The Collision: When homeschool meets family relationships (Part 2 of 2) // Jan Smith


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In today’s episode, we continue the conversation with Jan Smith as she shares insights and advice on raising adolescent boys. She emphasizes the importance of treating them like men and giving them real-life work opportunities. Jan also discusses the challenges of the adolescent phase, including mood swings and the need for independence. She encourages parents to reinforce positive traits such as hard work, physical strength, and a healthy self-image. Jan suggests involving fathers in the parenting process and setting boundaries with consequences. She also highlights the importance of recognizing and nurturing their interests and talents. 


  • Treat adolescent boys like men and give them real-life work opportunities.
  • Understand the challenges of the adolescent phase, including mood swings and the need for independence.
  • Reinforce positive traits such as hard work, physical strength, and a healthy self-image.
  • Involve fathers in the parenting process and set boundaries with consequences.
  • Recognize and nurture their interests and talents.


Jan Smith plays a vital role in organizing, supporting and encouraging homeschooling on a global level. She has successfully coached hundreds of wives and mothers to reach their full potential in marriage and motherhood. From overcoming obstacles to embracing life changes, Jan helps families navigate it all. Visit Homeschool Freedom for information on Jan’s work in support of state organizations here:


Jan Smith (00:00.11)
It's really important how we begin to treat them like men and not like boys. And that means giving them real life work opportunities. We always say that you give them real work before you feel like that they're actually ready to do that.

Welcome to the Christy Faith Show, where we share game changing ideas with intentional parents like you. I'm your host, Christy Faith, experienced educational advisor and homeschool enthusiast. Together,
we'll explore ways to enrich and transform both your life and the lives of your children. Welcome back to part two. In this episode, we'll continue delving deeper into game -changing ideas for intentional parents like you. So grab your coffee, find a comfy spot, and let's dive right in. Now you, your husband wrote a book called Parenting with Influence. I have read it and I enjoyed it very much.

And I know you were involved in that project too, and you do speak around the nation on the topic of parenting. You guys talk about homeschooling and you also talk about marriage. And I love the bits in your book about adolescents. Since our audience is primary female, I think that one thing we struggle with is adolescent boys. Girls, we tend to understand because we were that girl that was struggling and...

You know, my hair's not right. I remember on picture day having a pimple and just in tears in junior high. And we can relate to that as mothers. I think it's harder for us as females ourselves to be raising adolescent boys. What words of wisdom do you have for us? Because the answer is not to throw them in school. That's right. That's right. We feel like we're failing as they begin to change.

how many times have I heard a mom say I don't know what's happened to my boy. I don't feel like I know him anymore or they can't relate. But it's when they begin to have those hormones begin to wash up through their body and that testosterone starts flowing, there are a lot of ramifications that happens with them and they can become more emotional, almost irrational with mood swings. They have a foggy brain where maybe...

Christy Faith (02:14.894)
You have to just tell them one thing at a time and write it down to send them up the stairs to get something. They're willing to do it, but they can't remember what they went up there to do. And so just really strange things. And another thing that begins to happen with a son is that they begin to pull away from us as their mother, because part of what they have to do in becoming a man is the change in the relationship with us as their mothers.

And we begin to become afraid and grasp and cling to them and pull them want to pull them closer. And that makes them pull away. Now, we're used to that with girlfriend boyfriend. We know you start to cling to a boyfriend and smother them and they are saying no, thank you. And they are pushing you away. That same thing happens with a boy. So it kind of reminds me of when I'm pregnant. I was like that.

I was a little irrational. I had mood swings. I had a foggy brain. I had a lot of things happen and that's how our sons are at that phase. Raising these adolescent boys, how do you feel parents can effectively reinforce the positive traits we want such as hard work, physical strength and promoting a healthy self image and overall development?

I think it's really important how we begin to treat them like men and not like boys. And that means giving them real life work opportunities. We always say that you give them real work before you feel like that they're actually ready to do that because that's when it's still cool and exciting to that son. And doing things outside. One of the things that if you're in suburbia, most homes hire their yard work done.

because it's done right, it's done on a schedule. Let your sons do that instead of hiring it done. Invest in a push mower and let them learn to do it, even if you're sitting out there watching them do it. Because it's gonna be harder and more effort, but your son needs to feel like he's really adding value to the family and that's something that's tangible that they can do that takes strength and manhood. So instead of paying someone,

Christy Faith (04:38.766)
give them to do it and make sure you tell them you are so strong. Every man wants to be told that they have strong muscles. So encourage them that you see them being diligent and hardworking. Things like leadership. Give them opportunities to help organize an activity for some of the younger children if you've got younger siblings. And praise them and say, wow, I see the kindness in you. Our words as mothers have to change.

from being one as an authoritarian, you need to obey me, to one of respect. To where we're speaking to them out of respect. We're calling them out to excel in their manhood, in their service to their brothers and sisters, in their leadership. In all of those things, it's just key that we give them real opportunities.

to flex their muscles emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Before we continue, I wanna share with you a program that has been a game changer for our family. At our learning center, we instructed and helped kids through pretty much every program on the market. So we know firsthand just how important a solid math foundation is for our kids' futures. Finding the right homeschool math curriculum that didn't compromise academic excellence, but also didn't put me,

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Christy Faith (07:03.758)
and feeling completely overwhelmed with the excessive amounts of opinions and curricula options out there. We love our kids and at the same time, the stakes are high. We don't want to mess this up. So how do we build a homeschool that our kids will thank us for when they're adults and one that you have a hundred percent confidence in? The first step to pulling all of that off is joining Thrive Homeschool Community. Thrive Homeschool Community is where you learn the eight -step homeschool success framework.

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It's risk free, no contracts. You can cancel anytime, no questions asked. Go to Christy -faith .com. That's C -H -R -I -S -T -Y dash F -A -I -T -H dot com. Enter promo code podcast for $10 off your first month. See you inside. You are so great at communicating.

If anyone ever has an opportunity to see Jan speak in person, you need to go and see her and then come up to her afterwards and say, I know Christy and she'll give you a big hug. I hope that your speaking schedule is on your website. Is it? It is rogersmithmd .com. Okay. I love.

what you believe about reframing our thinking and our language, that really spoke to me. I often think that the transition is hard when you go from being a mom and then being an empty nester to how you have to change with your adult children. But hearing you today, I think that transition needs to start a lot earlier. Very much so. Our children, I think one of the biggest mistakes that mothers make is when those

Christy Faith (09:04.974)
Adolescent sons start pulling away. One of the things that I hear all the time are moms thinking they're saying things in a sweet and endearing way. We need to speak to them in such a way that we are saying, you are growing into such a fine young man. Now you cannot expect them to be at 13, what they're gonna be at 30, but you need to picture in your mind what you want that young boy to become.

And to talk to him in a way that says, you know, I saw today when you were kind to your sister and helped her do whatever it was. When you become a husband, you're going to be so tender with your wife. Any of those things are, you're going to be a protector. You're going to be such a good provider. I saw how hard you were working in doing a certain activity that...

Even if they're not, if they're technically usually lazy and you can't get them out of bed, when you see them doing something that's hard and doing it well, you make sure that you say, I see that you're going to become a very hardworking man. Even if it's a straight up by faith right now, that you still call that out in them and you're going to get a lot more by praising them and respecting them than criticizing them.

As they pull away from you, dad needs to get more involved. And don't resent the fact that they will listen to their dad when they really won't listen to you right now, because they need to hear it. It needs to be a man -to -man thing. And moms, don't take offense. Yes, you're just as good as they are, and they should value your word as much. But in those junior high years, they're just not going to. So instead of resenting it,

use it as an opportunity to involve your husband. I don't care whether he travels or not. If you're separated and the father's still with you, and you know, if you're a divorced woman, you can still involve them without re, you're not relinquishing all control, but that son is going to be able to hear it better from a man instead of taking offense and doing our little women's lip thing. Just relax and say, dad, he needs to hear from you.

Christy Faith (11:27.182)
way of getting that father more and more involved. But we as women can advance, offense about that and just to roll with it and trust that God's made it's a partnership and you haven't lost him forever. He's going to come back and he's going to be secure but he needs to be secure in himself before he can be secure again in his relationship with you. So the more you release him, the more you can be secure.

The more you treat him with respect as a young man, the more freedom he has to be that sweet boy that you. And I feel like our anxiety plays so much of a role in parenting, a little bit too much of a controlling role in our lives. We're just scared. We're scared. They're not going to turn out. We're scared of a lot of things. And I feel like with the gentle parenting movement, which has wonderful.

positive lights to it, it also can be misinterpreted and executed in a way that is not actually the true messaging of the gentle parenting movement, where it becomes extremely permissive, where it kind of ends up where kids are running the household. And I feel like that's a formula for parents then being scared of their kids. And I want you to speak to that. Was there ever a time where you felt like...

boy, they're running this show and did you have to step up or do you have any stories to encourage us? Well, you have to, you have to have boundaries, but I think starting in junior high where you need to include them in establishing those boundaries and even determining in advance what are going to be the consequences if those boundaries are broken because.

They need to begin to make choices on their own and you can't always protect them. They're going to start being given more independence outside and around and they'll be away from you. You're not going to have them under your eye all the time, but there need to be prescribed boundaries and prescribed consequences. And I think reducing the emotion in which you deal with that is so key and say, wow.

Christy Faith (13:48.014)
I think that was a pretty unwise choice. What was the consequence that we said if you did that? And let him remind you and say, that's just the way it's gonna be. Maybe it's something that's gonna cause everybody to be upset, like that we're not going to that movie on Friday night. Or maybe you stay home with him and play a game instead of going to the movie with the rest of the family. But having prescribed consequences.

for certain behaviors and making it as non -emotional and matter of fact as possible and making sure they understand it's because of their choices. But now there are other things that are just straight up them being a boy or a man. And I think that we sometimes criticize them for things that they actually think are really amazing, like some of the physical decisions that they make.

that it's part of just, it's like young bucks out there beating their horns together and fighting. Some of those kinds of activities, I think about the classic young man that jumps up and hits the door frame. Like they can't help themselves, they just have to do it. And some of those kinds of behaviors, we just need to smile and say, wow, you're really growing big. Look at you. Last year, you couldn't even touch that because...

They feel like that's a rite of passage, a sign that they are growing in their masculinity. So many things, some of the body noises that boys make. Instead of disciplining for those things or consequences, we just need to help them understand the boundaries and reshape how we think about that. That as a mom, if somebody burps at the table or something, then we're going to say, that is so rude.

do not do that and yet their friend that may be sitting there at the table with you may be thinking, wow, that was a really good one. So we need to understand that it's different. Now we did have certain rules for the table that was different than other places like outside. If I heard one of them make certain bodily noises, I might say, wow, amazing. But at the table,

Christy Faith (16:09.038)
We just had that, it was kind of a sacred place for us. That was a conversation. Like my boys were always without their shirts. We had three sons and they rarely wore shirts when they were outside playing. It just, I don't know, it's just a male thing. But when they came to the table, they wouldn't be served without a shirt on because it just, I didn't make them wear shoes always, but definitely shirts. So I just think understanding some of those things.

about there being men and young men that we need to be careful to not be critical of them in those things that are just being male. And what I'm also hearing is, let's be frank, some of these behaviors are annoying. yeah, they are. The show will resume in just a minute, but first I want to share with you an incredible resource that is totally free to homeschooling families everywhere.

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Christy Faith (18:06.35)
check Christie Face List website before stepping foot into any service provider's office to make sure they are on there. And number three, if your favorite service provider isn't on the list, make sure to refer them. There's a button on the homepage of the website. It takes only 30 seconds and that way we can send them a lovely invite. If you're listening and you are a homeschool friendly professional, we want you on the list.

We're eager to connect homeschooling families with you, shout your name from the rooftops, and bring you tons and tons of business. We have plans for every type of business, both small, local, nationwide, and worldwide. Check out ChristyFacelist .com today. Hi, mama. If you like my social media content and my show, I'm pretty sure you will love my book, Homeschool Rising, Shattering Myths, Finding Courage, and Opting Out of the School System.

My book is for homeschool parents, both veteran and new, and the perfect book to hand any homeschool skeptics in your life so they can better understand why you've chosen this amazing lifestyle. This book will challenge you, empower you, encourage you, and give you solid, mindful answers to all those questions you get about your homeschooling choice. Grab your copy and maybe an extra one for your mother -in -law today. Homeschool Rising is available wherever books are sold. They're noisy, they're annoying.

The challenge for me, I am highly, I have my own sensory issues and get me dysregulated very easily. And I have had to put in forced for myself compensatory strategies like noise canceling headphones, because they're not doing anything wrong. I had a drummer. He only played bongos, but he was always drumming. And so we had to have.

I would tolerate it as long as I could, but we had to have certain signals that I could send him, anywhere we were, to help him remember that this is not the appropriate time for that. That I'm cool with that, I will buy you the best bongos I can find. But I'm not gonna just always have that going. I called it UN, unnecessary noise. I love it. And so sometimes I would just look at him and say, UN, and he would know.

Christy Faith (20:26.829)
stop. So you're right. We've got to learn how to, they have to tolerate us. Yes. And we have to tolerate them. And it's in its extreme forms in junior high. They will learn to self -regulate those things. And we need to learn ways of doing it that is not our anger or our disapproval or communicating to them that they are less than.

Because if they're doing that on stage leading worship as an adult, we may think that was super cool. But they had to go through that awkward junior high where they would not stop the incessant drumming to be able to get to that level of leading worship. You have to tolerate all the bad piano practice before they get skilled enough where you're saying, hon, please go play the piano for me. Yes, that's such a great point.

I have to ask you this question because I know there are parents listening to this podcast right now that are having some hard days and it feels like a roller coaster and they aren't sure who's going to end up in prison, their kid or themselves because things are wild and crazy. I want to ask you on this roller coaster of parenting, are there any discernible signs that we can see when they are younger? Elementary, junior high, high school doesn't matter.

that we're actually navigating these twists and turns successfully. Are there any glimmers of hope that you saw that maybe we can also see that maybe we're not noticing that ensuring to us that, hey, I think my kid is gonna turn out okay. If you're enjoying the show and you don't wanna miss out on future episodes, hit that like and subscribe button and show us some love with your comments. Those five -star reviews really do make a difference. Yes, I think that there are signs along the way.

and you need to be watching for them where, and I'm not talking about where they do their math well or something because even academically that becomes disturbed in that junior high years. That's when you might try something different instead of butting heads with them during that phase that what you would rather do is find something that they really enjoy. And I think starting to clue in,

Christy Faith (22:50.509)
as to what their skills are, what gives them life and enjoyment rather than boredom and just withdrawal. What is it that pulls them out? And so having them try a variety of things that may be where you set up some internships with some different men or some of the women for your girls, you know, but particularly for the guys that they may be able to do a career day with somebody and to see what they think.

to where you begin to talk to them and to say, you know, God has a wonderful purpose for you. I see real skills in this particular area and find ways for them to begin to do those skills instead of maybe focus on math. I've talked to parents and I don't mean to be picking on math, but math is an intricate type of situation. By the time they're 13, they're often doing very advanced things, but their mind is being rewired.

And they may get to a place where they may not be able to do the same level of math that they had been doing the last year before all this hormonal stuff goes crazy. So take a break, do something different. And it's kind of like going to bed when you're not thinking straight and the next morning you're fine, you reset. You need to give them a break. And when their brain wakes back up and the rewiring is completed in a year or six months from now,

they're going to be able to go, yeah, this makes perfect sense. So find something that they love and get them directed in that way. Because in a very short time, they're going to be in high school. And we feel like the most exciting part about home education in high school is that you can tailor the bulk of their learning toward what it is that you feel like they're going to be doing for the rest of their life. And so the earlier you can figure that out, the better.

So in junior high is when we started giving hours tools specifically for the direction that we felt like maybe they were going for our ended up just having a real leadership emphasis. We took him to a John Maxwell conference for the first time and there weren't many 14 year olds there, but we took him to another son. We gave him a camera.

Christy Faith (25:16.909)
for his birthday when he turned 14. And he ended up graduating in photography in college. And so start to really pay attention to what they like and give them some opportunities. There were a few habits that we trained, like when our boys came down the stairs.

The first thing they had to do was to give mom a hug in the morning. And that's still, that's just an automatic thing when they are home for holidays, they come down that stairs and they come straight to me in the kitchen and give me a big bear hug because you can start to feel disconnected completely. And so continue some of those things that give you points of connection because I couldn't ask for them for hugs all through the day.

But that was something that they did and continue to do to this day when they're here. So look for those precious glimmers of hope that they're still in there. Try to fan that flame. What great wisdom and advice. And as I'm listening to you and your...

massive involvement nationwide in the homeschooling movement and your speaking on parenting and marriage and all of it. It reminded me when you, when we see someone out and about in public and they are wearing a hat that indicates they're a veteran, a war veteran, please go up and we thank them for their service. And I feel like a lot of you ladies,

We are standing on your shoulders, but you are behind the scenes and no one really knows what you guys have done so that we can have the freedoms that we have. And I am so thankful for women like you and Zan Tyler, and maybe you can name a couple other names of strong women who have just been an inspiration for us so that today our biggest worry really is what curriculum do I buy? It's not, am I going to be thrown in jail today?

Christy Faith (27:20.237)
So it has been a true honor to get to know you. Honestly, it has been a true joy and a delight. And I love what you're doing. I've heard you speak. You are phenomenal. I can't wait to meet you in person one day, Jan. I think that's coming up soon. I think in June here in Colorado, but we are going to put all the links to everything we talked about the book.

We're going to put all of that into the show notes. And I'm so blessed that I was able to introduce you, the Alliance and your work to a new audience of young mamas who probably had no idea what goes on behind the scenes. So thank you so much for coming on today.