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“Kids today are so entitled!” Parents throw up their hands and roll their eyes, as if they have no influence on their children’s expectations for what the world owes them.

When children believe they’re capable, they’re more willing to challenge themselves, to try something new, to even fail several times but persistently keep at a task until they get it right.

No one said parenting would be easy. Despite its rewards, it can be stressful and scary. Being responsible for the education and well-being of another person is a huge task. But what if you’re a single parent? 

Older son got married a month ago and we moved him and his wife to Denver last weekend. He cleaned out his closet one last time, and it’s REALLY EMPTY!

Older son is getting married in three weeks. I’m feeling increasingly sentimental as the date approaches, flashing through childhood memories preserved in photos, astounded at how 22 years can have passed so very quickly.

In the “For Better or For Worse” comic strip last week, the little boy was complaining about having to do chores. “I’m a kid, man! Kids are supposed to have fun! Why can’t you wait till I’m grown up? Then I’ll work!”

Are you gritty? Are your kids? I’m not talking about having gravel in your shoes from hiking in the desert! “Grit” is the term Angela Duckworth, University of Pennsylvania psychologist and researcher, uses to describe a high level of persistence.

According to the U.S. Census, approximately 5% of children between the ages of 5 and 17 have a disability. The nature and severity of the disability varies, but for many parents, caring for a “special” child can consume considerably more time than caring for a “typical” child.

I asked several parents of teens what might be a helpful topic for me to address and the overwhelming response was, how to handle disrespectful behavior. Teenagers can have sharp tongues and many parents are at a loss for how to stop the unkindness.

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