Our all girls’ high school camp of the summer started with the movie Hidden Figures on the back of a barn. If you haven’t seen it, we’d highly recommend it. It’s a true story about the African American women who, against a great deal of opposition, changed the NASA program forever. One specific statement, from the movie, set our week in motion:
“Karl Zielinski: Mary, a person with an engineer's mind should be an engineer. You can't be a computer the rest of your life... Read More
It seems like weekly I talk to parents of young children who are worried about the attitude they’re seeing in their kids…and it often seems correlated to the amount of time they spend in front of certain TV shows. If you’re in their boat, we’ve just discovered something for you! A friend of ours recently introduced us to JellyTelly, which was originally created by Phil Vischer, who you may know as the creator of Veggie Tales (and also the infamous voice of Bob the Tomato.)
JellyTelly is a streaming video app offering movies, videos and devotionals that are not only attitude-free, but character-building for kids. Their blog provides... Read More
And how can you use it to share truth and inspire more resilience in your kids? Read here to find out…
This week marks our first week of camp at Hopetown. We’ve had high school kids at camp this week. And our hope is that what we’ve been learning might be something you could share with the teenagers you love. Read it together. Talk about it. Ask questions. And even throw stones…we’re getting ahead of ourselves... Read More
Over fifty years ago, a developmental psychologist, by the name of Michael Lewis, researched gender differences using one-year olds. Lewis and his colleagues set up a barrier between a child and mother. The barrier created physical separation, but the child was able to see the mother. They then cued the mother to begin showing evidence of distress - crying, sighing, etc.
Most of the boys attempted to tear down the barrier, whereas most girls stood and wept. Lewis remarked on how the boys wanted to get back to their mothers, even if... Read More
I was recently meeting with a young woman in high school I respect very much. I already did respect her when she told me the following story. Now, I respect her even more. She’s swimming upstream in this age of technology. And I wanted her to write a Technology Tuesday because I believe her thoughts…her passion and her commitment can help the teenagers you love. Actually, they might can help us all learn to be better stewards not only of technology, but relationships.
In our daily lives, we are constantly surrounded by technology. Everywhere we go phones, laptops, and other devices are always in use. Not long ago, phones were used for a means of communication, and that was it. Now phones are more commonly used for social media purposes. Weather it be snapchat, twitter, or Instagram, people close themselves off from the world and instead engage in what’s on their screens... Read More
What do we do with the summer? I want my daughter to have an old-fashioned summer, where she’s spending more time outside and in real relationships than on screen and in virtual ones.
“My daughter does better with structure.” I hear this sentence constantly in my counseling office. But, I also hear girls who talk about feeling overwhelmed, over-stressed and over-scheduled. So, what’s the balance? How do you help your daughter find enough time to play and grow her imagination... Read More
“I only have like 10 streaks going, but a lot of my friends have 30.”
A middle school girl went on to describe a Snapchat “streak” to me in my office this week. By her definition, a streak is when you snapchat each other every day for a given number of days.
“Some people have streaks with 100 days. I know a girl who has a streak for 600 days with someone. Basically, if you don’t have a streak going with someone, it means you don’t like them...” Read More
Raising Awareness is a double-edged sword. In other words, it cuts both ways…which feels particularly poignant in the awareness the new Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why, has raised since its release in March.
You’ve probably heard of it recently. Schools are sending out emails about it. Churches are talking about it. And teenagers are DEFINITELY talking about it. In fact, every teenager I’ve asked about it in the last week has used the same words, “Its’ the show everyone is talking about all of the time.” And I honestly don’t believe that’s teenage hyperbole... Read More
So, here’s the thing. I know everybody is talking about 13 Reasons Why. I get it. It’s compelling. It feels a lot like your life these days. You’re glad somebody’s talking about what’s going on at school. You want the adults in your life to understand how hard it is to be a teenager today. I really do get it. It’s so much harder than when we were growing up. I sit with teenagers every day and hear what’s going on in their lives: the real-life bullying, depression, self-harm…all of the things this show is trying to bring to light. I’m a counselor, and have been for 24 years.
Here’s the other thing that I’ll tell you, from a counseling perspective. It’s not just bringing things to light... Read More
Responding with empathy is more naturally instinctive for some individuals than others. Just as one child might be stronger in math and another in spelling, we all bend in certain directions. Some of us are more extroverted, some of us more introverted. Some more analytical, some more creative. We could circle around the nature vs. nurture argument for days, months or years. Bottom line - both are contributing factors.
Some individuals more naturally think of others, and some more naturally think of themselves. During adolescence, we all spend more time thinking about ourselves. Sadly, some adults never move beyond that tendency... Read More
“I walked out of my bathroom yesterday, wrapped in a towel, only to hear my ten year-old yell, ‘I’m going live!’”.
“Going live” is now evidently the thing. This ten year-old was “going live” on Musical.ly, only to show her latest “slime” to her five followers, including grandparents and an aunt. “Going live” basically means live-streaming a video of you—doing whatever you want to do. People who follow you can click to watch and comment, unless you turn off the commenting feature. (And slime, by the way, is exactly what it sounds like). Facebook has a live component, as well as Instagram. In fact, TeenVogue recently did an article called “6 Tips for Instagram Live.” The article went on to say... Read More
It’s vital for boys to understand males often experience emotions with physicality attached to them. It’s why boys are prone to screaming, hitting, punching, balling up their fists or gritting their teeth. I’ve worked with boys who even growl like an animal when the emotion erupts inside of them. When a boy can channel the physicality of the emotion into something useful, he can offset the possibility of hurting others (or himself). We will explore more of this in chapter four with the milestone of Resourcefulness.
In a non-problematic time, I have boys make a list of five things they could do outside and inside involving movement of some kind. It’s not that listening to music, reading or playing on the iPad isn’t useful... Read More
Happy Countdown to Mother’s Day! We’re about to start our own Mom’s brand of March Madness at Raising Boys and Girls! It’s been so fun hearing from those of you who are reading our new book, Are My Kids On Track?! So, in honor of Mother’s Day, we’re about to start 12 weeks of Giveaways featuring YOU!!! Each week, we’ll highlight a different milestone from the book. (If you’re late to the Are My Kids on Track party, it includes 12 milestones we believe are crucial for kids to reach and are happening less and less these days. There are 4 emotional, 4 social, and 4 spiritual). So, here’s the plan... Read More
Have you heard your child use the word “Finsta?” (I think regularly, if our grandparents were to sit in on a conversation with teenagers, they would be as confused as if someone were speaking a foreign language. Finsta…tweets…snaps…what are we talking about, anyway?).
So, here’s the story on finstas. A finsta is what it sounds like—or what it sounds like if you’re 15 and thinking this way—a fake Instagram account. (Get it…fake Insta?) I hear about them weekly now in my counseling office. Middle school girls tell me they have finstas with their very closest friends. “You know, there are pictures you only want your best friends to see—like things you think are funny... Read More
Boys are primarily visual, spatial and experiential learners. Did you notice auditory is nowhere in that list? Despite knowing this, we fall into the trap of talking at and talking to boys way too much, forgetting they learn best by going through the motions. Think about the Compassion story I shared. You’d be correct in assuming though I’d spent a lifetime understanding the concepts of poverty and hunger in third world countries, it didn’t become real to me until I traveled to South America, visited those sites, interacted with children and families, and heard their stories. The experience expanded and deepened my perspective.
I challenge parents to avoid lecturing about hungry children across the world, when their own kids don’t clean their plates and waste food. Rather than lecturing, take them to a local Soup Kitchen and serve as a family. They will develop perspective differently... Read More
As Spring break and Summer vacation approach, it’s important to consider the role of technology in that time. As you prepare for these breaks, here are some ideas to help shape the time away as you set parameters for your family. Read More
I wrote this last year around vacation time…and, since it’s vacation season again, I thought it bore repeating. Happy Spring Break, everyone! And may we continue to be committed to encouraging and extending grace to each other…in real life and on social media.
If you and I are friends/followers on social media, by the time you read this, you’ll probably hate me... Read More
There really is an App for everything.
If you’re interested in marrying some of the concepts in our new book with an App... designed to help you build emotional intelligence, check out this product developed by a psychologist at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Read More
Building Block #1: A Scale aka Drama-mometer
On my fortieth birthday, I had a kidney stone. Forty was not the new thirty for me. It was miserable . . . blew my “stubbed toe might be the most significant pain” theory right out of the water. Since then, I’ve heard from many women that one teeny kidney stone causes more pain than natural childbirth. I now have a new understanding of those little scales they hang up in the ER. You’ve seen them. They’re numbered 1–10 and have a little happy face on the left side at 1 . . . and a miserable face at 10 on the right. I wish every home had a similar pain assessment tool for girls... Read More