Awesome Moms Tell Your Tweens + Teens

Let’s All Sing Like the Birdies Sing

Tweet. Tweet tweet. Tweet tweet. Again, I woke to the morning songbird concert, but this morning my mind toyed with several recent references to the unusual abundance of birdsong. Why are we being blessed with more feathered melodies in our lives?

Glad you asked.

“Every bird loves to hear himself sing.” (Old saying)

I have several theories (of course).

  1. The reduction of air pollution, due to the reduction of vehicles on the road, has made the bird population heartier and more robust. Healthier Birds = More Bird Song
  2. The reduction of vehicles on the road actually makes it quieter, so it’s easier to hear the birds belt out their tunes. Less Traffic Noise = More Bird Song
  3. As a quarantined population, we escape outside more often to experience the great outdoors, which, coincidentally, is where the birds are. Proximity = More Bird Song
  4. We listen. We hear more birdsong because we are actually listening to the birds. Our lives have forcibly slowed down, and as a result we are sitting quietly, allowing ourselves to notice the world around us. Taking Time To Notice = More Bird Song

You haven’t noticed the increase in birdsong yet? That’s okay! The mere action of reading this article will translate into you paying some attention to singing birds at some later moment in time, which in turn will introduce a much needed moment of stillness into your life.


A wise old owl sat on an oak;
The more he saw the less he spoke;
The less he spoke the more he heard;
Why aren’t we like that wise old bird?
(Edward Hersey Richards)

Why stop there? Expand that valuable moment of stillness to your kids. Ask them, “Have you noticed more birds singing this year than before?” They may engage you in a conversation, or they might not…. But, either way is okay. When they are alone, they’ll notice that one little songbird singing at the top of it’s a little birdie lungs. Why? Because you brought it up. Your child will pause for a minute to listen, and Voila! You will have gifted her or him a moment of stillness in this uncertain life.

You’re welcome.

For other ways to interact with your kids and/or enhance your life, sign up for my monthly newsletter, Merry Meddling. Email me to sign up!

PS I’m proud of the fact that I refrained from coloring this post with the science behind bird melodies, i.e., that they sing loudly in an effort to stake out their territories, or to warn off predators. It kinda takes the romance out of it, doesn’t it?

“A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.” (Old saying)

For more suggestions, check out How To Keep Your Daughter From Slamming the Door.  It’s available for  on Smashwords. Enjoy!

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Awesome Moms Tell Your Tweens + Teens

Replace College Uncertainty With Gap Time

Your college-bound teens are scared. Their worries about what the fall will bring adds to the unwanted tension in your household. Why not switch it up?

Instead of allowing teen anxiety about college to ramp up, replace fall matriculation with Gap Time. According to Jane and Jason Sarouhan of J2Guides, there’s never been a better time to consider a Gap Year or a Gap Semester.

Gap Time is what the college-bound do instead of attending to college or community college. It’s a fabulous opportunity for them to get some real world experience—plus an extra year of maturation—under their belts before attending school.

Normally, 1-2% of high school students take Gap Time. Now, 35% of them are seeking nontraditional paths in a nontraditional time.

The additional perk is that rather than sitting around mentally wringing their hands about a hazy future, your teen can take control of the situation by choosing not to wait and wonder. The mere act of sitting down to research Gap Time possibilities generates empowerment. Even if the idea feels foreign and out of step with your kids’ original plans, they can still research it, and then see how they feel.

And, why not?

“With all of the uncertainty on college campuses right now and the possibility that students may be starting the fall semester online,” says Betsy Jewell in a High School Hamster Wheel Podcast, “a Gap Year, or even a Gap Semester, might be a great option. While a Gap Year experience might seem unlikely right now due to travel restrictions and social distancing, there are actually quite a few Gap Year opportunities available right in our own back yards and virtually.”

A Gap Year consisting of 2-3 influential experiences can change their lives.

They could:

  • Expand a portfolio
  • Learn a foreign language
  • Train in a new skill
  • Reach peak competitive conditioning for their sport
  • Learn sign language, Morse code, or Braille
  • Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen, or Habitat for Humanity
  • Shadow at a clinic, nursing home, hospital or veterinary hospital
  • Create an online business
  • Work on a farm or ranch
  • Grow their own crops

Why do students choose Gap Time?

Every student has a different story. Perhaps its:

  • Physical health or mental health recovery, or enhancement
  • Taking a year of wellness
  • Developing tools in their Life Toolkit
  • Curiosity about the world
  • The journey to finding out who I am out here in the world
  • Studying to raise test scores to reapply
  • Exploring interests and expanding hobbies

Some students lost momentum in high school and didn’t ever apply to schools. With a well-chosen Gap Year, they can re-energize and create fresh momentum. A semester’s worth of experience can go a long way in developing confidence and maturity, not to mention life skills.

Plus, now is the perfect time for your teen to reroute—prior to the career and mortgage, before marriage and kids, and preceding the mountain of student debt.

You can learn more at Betsy Jewell’s High School Hamster Wheel Podcast where her interview with Jane and Jason Sarouhan addresses:

  • budgeting for a Gap Year
  • how to chose the right experiences
  • how to transition your student back into college after
  • and much more

Even if your teen hasn’t considered a Gap Time experience, it’s worth the effort to learn more. You can hear their full interview here:

The possibilities are endless!

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