Darlene Rogers

Hello Middleville my name is Darlene and I am excited to join this wonderful, informative group of caring individuals. I arrived in this area in 2004 and intend to remain as close to the coast as possible. My husband and I have been married for eight years and have a busy blended family of seven. Yes Seven! We have two daughters, three sons, a Poodle and a Rottweiler yet somehow we blend well. I guess that makes Nine! Each child participates in at least two extra- curricular activities,(athletics , social organizations or academic) which means we can tell you the best place to sit on any bleacher as well as which school has the best popcorn on the east coast. Our children range from 19 – 13 years old with completely different personalities. The oldest son is serving our country in the Army and our oldest daughter is in college. The youngest three are currently making career plans from high and middle school. Human service is my field of choice and miraculously completed a masters degree with my busy family schedule last year. I’m currently working in a Human service position with some of the best Marines and their families in the country. It is my pleasure to aide those that due to unforeseen circumstances, need a bit of assistance. My passions are spending time with my family, reading, writing, photography, sketching and cooking. I am looking forward to this new journey here in Middleville, so buckle up as we tour life as we know it.


The Three L’s of Communicating with my Preteen

Recently a friend of mine was telling me about some trouble he had with his college-age daughter, and that he saw her so rarely now that he hated to waste any of their time lecturing her.

I immediately thought of my middle-schooler. Maggie still lives at home of course, so I see her more than my friend sees his kid, but sometimes I still feel like most of our conversations are lectures, nagging, or some other tone of voice that isn’t very fun.

I decided that I needed to do better with that. I don’t enjoy being that mom, and it makes me sad to think that she may not be happy to see me anymore, like she used to when she was little.

I already knew the key to changing that dynamic. I learned it as a newlywed. I must be conscious of our first few minutes together and make them pleasant. I boiled it down to one of those easy-to-remember expressions: Love, Listen, then Lecture.

Love – When I first see my daughter, I want to be pleasant. It starts with a smile and being sincerely glad to see her. I do love her and think she’s a fantastic kid. I need to let that show on my face and perhaps with some affection.

Listen – Instead of informing her with my first words, I’m going to ask a question and let her do the talking. “How was your day?” will do, but if I’ve been paying attention, I can probably do better and ask about a test that had her worried, a friend she has mentioned, or something that had her excited. Listening may have to be short if we’re on a quick ride from one place to another, but I think it’s important to give her at least a couple of minutes to say what’s on her mind.

Lecture – Don’t let the name fool you, this portion doesn’t have to be unpleasant. Mostly a “lecture” is a set of reminders. Sometimes it really is a lecture, but in practicing this technique, even lectures were more palatable to Maggie.

When I tried this technique the results were immediate. I avoided a lot of tension, and I learned a lot more about her life. I think I even got better results on my inevitable to-do lists.

Do you find it easy to interact with your middle-schooler or is there a lot of tension between you? Do you have any special rules of communication like mine? If you tried Love-Listen-Lecture, did it work?

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