Would you consider answering how you went from being very shy to being outgoing (referenced in your family’s recent birthday post) in a future Friday Q&A?

I have a whole post written about this that I’ll post soon, but the short answer is that it was my friends who pulled me out of my shell. Really, really good friends.

A random question for you, coming from such a close tight-knit family, when did you start doing things just with you, Dave, and your kids? My husband and I are the only ones in our families that are trying to start our own holiday traditions and branch off a little bit and we are getting some flack for it. Right now we just have one child, so part of me thinks, lets take advantage of this time and spend as much time with our extended family as possible, and part of me says this is the best time to settle down and start our own traditions. What do you think?

This is a really tough one because I adore my family and want to be with them as much as possible. BUT years ago (probably when Max was five) we decided we wanted our own family to be as strong as my family is so we needed to start our own family traditions too. We started staying home for Christmas. I thought I’d be so sad about that, but I loved soaking in my kids on Christmas Eve and morning so much that it made it easier to break away for other things too. We have started doing our own things at the end of each summer too. Last summer we went just with our own little family to Park City. It was short, but there were no extra friends. No extended family. I LOVED it. This year we’re taking Max and Elle to India at the end of the summer (much more about that later, we’re going to volunteer with this amazing organization). It’s not our whole family, but the start of a family tradition hope to start doing: service in different countries as we help save up enough money for that together.

Of course, starting family traditions does not have to be a trip, and certainly does not have to be extravagant. It can just be small things that start forming a new family identity.

One thing I have learned is that if you have a good supportive extended family that wants to do things together go for it! How great for your kids to have those memories together. I can never give up Bear Lake because I want my kids to have that strong identity with their cousins. It’s just important to do your own things too.

I’d love to know how you navigate Sunday play, especially with club. We are in So Cal, and it’s tricky in all sports. And way more tricky than when I was playing a few years ago….

I probably don’t have a good answer for this one because the only time we have had the possibility of sports things being scheduled Sundays was last week when there was a possibility Elle’s tennis tournament could extend over the weekend. We just haven’t had that conflict probably because of two things: 1) we live in an area where there are a LOT of families who stand up for no Sunday play, and 2) our kids aren’t’ at the level of sports or extracurricular things that requires additional weekend play.

And boy I’m sure happy about that.

Love that your talked about the no sleepover rules. It seems pretty easy for your family and the kids are ok with it. Does it ever happen though where the guest they are leaving still has friends there and they are sleeping over. Does this upset your kids?

Absolutely. But I honestly think it upsets me more than it upsets them. I loved sleepovers growing up. But Dave and I decided that in our family (because of a long list of reasons) sleepovers are reserved for very special occasions, and because we both felt strongly about that, we have to stand firm on it. If parents are wishy-washy (which I am guilty of sometimes) I don’t think kids feel as safe. For example, I had such a strict curfew growing up and yes, it bugged me. A lot. But deep down those rules made me feel safe. And loved.

Someone gave me some great advice a while back. And I loved it because in a way I felt like it “gave me permission” to be different. The advice is that you say, “That’s great that s0-and-so is able to do that, but in our family…” (those dots represent anything you do different in your family, from sleepovers to waiting for a certain age for cell phones, to asking to be excused from the dinner table, you name it). Family rules are important. And following through with them is important too.

Sometimes my kids will say stuff like “but all my friends get to do that!!” or they’ll wail “so-and-so got this new ______” (insert some newfangled gadget) but I try not to get emotionally involved and tell them hooray for their friends, but in our family we get to (insert fun thing we do here) or (insert another fun thing we do here).

So far so good if I keep it upbeat and light-hearted.

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  1. I haven't commented before, but thought it was about time. I've been an avid reader/lurker for awhile… 🙂

    My husband and I haven't had to deal with sleepovers yet (our oldest is only 8), but we all ready decided not to do them except for special reasons, as well.

    I have a question for you…I don't know where you find the questions you answer (if readers ask them on your Friday posts or if the questions are taken from other posts), so I hope it's okay to ask mine here…How do you address modesty? I have 5 kids and two of them are girls. So far, we haven't had a problem with teaching modesty, but I'm a little anxious for when my oldest reaches her teenage years and has friends who may push limits…Anyway, thank you in advance for your time to answer my question!

  2. My favorite line I learned from my sister is, "That is what they do in their family but in OUR family, this is what we do." Then there is no judgement for the other family, but you are stating strongly what OUR family does.

  3. I love your blog and I have never asked you a question so here it is..

    My 14 year old daughter has been dating this boy for the last month. They are pretty steady and when I saw your post for valentine's day and I saw your reaction when Elle got a nice attention, I wondered what you think about this. We are Lds and even thought I keep reminding her that maybe this isn't the right thing to do, she says that it makes her happy..
    What is your point of view ? Should I let her or not ? Thank you very much xx

  4. Thanks for the post. We also had the "no sleepover" rule for our kids. There are just too many bad things that can happen on sleep overs. It is important however, to also be aware of cautious about overnight school activities and even Scout and church activities. Bad things can happen even on good activities with good leaders so we must take the time to talk to and LISTEN to our kids and educate, educate, educate them. Thanks again for your thoughts!

  5. we don't allow sleepovers either, and I think it's a good idea, with all the crazy stuff that can happen, it's just best for them to be HOME in their own beds!


  6. I'm not sure where I submit a question, but I would love to know what you do on Sunday to make it a special day, other than going to church. Do you have certain things you do or don't do. How old were your kids when you started teaching them that Sunday is a special day? Thanks so much, I love your blog!!

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