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  • The Gaylord National: Summer Fun for the Whole Family

    D.C.-area resort gives you all the feel of a distant vacation without the hassle Nestled on the banks of the Potomac River within eyeshot of Washington, D.C. towers the Gaylord National Resort anchoring National Harbor. An easy 51 miles away Read More
  • Digital Edition Online

    Read the 2019 Family Favorites edition and find out which FXBG businesses are the friendliest for families! Read More
  • VBS (Vacation Bible School) 2019

    Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church Panda ManiaWhen: July 7 – 11; 5:30 – 8:30 pmWhere: 420 Enon Rd, F’burg, 22406https://hullsbaptist.org/vbs_registraton  The Presbyterian Church of Fredericksburg RoarWhen: July 7 – 11, 9 am – 12 pmWhere: 810 Princess Anne St, F’burg, 22401https://vbspro.events/p/events/7710ec  Andrew Chapel United Methodist Read More
  • Summer Fun 2019

    In between camps, trips to grandma's house, and lazy days at the pool, here are a bunch of fun ideas to keep you busy this summer! Outdoor Fun Summer Fun @ Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, Richmond: All programs are included with Read More
  • Ask the Expert: Robert B. Payne

    Robert B. Payne, Inc. has been installing and maintaining heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems in the Fredericksburg region since 1930. Those decades of experience make the company a wealth of knowledge when it comes to keeping your home comfortable Read More
  • Cooking Autism, Inc.

    For an autistic child, recreation can be a significant opportunity. Not only is it a chance to practice physical aptitude and social skills, but it can increase motivation and self-confidence. According to Autismspeaks.org, an autistic child mastering a specific activity Read More
  • It’s Family Favorites Time Again

    I can hardly believe it’s July. The season for pools, beaches, cookouts and vacations is in full swing. For area school kids, it’s the last hoorah since the ringing of liberty bells in July will give way to the sound Read More
  • Part 2 of 90 Days of Fun: The Homestead Impresses Teenagers

    Welcome to Part 2 of FredParent’s 90 Days of Fun series. As you saw in June, the intrepid Fredericksburg Parent staff is doing the hard work of summer fun research for our readers. Last month, editor Chris Jones experienced the Read More
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featured articles

IMAGE Prepare for Success
In the coming school year with Learning Enhancement Centers and The Marshall School Every student has a unique learning style, and helping those... Read More...
IMAGE Back To School Expo - 2019 // Wizarding Universe!
Magic awaits at this year'sBack To School Expo!   Fredericksburg Parent's Wizarding Universe  Enter to win a year's membership to the... Read More...
IMAGE VBS (Vacation Bible School) 2019
Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church Panda ManiaWhen: July 7 – 11; 5:30 – 8:30 pmWhere: 420 Enon Rd, F’burg,... Read More...
IMAGE Preparing Your Child for Their First Sleepover
Sleeping away from mom and dad for the first time is a milestone for both parents and children alike. While a sleepover with a friend, family member... Read More...
IMAGE Utilizing Your Tweens to Entertain Younger Kiddos on the Cheap
It’s the dog days of summer and my little one is moping around proclaiming, “I’m bored!” I get it. He’s out of his daily school and other... Read More...
IMAGE The Gaylord National: Summer Fun for the Whole Family
D.C.-area resort gives you all the feel of a distant vacation without the hassle Nestled on the banks of the Potomac River within eyeshot of... Read More...
IMAGE Part 2 of 90 Days of Fun: The Homestead Impresses Teenagers
Welcome to Part 2 of FredParent’s 90 Days of Fun series. As you saw in June, the intrepid Fredericksburg Parent staff is doing the hard work of... Read More...
IMAGE It’s Family Favorites Time Again
I can hardly believe it’s July. The season for pools, beaches, cookouts and vacations is in full swing. For area school kids, it’s the last... Read More...
IMAGE Ask the Expert: Robert B. Payne
Robert B. Payne, Inc. has been installing and maintaining heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems in the Fredericksburg region since 1930.... Read More...
IMAGE Summer Fun 2019
In between camps, trips to grandma's house, and lazy days at the pool, here are a bunch of fun ideas to keep you busy this summer! Outdoor Fun Summer... Read More...
Digital Edition Online
Click here if you are viewing from a tablet or smartphone.   Enlarge this document in a new window Read More...
IMAGE Cooking Autism, Inc.
For an autistic child, recreation can be a significant opportunity. Not only is it a chance to practice physical aptitude and social skills, but it... Read More...
IMAGE Young Widows' Meet Up
According to Statista there were roughly 15.1 million widows in the United States in 2018. In the same year, an estimated 844,000 children were... Read More...
IMAGE No-Fuss BBQ Classics
I once had a family member who was a good cook, but always tried too hard to make each side dish and course as elaborate as the entrée when hosting... Read More...
IMAGE Summer Lovin’ in Denim Skirts
I’m pretty sure there isn’t anything more American than denim, at least not in the style world. Our love of denim has transformed it from a... Read More...

Most parents would agree that birthdays are an easy win when the kids are young—not without great effort and frenzied busyness, for sure, but more straightforward. Star Wars? Avengers? Minions? Trolls? Piñata? Done! Whatever the theme requested to anchor the party, it was probably doable, right? But once the tween/teen years hit, things turn a corner and you may find yourself pining for the good ole days of predictable, even, dare I say, cookie-cutter-type parties which wowed your kids when they were little.

As mine sprouted from kid to teen, I realized the parties were going to change to simple but significant, something requiring grave circumspection. In short, my teens wanted to be recognized as young adults, to shed all childish fanfare. I’d wager that yours will feel somewhat the same. Here are a few things I learned in feting my teenagers over the years, which may help you strike the right tone each and every birthday:

Insist on Your Teen Making a Gift List.

It may sound babyish, but it saves lots of heartache and disappointment. After a recent birthday, my teen lamented that he guessed that lists were still a good idea. His comment reflected what we perceived: we thought we were hitting it out of the park in the gift department, but no, we failed. If your teen refuses to make a list, go easy on yourselves and opt for store credit. Or cash. There, I said it. Cash will always be fine with your teen. And when grandparents are eager to shower their affection, help them by advising against buying clothing for your teen. It rarely works, if ever.

Don’t Tell Everything.

Hold back the details. Build the suspense. Our daughter wanted a “family dinner” for her fifteenth birthday and left all the planning and plotting to us. Without saying it, she was begging to be surprised, which put no small amount of pressure on us. In this case, we lucked out and struck the right tone, starting the evening off with giving her a dress she’d pointed out at her favorite store and then, all dressed to the gills, we headed to a fancy restaurant. She felt like such a young lady in her new dress showing up at a restaurant where reservations were in her name.

Pair Your Teen’s Interest with an Event.

What is the one thing your teen loves to do more than anything else? Maybe it’s an intense interest/hobby they have? Think creatively about how you can celebrate this interest. Does your teen love soccer? Take her to a professional game. Does your teen love to cook? Buy cooking classes. Perhaps your teen is an aspiring writer? Or computer programmer? With a little digging around, you’ll probably find workshops and lectures in your area.

Think the Unthinkable.

Keep in mind that your teen’s greatest wish for their birthday may be to get away—far away from you—to visit their BFF who moved away. Gulp. Don’t take it personally! If it’s at all possible, arrange well in advance for a surprise weekend trip, searching long and hard for plane or train tickets. But when it’s not, bring those missed into the room by pulling up a pre-arranged video chat party meet-up. Trust me, the “Happy Birthday” song will sound much better with a crowd of voices bellowing out of your computer to join whoever is in the room.

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FredParent on Twitter

FredParent We are excited for the upcoming Fredwarts Back to School Expo, with decorations by Simple Joy Designs! Here's a col… https://t.co/EKc9b4JLdD
FredParent Sensory Friendly Screening of LION KING at Paragon Theaters - https://t.co/uK20ONkTQe

FredParent on Twitter

FredParent We are excited for the upcoming Fredwarts Back to School Expo, with decorations by Simple Joy Designs! Here's a col… https://t.co/EKc9b4JLdD
FredParent Sensory Friendly Screening of LION KING at Paragon Theaters - https://t.co/uK20ONkTQe
FredParent @MWHCConnection Thank you for sharing. So important!
FredParent RT @MWHCConnection: It's going to be a hot week here in FXBG, so be sure to drink plenty of water and stay out of the heat if you can. Chec…

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Cooking Autism

Cooking Autism, Inc. is driven to help children with neurological disorders (including autism) learn how to cook. Participants are encouraged to pick up critical communication skills, learn how to work as a team and be more independent. They can build skills in math, reading, and science, and learn about cooking-related topics such as health and nutrition. 

CookingAutism

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