Shifting Responsibility

Brave Writer

We can only drive our kids so far. At some point, they have to take the wheel. Those who have never been allowed to make meaningful decisions until later in life are likely to flounder. ~Dr. William Stixrud, The Self-Driven Child

Our job is not to nag or punish our preteens and teens into cooperation.

Your “reminders” have become nagging when you:

  • act as the notification system to keep your child on track
  • care more about the tasks than your child does
  • feel annoyed all day
  • feel disrespected
  • make the “asks” fun yet your kids still won’t follow through

Rather, the key to productive youth is motivation. When you are exhausted from pushing the rock up the hill (the activities, education, showers, chores, clean clothes, homework) on behalf of your child through shaming, blaming, and incessant reminding, pivot.

Go on a “caring fast.”

Choose to not care for a day.

  • Wake up, make your favorite hot beverage, open your phone, tune into a podcast, put your feet up.
  • Next, maybe take the dog for a walk, read a chapter of a book, throw in a load of laundry, eat a snack.
  • At some point, some child is going to wonder: “What are we supposed to do today Mom/Dad?” With a nonchalant manner, simply say, “I don’t know. Up to you. I’m busy with X.”
  • Go back to X.

To shift responsibility to a child, be honest without assigning motives.

“I’m here to help you with school work or lunch (or whatever) when you are ready. Until then, I’ve got other stuff to do.”

The key to this practice is not using it as manipulation. You are training yourself to care less, too. This is the beginning of shifting the responsibility to your child away from yourself. It’s hard! Parents like control. That preteen or teen doesn’t want the responsibility, so they keep putting it back on you. Drop the rope. No more tug of war.

Get busy, give space, and trust.

It’s a detox for you too.

Part Two next week!

This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!

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Friday Freewrite: The Only One

Friday Freewrite

Look at the image (one purple toy duck is surrounded by a multitude of yellow toy ducks). What is the purple duck thinking?

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide

Research and Citation Class REVISED

Essay Prep Research Citation Revised

When I wrote Raising Critical Thinkers it felt… risky. I knew that the ideas in my book would be a challenge to some of you. But I also knew that they would challenge ME and my team! Based on this new information, some things would need to change. However uncomfortable.

First on that list? The way we teach research and citation. 

So we completely dismantled and re-created our Essay Prep: Research and Citation class to address the modern challenges of doing research online. 


It’s still got great stuff like paraphrasing and how to take notes. But now it also has these critical components.

How to

  • Avoid being fooled by the “look” of a website
  • Wade through one million results on a Google search
  • Vet online sources like fact-checkers do
  • Discern a deliberately crafted story (presented as fact)
  • Design an investigation into a topic of interest

I’ll tell you right now—there is no other class like this on the market.

Fast forward to college. 99% of the answers they need are out there, to be found in research. Our kids need to learn how to find it and use it right. Let us help.


Essay Prep Research Citation

Podcast: Do You Have the Wrong Personality for Your Temperament?

Brave Writer Podcast

I am recording some of my Tea with Julie emails for the podcast for those of you who prefer to listen. These are messages of support for your life of parenting and educating, as well as taking good care of you. If you’d like to receive them, they are free. Sign up at

Does it sometimes feel like your personality and your temperament are at odds with one another?

Whether you keep a ship-shape house or you’re relaxed and casual, let me promise you this: There is no one personality type better suited to homeschooling than another. And no one personality type better for:

  • parenting,
  • loving,
  • or nurturing.

Each has its own strengths and liabilities, and the goal is to work to become more self-aware, recognize when we are in our element, and find out what it means to best serve the moment.

Show Notes

Complete Tea with Julie notes can be found HERE.


  • If you’d like to get these Tea for Julie newsletters in your inbox every week, sign up at

Connect with Julie

Brave Writer Podcast

Your Child Is Learning

Brave Writer

The quickest way to kill the atmosphere of learning is to suggest that it’s time to learn!

If you announce “Time to learn” you’re telling the child that without an adult, they aren’t learning. The truth is: learning happens whether or not you intend it. What’s being learned? That’s up for grabs!

The temptation is to say: “Let’s learn how to divide fractions.” What might get learned instead is that math is boring.

The best way to kick the door open for learning? Try this.

  • Tie what you want your child to learn to something they value, like fractions and baking.
  • Notice learning in action: “You divided the recipe in half! Did you know there’s a way to do that on paper, not just with measuring cups?”
  • Learn without words (I know, it’s hard!). Sidle up and do the activity together. Draw the fractions on a page and work them next to your child so they have time to hover and notice, rather than having to hear instructions.

Learning is already going on.

Drawing, building, reading, talking to self (that’s consolidating what they are learning), asking for help, making a snack, playing a game with a friend, completing a puzzle, wandering around the house (that counts too!)—if these are happening, your child is learning.

TUNE IN and take notes. Observe and name what’s going on.

Try these kinds of words to describe what you see:

  • Decoding
  • Writing
  • Narrating
  • Experimenting
  • Collaborating
  • Giving selfcare
  • Gaining vocabulary
  • Constructing
  • Discovering cause and effect
  • Playing independently

…and more!

Yes, your child is learning. No need to make an announcement. It’s already happening without you! Hop on board and ride that train.

Growing Brave Writers