I would look just like that dude! Thanks again for the award, I figured out what to do with it and posted it this am. Hello to your beagles! GR)

Jen on the Edge

I'm with you on the stability and clear expectations. I'm glad things are going well.

Jen on the Edge

I'm with you on the stability and clear expectations. I'm glad things are going well.


Jenn, you are such a great Aunt. GB really needed this. I too agree with your parenting philosophy and have lived by it. I think that is why my kids are so great. (yours too)
I have an Aunt and Uncle who did this for me for many years. They were the ones to led me to believe education was important. eating well was a good thing. Routine and chores were expected.
He will Be so appreciative of your efforts...one day. :)

Memarie Lane

You are awesome.


That's just wonderful. It's amazing the difference that boundaries, consequences and consistency make. Good for you!


Both my first husband and my sister suffered from mental illness. They died, unfortunately, losing to the exhaustion such an illness often exacts from people. I know the pain. It is never easy....you can feel so helpless.


I'm happy for all of you that it's going well. And yes, I agree that structure, routine and expectations are what kids NEED. I was just telling my SIL the other day (who is getting flack for trying to keep her twins on a schedule) that babies and toddlers TELL TIME by their routine.

standing still

You are a gift for this boy. And, may I say, the entire world who will encounter him in the future.

Smalltown Mom

Good for you!


You are a great mom! This boy is blessed to have you in his life.
My husband had a mom a lot like your sister but like this boy, my husband had someone, his grandma--he credits her as being the best influence in his childhood. I bet GB will do the very same :)

Deb D

GB is so lucky to have your family in his life. I agree that kids need structure, stability, clear expectations in order to thrive.

I find it very interesting that DB is in Canada at water polo camp since I have never ever heard of anybody playing water polo here. Guess I don't know everything about my country lol!


I totally agree that kids thrive on structure...I had not very much as a child and I know I could've done better in life. Congrats to you :-)


As a former high school teacher, I can tell you that there are any number of kids who would benefit from the same environment you are providing.

I hope things continue to go really well!

phd in yogurtry

Its sooo nice to hear what is going on at your house. I hope enough of your tough love settles in. At a minimum, seeing the consistency, following through on expectations, seeing how a conventional family lives and feeling how much better that can feel - there can be no downside. Kudos to you and your generosity of spirit!

Very (all too) familliar with BPD. An excellent book comes to mind, Surviving a Borderline Parent by Kimberlee Roth. I haven't read it myself, but several "survivors" have and tell me it was very helpful. The survival issues can last a lifetime.


so glad it's going well! i do well with routines, but stink at the food thing. i'm coming over for mommy camp..... so great you are giving your nephew an environment it sounds like he can thrive in..

San Diego Momma

That is huge! Especially for a teen-ager.
I do hope you are available for consultation on raising my two daughters?


Well said - solid boundaries simply free us up to creatively explore the beauty of life.
My dad always had us doing various summer keep-your-mind-alert projects.


Jenn, you rock. Totally and completely rock. I love you for doing this. And great pick of book, BTW--I just forced it on Lefty to read this summer, too!

Manic Mommy

How's he taking all this - aside from the grumbling? Has he spoken to his father about it? It's so wonderful he's getting a second chance to get it right.

May the good luck continue.

Just Jamie

Sorry for the delay in my response... catching up.

I absolutely share your philosophies 100%, and more. And, like you, I am a fixer and promoter of order. Maybe it's the teacher in us. Maybe it's the lack of stability in our own early years(?), but it's absolutely crucial that humans have order.

Good for you for being that person in GB's life. Keep going.

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